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Social Media Policy


Table of Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Social Media Policy for University of Sioux Falls Endorsed/Sponsored/Administered Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Policy Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Application of Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Exemptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Introduction Social media as a communication tool can significantly impact organizational and professional reputations. Because it is difficult to distinguish between personal voices and institutional voices in social media, USF has created the following policy to protect the integrity of the University of Sioux Falls (USF) as a result of individual participation in social media. As USF faculty and staff members continue to become familiar with the variety of social networking options available for online communication, USF has developed the following social media policy to ensure that any and all interactions on behalf of USF represent the institution in an accurate and professional manner. This policy is intended to cover use of all social media sites, including, but not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, podcasts and more. In either professional or institutional roles, employees must follow the same standards online as they would in all other forms of communication. The same expectations and guidelines that apply to direct interactions with students, parents, alumni, donors, media and other USF constituents apply online. Employees can be held personally liable for anything they post to social media sites. USF reserves the right to restrict and monitor employee’s use of social media.

Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Procedures and Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Existing University of Sioux Falls Conduct Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Social Media Best Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

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Social Media Policy for University of Sioux Falls Endorsed/Sponsored/Administered Websites 1. Policy Statement

4. Definitions

The use of social media websites is increasingly common, and these communication tools have the potential to create a significant impact on organizational and professional reputations. USF has developed a policy to properly portray, promote and protect the institution. The following policy also provides suggestions about how to protect personal and professional reputations while using social media. This policy includes the following:

 Poster or User: A person submitting content to any social media site that is officially recognized by USF is a poster or user.

• Officially recognized USF social media accounts must be reviewed and approved through an application process.

• Each social media account must have at least two account administrators assigned to it.

• Each social media account must include a disclaimer, in the prescribed form, regarding content and opinions contained on the site.

• Inappropriate, offensive, injurious and illegal content, or such conduct that is reflected on a social media account, may be removed by USF, and the account may be modified or terminated at any time. • Best practices for social media accounts must be adhered to by account administrators.

2. Application of Policy This policy will apply to social media accounts created by USF employees for the purpose of conducting USF business. This policy will, therefore, also impact students, alumni and donors who utilize social media in conjunction with representing USF. A Social Media Advisory Team has been established to assist in the campus-wide implementation of this policy. All officially-recognized social media accounts will be publicly listed by USF at www.usiouxfalls.edu. Student organizations that wish to create social media accounts that will be officially recognized by USF must be registered through the same application process as established for employees. 3. Exemptions This policy will apply only to social media accounts created for the express purpose of representing USF and its entities, and it will not apply to employees’ personal social media accounts. USF employees acting in an individual capacity on social networks should exercise extreme caution to communicate clearly that they are not acting in a representative capacity or expressing the views of USF.

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 Social Media: Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform how people communicate with one another and receive news, information and entertainment. Social media has transformed people from content consumers to content producers. Types of social media include networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, podcasts and more. Social Media Accounts: These are accounts or profiles created in social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 ocial Media Best Practices: These consist of widely-recognized guidelines, ethical considerations and conventions for creating S successful social media campaigns and accounts.

 Social Media Guidelines: This refers to the requirements placed on social media users acting on behalf of USF. Requirements that must be followed include, but are not limited to, existing USF conduct policies, assignment of account administrators, creation and approval of profile images/avatars, content rules and requirements and more.  Social Media Advisory Team: The Social Media Advisory Team is chaired by the Director of Marketing or appropriate designee. Members of the team include, but are not limited to, representatives from academic affairs, admissions, alumni relations, athletics, career services, information technology, human resources, student development and a student representative. The primary mission of the Social Media Advisory Team is to identify individuals that currently manage USF social media accounts; inform them of the social media policy, best practices and guidelines; encourage them to apply for official-recognition status; keep USF on the cutting edge of social media resources; and determine how to utilize social media in the best interest of USF.

 ocial Media Terms and Conditions: Social media terms and conditions include those imposed by the social media network S in which the users are participating. For example, Facebook account administrators must adhere to Facebook’s established terms and conditions.

 USF’s Best Interest: To represent USF in a fair, accurate and legal manner while protecting the brand and reputation of the institution is referred to as USF’s best interest.

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5. Procedures and Responsibilities

d. Representation of your personal opinions as being endorsed by USF or any of its entities is strictly prohibited. USF’s name, logos or branding images may not be used to promote any opinion, product, private business, cause or political candidate. When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others, as well as USF.

e. By posting content to any social media site, you represent that you own or otherwise have all of the rights necessary to lawfully use that content or that the use of the content is permitted by fair use. You also agree that you will not knowingly provide misleading or false information and that you will indemnify and hold USF harmless for any claims resulting from the content.

a. Should a USF account administrator leave the University for any reason or no longer wish to be an account administrator, it is his/her responsibility to contact the Director of Marketing or appropriate designee to remove the former employee’s administrative permissions to the site and to add a replacement account administrator.

f. While USF is committed to the protection of academic freedom, and it does not regularly review content posted to social media sites, it shall have the right to do so, and, with respect to any site maintained in the name of USF, may remove or cause the removal of any content for any lawful reason, including, but not limited to, content that it deems threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws or otherwise injurious or illegal.

g. When using or posting online material that includes direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos or videos, always include citations. Provide a link to the original material if applicable.

b. If there are not two employees available to serve as account administrators, a member of the Social Media Advisory Team may serve in that capacity.

h. Using information and conducting activities that may violate local, state or federal laws and regulations is prohibited.

i. If you also maintain your own social media accounts for personal use, you should avoid creating confusion over whether or not the accounts are associated with USF. If you identify yourself as a USF faculty or staff member online, it should be clear that the views expressed on their sites are not those of USF and you are not acting in your capacity as an employee.

