University Marketing and Communications

Social Media Guidelines

Blogs, social networks and websites are exciting channels to share information and connect with others. UW-Whitewater is active in these online communities and supports the participation of colleges, departments and other units, as well.

University Marketing and Communications manages all university-level social media accounts. These currently include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

If you post on behalf of your department, unit or program, the following recommendations will help you use social media forums effectively, protect your reputation, support the university's brand and adhere to university policies.

General Recommendations for Social Media

The keys to success in social media are being honest about who you are, being thoughtful before you post and respecting the purpose of the community where you are posting.

  • Be transparent. If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of a university entity, clearly state your role and goals. Discuss with your supervisor when you are empowered to respond directly to users and when you need approval.
  • Be connected. If you have been authorized by your supervisor or the university to create an official UW-Whitewater department, unit or program social media site or a video for posting at sites such as YouTube, please contact Marketing and Media Relations for an approved logo and other images, and to ensure coordination with other UW-Whitewater sites and content. Wherever possible, use UW-Whitewater branding on the social media site to support your identification.
  • Be respectful. UW-Whitewater respects the dignity of others and is committed to civil and thoughtful discussion of opposing ideas. Adherence to those ideals is expected of everyone who represents the UW-Whitewater community.
  • Be thoughtful. If you have any questions about whether it is appropriate to post certain kinds of material in your role as a university representative, ask your supervisor or contact Marketing and Media Relations.
  • Maintain confidentiality. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about UW-Whitewater, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Always consider this before you post: There's no such thing as a "private" social media site. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post.