Procedure for Social Media Profiles Representing University Entities
Starting a Social Media Account
Those wanting to start a social media profile to promote their department, program, office or organization should first fill out this short online form, which will be sent to Katie Machovsky in the Office of University Marketing and Communication. Permission must be granted in order to have an officially recognized social media presence, which involves being listed on the social media directory, the permitted use of the University name, the ability to use Northwest logos as your profile picture, and cross promotion of your profile on the University’s main social media profiles.
To become an officially recognized social media profile, you must have the approval of your department head, director, NLT member or president of your organization, as well as from the Office of University Marketing and Communication. Student organizations must also be an officially recognized student organization.
When considering creation of a new social media profile, take an honest inventory of your resources and marketing needs. Interaction is expected on Twitter and Facebook daily – is this something your staff can manage? Do you have students who can help? Who will oversee this account? Does the type of social media profile you are interested in fit with your brand? (For example, does Pinterest make sense for the audience you are intending to reach?)
When naming your new social media profile, please include at a minimum ‘Northwest’ before your department or organization name, but ideally include ‘Northwest Missouri State University.’ For example, ‘Northwest Missouri State University Department of Natural Sciences,’ or ‘Northwest Department of Natural Sciences.’ This will enable users to more easily find your fan page or Twitter account amongst many departments worldwide.
When choosing your administrators on your account, choose carefully. It is important to always have two or more administrators, so that you can maintain access to your account should you have an employee fall ill or leave the University. It is important to choose reliable administrators to post on behalf of your department or organization. These administrators should have a solid knowledge of social media, be careful writers and editors, and be committed to the positive promotion of your department/organization and the University as a whole. Social media has the ability to greatly promote or badly damage the image of your department/organization and the University as a whole.
To Be an Officially Recognized University Account
- University offices, departments and programs must have Katie Machovsky (firstname.lastname@example.org) as an administrator on their Northwest Facebook account, and provide Katie with the username and password for all other social media accounts for the department. See profile request form.
- Katie will not be posting for your department as an administrator, but is simply needed in case an inappropriate posting is reported on the account. He is not responsible for this account or for posting your promotional copy.
Additionally, your department, office, program or organization must have:
- At least two administrators who are familiar with social media and capable of posting on behalf of your brand.
- For departments, offices and programs: At least one of these administrators must be a full-time staff or faculty member. It is permissible to have a student administrator also if the faculty or staff member reviews their posts before posting. If you use a student administrator, is it important to remember to remove their administrator rights when they no longer work in your office, and to add an additional administrator when that happens. For Twitter and other accounts, this may mean you need to change your password when a student leaves, too. When this happens, it is important to remember to notify University Marketing and Communication of your password change. If your full-time faculty or staff member leaves employment at the University for any reason, their administrator rights should be removed immediately and the passwords for your accounts need to be changed.
- For student organizations: Your student organization advisor must be an administrator on your account and have access to the usernames and passwords for your accounts. When choosing your student administrators, consider having students of different years (i.e., a sophomore and a senior), so you have some continuity after graduation. Don’t forget to remove administrators who have graduated.
The previous rules do not apply to individual user accounts (i.e., personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter accounts, Pinterest accounts, blogs, etc.) unless:
- Your identification on said account is tied to your position title. For example, Timothy Mottet’s Twitter account is NWProvost. In this case, the account belongs to the University and the successors in such office, and your office and Katie Machovsky needs a record of the username and password information for these accounts. Because you are using your position title as your identifying name, you are representing the University with this account and therefore are subject to compliance with all University policies. Think carefully when choosing your username because of this policy.
- If you would like to blog in an official capacity related to the University, you must have a blog that is hosted on the University website through Northwest’s content management system. Contact Crystal Ward to establish this. You will be able to post and edit this blog using your Northwest username and password once established. Upon leaving the University, your access to this blog will cease, and your blog posts will be removed from the Northwest website within 30 days.
Content of Postings
As a department, office, program or organization, your content reflects on not just your area, but the University as a whole. As such:
- Content should not be illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, infringing on intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful or embarrassing to any person or entity. Such content may be removed by University Marketing and Communication administrators with or without department, office, program or organization permission. You are responsible for maintaining and policing your own page and such removal is not guaranteed.
- No confidential information about or of the University or your department should be posted. See Northwest’s confidentiality policy
- Content should not violate conflict of interest , computer user, FERPA, HIPAA, or harassment policies held by the University (as outlined in the above employee handbooks).
- A disclaimer should exist on your organization’s profile that you are not posting on behalf of the University. The disclaimer should read “The views expressed on this (website/Facebook page/blog etc.) do not necessarily represent the views held of Northwest Missouri State University and are not posted on behalf of Northwest.” On Facebook, this disclaimer should be in your ‘about’ section. On a blog, this disclaimer should be visible somewhere on your front page, and can be incorporated into the design of your page or on a widget on the side of your blog. For Twitter, use the phrase: “The views represented here do not necessarily represent those of Northwest Missouri State University” within your about section.