Follow these guidelines when establishing and operating a social media site for the benefit of Washington State University.
Participate appropriately in official and unofficial sites and spaces.
There are dozens of existing WSU related groups and fan pages that are not "official” along with a growing list of official accounts. Participation in those groups can be as valuable as, if not more so than, creating your own and having to recruit fans/followers. Weigh the value of these groups/pages before creating a new one.
Social sites are public, permanent and retrievable.
Your messages on the social Web can be read by anyone, even those persons with whom you did not intend to communicate. You are searchable and what you say can spread and stays online forever.
Link back to the university. Ideally, most posts should be very brief, redirecting a visitor to content that resides within the WSU web environment.
Use common sense.
Presume that even if you don’t identify yourself as a WSU employee on a particular site, the vast and growing repository of data on the Web will make you identifiable to outside parties as such. Similar to university email, employees should have no expectation of privacy when using or posting on social media Web sites. You are as much a representative of the university in your "virtual” world as you are in your "real” world. Act accordingly. Before pressing "Send,” ask yourself if you would be comfortable with your supervisor, colleague, student, donor, alumni or president reading this message.
Be selective. Not everything needs a response.
WSU is a large public institution and as such is open to criticism about any number of things, from parking and traffic to policies. When you see these things online, don’t take them personally and don’t feel compelled to respond to each and every criticism. If you have the ability to correct an error or factually incorrect statement, or give someone direction to a web page that does so, that’s helpful. But do not engage in debate, or simply tell someone he/she is wrong. If you feel there is a post or comment that is sensitive and needs response, forward it to your supervisor, your area’s communications staff, or to Kathy Barnard, Executive Director of University Communications, email@example.com
Understand that social networking expands your audience to include students, parents, faculty, staff, prospective students, alumni, donors, media and others in the community – and their audiences. Any number of these people can read your posts. Don’t vent, bash, or poke fun at people, businesses, companies, brands, competitors, or geographical locations. Do feel free to ask questions and share your opinion in a respectful manner. Think before posting and when in doubt, don’t press "Send.”
Be respectful and of good moral character.
Avoid posting any content derogatory or in defamation of WSU, its services, employees, students, constituents or competitors. Similarly, employees should not post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, or abusive.