University Marketing and Communications

Social Media Practices

The purpose of these practices is to provide clear direction regarding the responsibilities and expectations associated with creating, managing, and communicating with a UW-Whitewater social media channel.

All UW-Whitewater social media channels shall be used to communicate within the university’s mission, values, vision and strategic plan.

Any administrative unit, academic department, or athletic team associated with UW-Whitewater may create and manage social media accounts for their respective areas as long as they follow this practice.

Creating a social media account

Before an account is created, clear goals and expectations must be set and employee roles must be clear and understood. Branding must be maintained within the rules of UW-Whitewater’s Brand and Identity Standards.

Roles and responsibilities

A professional UW-Whitewater employee must maintain administrator rights so the accounts can be transferred appropriately if and when needed. If employment is terminated for an administrator of a social media account, the account must be transferred to another professional UW-Whitewater employee prior to departure. Student employees may manage and contribute to accounts, however students who are added to a social media account will be under the supervision of a professional UW-Whitewater employee and should have their access removed after their employment has concluded. Clear expectations should be set regarding how and when someone will engage and respond to posts and messages. Contributing employees and students should read read this practice directive prior to being added to a page.

Managing a social media account

UW-Whitewater welcomes users to engage in a thoughtful and robust way on our social media channels, in concert with the university’s core values. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to post certain kinds of material in your role as a university representative, ask your supervisor. Be respectful and authentic on your channels. UW-Whitewater respects the dignity of others and is committed to civil discussion of opposing ideas. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about UW-Whitewater, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Do not use copyrighted works on your channel. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Stay connected and engaged with your channel, responding thoughtfully to comments, questions and messages. Use appropriate UW-Whitewater branding on the social media site to support your identification.

UW-Whitewater reserves the right to hide, delete, ban or report comments, posts and accounts that:

  • Violate state or federal laws
  • Advocate illegal or threatening activity
  • Jeopardize the physical safety of a person or persons
  • Constitute bullying or harassment
  • Contain obscene content
  • Discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or religion
  • Contain information the university knows to be factually false or libelous
  • Contain advertisements or solicitations for goods or services
  • Pose a cybersecurity risk, or appear to be created by bots or other nefarious accounts, or constitute spam, the posting of repetitive content to monopolize a thread/conversation

If you encounter any of the above, please contact University Marketing and Communications for direction.

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.

Deleting a social media account

If it is no longer feasible for you or your department to maintain a social media channel that you created, it should be deleted. Our audience looks to our social media channels as a resource and if they discover pages that are idle or outdated, it hurts brand perception and recruiting efforts. A channel that is not updated at least monthly, should be deleted.