A. Use of Social Media Sites for General Business, Marketing and Communications.

1) The Director of Marketing or appropriate designee will be responsible for administering this policy.

2) A Social Media Advisory Team has been established to provide input and to assist in USF outreach and training regarding this policy and best practices.

3) The Director of Marketing or appropriate designee will manage the day-to-day application process and update USF’s account directory at www.usiouxfalls.edu as needed.

4) All social media accounts officially recognized by USF will have at least two employees serve as account administrators at all times to ensure adherence to this policy.

5) USF employees identified as account administrators will manage and monitor the content of their accounts. Administrators may remove content that may violate USF conduct policies or the social media terms and conditions.

6) Guidelines for Content:

a. Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what could happen if a posting becomes widely known and how that may reflect on you and USF before posting. Postings are permanent and any postings can be forwarded or copied. If you are unsure about a posting, ask the account administrator for guidance before posting.

While not a requirement, you should consider adding the following disclaimer to your personal social media accounts: The content included on this (name of social network [e.g., Facebook]) site is my personal opinion and not necessarily that of USF.

b. U  se good judgment about content and respect privacy laws. Do not include confidential information about USF, its staff, students, alumni or friends. You shall follow all applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPA, as well as NCAA regulations. You must also adhere to all applicable USF privacy and confidentiality policies. Employees who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination.

c. Post only content that is not threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws or otherwise injurious or illegal.

Administrators may contact the Director of Marketing or appropriate designee at any time for consultation.

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 et the facts straight before posting them on social media. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors. This G is especially important if posting on behalf of USF in any capacity.

k. Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on USF and its institutional voice.

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B. Clickwrap User Agreements for New Accounts. Whenever a social media account is created, the social media outlet requires the account creator to agree to certain terms and conditions for use of the site by clicking “Yes” or “I accept” as part of the account creation process. These are legal contracts, and they often contain terms and conditions that create risks for the account creator and USF (for officially-recognized USF accounts). In view of this, USF has adopted this policy to manage these “clickwrap agreements” and mitigate the risks they create. Account administrators are delegated authority to create official social media accounts through completion of the application process and approval by the Social Media Advisory Team. The Social Media Advisory Team will request legal and/or administrative approvals prior to approving applications when required.

7. Social Media Best Practices

C. Use of Social Media Sites for the Placement of Advertising. This policy does not authorize USF departments to enter into advertising agreements with social media sites. Any USF department wishing to purchase advertising services from social media sites, or from any type of publication, must contact the Director of Marketing or appropriate designee.

B.  Be accurate. Before posting to social networking sites, you should ensure that your information is accurate. Social content can travel quickly, so ensuring accuracy – especially in academia – is critical in ensuring USF’s reputation.

6. Existing University of Sioux Falls Conduct Policies This social media policy is not intended to supersede the USF Faculty and Staff Handbook or Student Handbook. It is intended to be read in conjunction with those Handbooks and is hereby incorporated into those Handbooks. Social media users acting on behalf of USF must adhere to all USF policies and procedures as detailed in the Faculty and Staff Handbook and Student Handbook.

 fficially-recognized social media accounts will be required to include the following disclaimer declaring it an official USF social O media account and to include a link to USF’s social media policy:

This (name of social network [e.g., Facebook]) account is officially recognized by USF; however, the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of USF. USF retains discretion to allow or disallow comments and/or posts on this page.

While the items above are the guidelines employees are required to follow, the list below details social media best practices that are advisable to follow in relation to online social networking activity. A. Be transparent. If you participate in or maintain social media sites on behalf of USF, you should clearly state your role and objective. You should never conceal your identity for the purpose of promoting USF. You should discuss with your supervisors regarding when you are authorized to respond directly to users and when you may need approval.

C.  Be respectful. You must understand USF’s commitment to respect the civil rights and liberties of all, as well as the thoughtful discussion of opposing ideas. Some online communities can be volatile, tempting users to behave in ways they otherwise would not. Your reputation, and that of USF, is best served when you remain above the conflict. D.  Be thoughtful. You should understand that your activity on social networking sites – whether on your personal sites or a USF site – is content that lives on the World Wide Web and can be accessed by anyone with the appropriate privileges and/or knowledge. It is important to think twice before freely posting content and realize you are a representative of USF at all times, on all networks. E. R  espect USF time and property. As stated in Sections 4a and 4b of the Faculty and Staff Handbook, computers and employees’ work time are to be used for USF-related business. It is appropriate for you to participate in online communication at work only if your activity is directly related to accomplishing your positions and/or USF-related goals, such as seeking sources for information or promoting your department and/or program. Personal use of Social Media should happen only during non-work time in compliance with all other USF policies. Given the fast-changing nature of online marketing, USF reserves the right to update this policy at any time.

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Social Media Policy