These guidelines apply to Millersville University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and any organization, department, office, club that would like to officially represent Millersville University on a social media network.
Why use Social Media?
The benefits are obvious. Social media networks are where current and prospective students “hang out.” We attempt to bring our message to these students where they are. We promote the mission and vision of Millersville University by communicating with our audience, highlighting student, faculty and alumni achievements, promoting events and sharing important news and alerts on the platforms.
Social media is an interactive method to communicate with your following. You can answer questions, ask questions, post information, dispel rumors and respond to feedback, among other results.
What is Social Media?
Social media are online websites that provide immediate distribution of information to a wide variety of fans or followers on various platforms to various outlets, such as computers and mobile devices. Examples of social media sites are: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc).
General Guidelines and Best Practices for Social Media Use
- Be Official – Departments and offices who establish official social media accounts must register the account with the Millersville University Office of Communications (email us).
- Represent MU – Any posting on official social media networks should represent MU as accurately as possible and be aligned with the university’s mission and goals.
A. Be Accurate – Check your writing for typos before posting. Have the facts before you post. Verify information. Talk to your supervisor if you are unsure of an answer or have concerns about something that has been posted to your page. Do not answer questions that do not pertain to your area, instead refer users to other pages or to the correct office if applicable.
B. Correct Mistakes – if you make a mistake, admit it. Be transparent and quick to correct your error. If possible, modify your post with the correction. If that is not possible, edit in a way that those who have already seen the erroneous information are alerted to the mistake, as well as your intention to post a corrected version.
- Obey Laws and Policies – All use of social media must adhere to applicable laws (such as FERPA and copyright) and university and PASSHE policies.
A. Do not infringe upon others’ intellectual property. When sharing information, always be sure to provide proper credit to the original author when possible.
B. Do not post confidential or proprietary university information
- Personal Use of Social Media – Do not use personal social media accounts to conduct official university business and vice versa. Any use of personal accounts while using MU time or resources must adhere to the MU acceptable use policy.
A. Endorsements – Do not use the official platform to endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate.
B. Monitor Content – having a two-way communication model builds community. You must determine if your platform will accept comments from users. If comments are accepted, you must establish and display a clear policy for what type of comments may be deleted. In general, if the comments are on topic and related to MU or the office, they should be allowed regardless if they are favorable or unfavorable to MU. Comments cannot be deleted because they are unfavorable.
- Sample policy statement – The Millersville University (department/office) Facebook page encourages discussion and sharing of information, thoughts and opinions. Millersville University is not responsible for comments or wall postings made by visitors to the page. Comments posted do not reflect the opinions or policies of the university. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain advertising, are off-topic, use offensive or inappropriate language, are intended to defame, infringe someone’s rights, or are against the law.
- Be Current – Information on your site should be current, up-to-date and relevant. Questions should not go unanswered. Social Media is also interactive and engaging. If you don’t want to be part of a conversation or lead conversations, social media is not for you. Do not start a page unless you want to keep it active and current, and have the resources to monitor it. If you find your site is irrelevant, unkept and does not receive traffic and comments, it is best to discontinue it.
Use of Licensed University Logos
If you create an official social media site, you may use the university’s licensed logos. Be sure to adhere to all application usage guidelines and do not alter the images. Unofficial or personal accounts may not use the licensed logos as it can confuse the users as to what is official and unofficial.