Social Media Standards
Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas through virtual communities and networks. Social media channels may include but are not limited to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google +, blogs, forums, etc.
The University of West Florida utilizes social media as a valuable marketing and communications tool to reach faculty, staff, students, prospective students and the community. In order to effectively communicate with these audiences, UWF recommends that all social media outlets adhere to social media standards.
The UWF Social Media Standards listed below are appropriate for the use of social media and the interactions that take place on these platforms.
Development of Social Media Outlets
Only authorized representatives may create accounts on behalf of UWF. If you are interested in creating a UWF social media account for your division, college, department, unit or organization, please contact Margaret Roberts at MargaretPR@uwf.edu.
When applicable, UWF must be listed prior to the division, college, department or unit for the official name of the social media channel. (Example: UWF College of Business)
Create a Strategy
Two key aspects of social media are the strategy and goals behind your social media platform. Based on your target audience, your social media platform, content, media and insights should all be a part of a specific strategy. These strategies should align with the University’s Strategic Plan and institutional goals.
Choose Appropriate Platforms
There are a variety of social media platforms and tools available to share content, profiles, opinions, insights and media. The appropriate social media platform should reach a specific target audience. University Marketing & Communications will provide guidance regarding the appropriate platforms for your audience.
Align with the UWF Brand
Be sure to utilize the University’s appropriate graphics and components that appear in the University Brand Guide. This guide is vital in promoting and protecting the University’s identity in a consistent manner. For access to UWF’s Brand Guide, visit our Graphic Standards Manual site. UWF offers marketing materials, which include graphics and photography and requests that University social media outlets utilize these materials.
Choose Appropriate Social Media Content Providers
The department chair/director is responsible for the appointment of administrative rights to appropriate personnel. Suggested appropriate content providers are department chairs/directors and full-time faculty/staff. We strongly discourage University outlets to allow student employees access to official University social media accounts.
Utilizing Social Media Outlets
Protect Confidential Information
Do not disclose any confidential or proprietary information of the University of West Florida through social media channels. For more information or clarification on state and federal laws, check our Florida Public Records Law FAQs.
Monitoring & Content Sharing Responsibilities
University Marketing & Communications actively monitors all official University accounts for brand compliance, confidential information and appropriate etiquette. UMC is permitted to direct the removal of content from an official University social media page if it does not comply with UWF Social Media Standards. Department chairs/directors are ultimately responsible for all content shared on their respective department’s social media accounts. UMC is not held responsible for the content of University social media accounts that are not directly managed by UMC.
Removing Social Media Content Providers
If a social media content provider leaves their position with the University, the department chair/director is responsible for the removal of their access immediately after their departure. He or she is also responsible for contacting UMC to inform them of the change in social media personnel.
Appropriately Representing the University
UWF social media outlets represent the University to various internal and external audiences. Therefore, all content is required to remain professional and positive at all times. All alcohol, drug references and profanity are strictly prohibited. Negative comments regarding University initiatives, programs or partners are also prohibited.
Know Your Audience
To provide appropriate content and messages through social media, various or specific audiences must be determined to be reached through the appropriate platform. Messaging should be clear so that the target audience understands the purpose of your site. Be sure you are adding value to the online community by positing relevant and useful information.
Use Your Best Judgment
Social media is viewable and open to the public. If there is any doubt about posting content on a site, then do not proceed. Certain posts can have consequences that can affect the university and organizations. Seek advice from peers, co-workers or supervisors who use social media regularly before posting.
Always respond to and address any feedback, whether it is given through a public comment or a private message. It is important to consistently maintain representation of the University by engaging with your audience.
Update and Engage Responsibly
Aim for regular, consistent postings and updates, at least once a week, or more frequently, depending on the platform.. For advice on how often to post, please contact UMC.
Any facts shared via social media should be proved valid prior to posting. In addition, all grammar, spelling and punctuation should be checked. If a mistake is made, it should be honestly identified and corrected.
If you choose to post about UWF during your personal time, please identify yourself as a UWF faculty, staff member or student. Make it clear that what you say is representative of your own views and opinions, and that you are not presenting yourself as a spokesperson for UWF.