Missouri State University-West Plains realizes the importance and value that social media tools and websites offer faculty, staff, current and future students, alumni and others. These guidelines are to provide direction and clarity with respect to social media and the University’s participation to allow for it to be a positive experience for all those who participate.
Social media guidelines
Guidelines for all social media sites
- Be respectful of copyright, fair use and intellectual property rights of others and of the University. For guidance, refer to the Multimedia Guidelines or contact the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning regarding Fair Use guidelines.
- Obey the terms of service of any social media platform on which you have a web presence.
Guidelines for institutional social media sites
- Departments, University units, or organizations that have a social media presence should contact the University Communications Office to ensure that all institutional social media sites coordinate with the Missouri State University-West Plains sites and their content.
- The Web Policy considers social media sites a component of a University website. The website supervisor/administrator is responsible for any associated social media sites.
- Supervisors/administrators for institutional social media sites must follow and enforce the Comment Guidelines
- Two full-time staff members must have supervisor/administrator access to all social media accounts
- As described in the Commercial Activity Guidelines, commercial activity is not allowed on institutional social media sites.
- When possible, always link back to the Missouri State University-West Plains website. Posts should direct visitors to content that resides in the Missouri State University-West Plains web environment.
- Posts on institutional social media sites should protect the University’s institutional voice by remaining professional in tone and in good taste. No individual Missouri State department, unit or organization should construe its social media site as representing the University as a whole.
Guidelines for personal social media sites
- Do not use Missouri State University-West Plains logos for endorsement on any personal social media sites.
Social media best practices
Below are the best practices for maintaining a presence on social media
Acknowledge who you are and if you are representing Missouri State University-West Plains when posting on a social media site. On personal social media sites, identify your views as your own. If you identify yourself as a Missouri State University faculty or staff member online, it should be clear that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the institution.
Develop a plan
Departments, units and organizations should develop a social media plan and consider their messages, audiences and goals, as well as a strategy for keeping information and content on social media sites up-to-date.
Anything you post represents the university. Be sure to use caution when engaging in slang or jargon. Make sure that your facts are correct and always strive for accuracy, proper punctuation, spelling and grammar when posting on a social media site.
Remember your audience
Remember your audience and remain aware that a web presence on social media sites can easily be made available to the public at large. This includes prospective students, current students, current employees and colleagues, alumni and peers. Consider your audience before posting to a social media site to ensure the content will not alienate, harm or provoke negative reactions to any of these groups.
All content should reflect the University system’s image. Visual content captures users’ attention and helps reinforce your messages. Photos posted on social media should be university related, including profile and cover photos. (e.g. department logos, campus buildings, signs). Incorporate photos and videos as frequently as possible.
Anything you post in your role as a Missouri State University-West Plains employee reflects on the institution; be professional and respectful at all times on your social media site, and do not engage in arguments or extensive debates.
Social media requires constant monitoring and coordination. If your unit lacks the resources to check your social media presences at least a few minutes each day and to post fresh content several times a week, please reconsider before opening any new social media accounts. With social media, you get out of it what you put into it. If your page is inactive, users will notice and no longer engage with you on that site.
Think twice before posting
Remember that anything you share on social media sites, even within a closed network, is not private. It can and will be shared, stored and spread globally. Do not post anything online you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with your mother.