University of Dayton Social Media Guidelines

Social media has changed the way we communicate — both as an institution and as individuals. Social media allows the University of Dayton to engage in ongoing, digital conversations with our constituents — students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, colleagues, community leaders, fans and friends — about what is most important to them in the space where they are at. Such conversations must be responsible, thoughtful, respectful and uphold the standards of our Catholic, Marianist university.

SETTING UP ACCOUNTS AND ACCOUNT OWNERSHIP

University departments, programs and organizations are encouraged to use social media to communicate with their audiences. A dean, director or supervisor of your unit must grant permission to start an account. (Social media accounts representing the University of Dayton as a whole are only created and administered by the Office of University Marketing and Communications.)  It is the responsibility of the unit supervisor and the account administrator to actively monitor the account and keep content current and accurate. The unit supervisor has the right to grant or revoke administrative privileges. The unit remains the owner of the account. The Office of University Marketing and Communications has the right to step in as administrator should the content veer from what is responsible, thoughtful and respectful (see below).

When naming your account, use “University of Dayton” in the title or in the description to help with search engine optimization. Avoid the use of acronyms that would limit the searchability of your channel.

Create a continuity plan, always having an administrator, adviser or successor as part of your authorized users. Protect all passwords.

BE RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE

The best social media is communication that is timely and responsive. Be aware of the needs of your audience to provide the most useful information and to grow the engagement for your audience.

Employee responsibilities: Employees who post to social media as part of their job responsibilities or as designated volunteers of the unit are subject to the conditions set out in the Employee Policies and Procedures Handbook and the Student Employee Handbook. When posting on behalf of the unit, you are not permitted to use profanity or derogatory language; to use sexually explicit language or material; to post copyrighted material unless granted permission; to make libelous statements; or to attack an individual or group. Those who do so risk disciplinary action or termination. Do not post confidential and proprietary information about the University of Dayton, including information about students, alumni or employees. Remember that most records related to students are protected from disclosure under the federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Disclosing any personally identifiable student education records through social media sites is a violation of FERPA. Information collected in connection with research may be protected under a Nondisclosure Agreement, research protocol or other applicable law or agreement. Any protected information must not be disclosed through social media. Adhere to all applicable university privacy and confidentiality policies. Employees who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination. University policies can be found here.

Members of the University community may not, using University of Dayton social media accounts, promote or endorse a candidate for public office.

Creating meaningful content: A social media site are effective when the administrator generates interesting and interactive content and builds relationships with the online community. Regular and timely updates and discussions are key to building your community. Respond to comments and posts that tag your account. Plan content ahead of time, especially around major events for your program. Be authentic and human in the voice and content of your posts. Be thoughtful and careful in the creation and proofing of your post, taking into account general punctuation, tone, audience and the alignment of the post with the University’s mission. Having posts reviewed and proofed is advised before posting. If a mistake is made, correct the error.

Permissions: Your channel administrator will create a policy guide regarding approvals and oversight required before posts go live.

Personal use: Only University of Dayton social media accounts and other electronic platforms should be used to share the views of or officially market on behalf of the University. A University employee may not create or post personal social media content that implies that the content is on behalf of or is endorsed by the University. If an employee maintains a personal blog, website or social media account(s) and identifies himself or herself as a University of Dayton community member, that employee should be clear that his or her views are personal views, and that those views are not necessarily those of the University. A disclaimer might be appropriate, such as, “The views expressed here are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Dayton.” University employees are personally responsible for the content they publish on their own social media sites and the sites of others.

Using photos in your post: Images enliven your message and expand your reach. You are welcomed and encouraged to use photos shared on the University of Dayton’s Facebook page and owned by the University on your social media accounts. Do not take or use photos from the Internet for University promotional purposes unless you have permission from the individual who has ownership of the photo. It is standard practice to contact another social media user to request one-time permission to re-use his or her work on the account you administer with proper attribution. (This does not include retweeting, for example, which is allowed without permission for accounts whose owners have them listed as public).

Responding to comments:  Be respectful of other people’s opinions. Having thoughtful discussions on important topics builds your community and contributes to your account’s success. It is general practice to leave up user comments that do not provide false, misleading, defaming, obscene or illegal content. If such comments happen, the administrator is advised to take the comment down; message the individual (if appropriate) to build awareness so this does not happen again; ban the user (if necessary); and respond to the overall audience (if necessary). For advice, please contact the social media strategist. For issues of illegality, please contact the legal office.

Increase the conversation: You are encouraged to follow other social accounts created by University units. Listening to their conversations, liking and share their posts with your audiences, and learning from their best practices will enhance your accounts. Together, we can create a holistic view for our audiences of our university’s mission, people, personality and influence. The social media strategist conducts weekly social media meetings. To join the conversation, fill out this form and the strategist will extend an invitation.

RESOURCES

University social media strategist can offer assistance with training, establishing tone and scope of content, understanding your audience, cross-promotion on University social channels, social goals and strategy, scheduling of posts and content creation. Please use this form to make a request.

University Marketing and Communications offers a photo library for University use, and UD faculty, staff and students may request photos for their non-commercial marketing and communication needs (print and digital). Please download the user guide for instructions. All images are copyright protected by the University.

Posted July 14, 2016