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Social Media Guidelines

These guidelines are intended for employees of UW Oshkosh who administrate one or more social media accounts on behalf of UW Oshkosh. In addition to the guidelines below, employees are expected to adhere to all UW Oshkosh policies.

Because of the constantly transforming nature of social media platforms, this content will be revised often. The guidelines below were last reviewed in September 2018. Please contact social@uwosh.edu with any questions or suggestions.

Administration

Administrate your account properly.

If you have been authorized by your supervisor to create a social media profile to represent an official UW Oshkosh department, unit, or program, please contact the UMC Social Media Specialist for guidance in creating an account.

Every UW Oshkosh social media account should be administrated by no fewer than two current UW Oshkosh employees. There will likely be a primary administrator who handles most of the work, but both should at least have the ability to log in to the account in case the other is not available during an emergency. If only one employee is available to administrate an account, the UMC Social Media Specialist will fill the second spot.

In the case of Facebook profiles, we strongly recommend that you follow Facebook’s Terms of Service by managing your Facebook Page through the administration of your own personal Facebook account. If you are uncomfortable with this arrangement, please contact us.

Every social media profile should have a registered email address on the uwosh.edu mail server. Avoid using a personal email address or any address that does not end in uwosh.edu.

Make sure your profile is branded.

Your handle should either begin with “UWO” or end with “atUWO” in order to clearly communicate your connection to UW Oshkosh. Examples: @UWOAdmissions, @CareersAtUWO

We offer branded profile photos for all social media platforms. If you would like a branded profile picture to represent your department, let us know.

Protect your account.

Your password should be long, random, and unique. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Do not use any part of the name of the social media platform in your password (e.g. pas$w0rd_insta). Follow all recommendations set forth by the UW Oshkosh IT department regarding password and account security.

Posting and Listening

Be accurate. Make sure you have all of your facts straight before you post. If you use content that is not your own, cite it and link to the source. If you make a mistake, correct it quickly.

Be responsible. Every time you create a post, review it to make sure it is appropriate. Be certain that your content will not offend, ostracize, or otherwise negatively impact any person or group of people. Remember that posts from your social media account will be perceived as the official voice of UW Oshkosh, and anything you post can be linked, saved, and screenshotted before you have time to take it down or edit it.

Be thoughtful. Be inclusive to every person’s choices, characteristics, and/or identities. Be civil and friendly. Do not be afraid to use a bit of “attitude” in your voice, but do not insult or pass judgment on any person or group of people. In short: always keep it positive.

Be responsive. Assign an administrator to check for questions, comments, and reviews at least once every 24 hours. You should nearly always respond to someone who talks to you on social media. Attempt to identify the intent of the person who posted and use the list below to decide what kind of response to give:

  • If the post is of any positive nature: Respond with gratitude and consider sharing the post on your own page! This is the best kind of engagement you can get. Consider asking the person if you may use their words as a testimonial for your department.
  • If the post is a question: Answer the question honestly and completely. If the answer is of a sensitive nature, feel free to respond in a private message to the person. If you respond privately, make sure to respond publicly with a comment that communicates to others that the question has been answered (e.g. “Thanks for your question, Linda! We’ve sent you a DM about your concerns.”)
  • If the post is a suggestion: Thank the person for their suggestion, even if you do not think it is helpful advice.
  • If the post is intended to complain or criticize: Treat the post as a helpful suggestion and do not let yourself respond out of anger or annoyance. Give assurance that the criticism has been heard and thank the person for their feedback. Consider messaging the person directly. If you have a chance to respond with additional information about a problem, do so in a way that does not minimize the distress of the person who complained.
  • If the post is intended to be a joke: Join in the fun! This is a way in which you can really win points with your audience, but be very careful to maintain a friendly and considerate voice.
  • If the post is intended to spam or advertise: Feel free to either ignore or delete the post.
  • If the post is intended to harass or offend: Make a careful decision about whether to respond. Your social media page is not a platform of free speech, and you should not support any post that contains offensive terminology or inappropriate content. Please report the post to the UMC Social Media Specialist and do what you can to remove it from your page if it contains illegal content.

Maintain Confidentiality and Privacy. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, its students, its alumni or its employees. Follow all policies and federal requirements such as HIPAA and FERPA. Do not post pictures of people in private places, and do not post pictures of minors whose guardians have not signed a photo release form.

Follow NCAA rules. Do not interact with prospective student athletes, who are protected by NCAA guidelines that outline how often they can be contacted by prospective schools.

Follow University rules. Please note that all policies and guidelines set by UW Oshkosh and UW System apply when using social media tools. These include, but are not limited to: Branding GuidelinesAppropriate Use of UW System IT ResourcesPrizes and Gifts

Finally, Do No Harm. Let your social media presence do no harm to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh or any of its constituents.

Responding to Emergencies

In the event of an on-campus emergency: If there is an emergency on campus that endangers the UW Oshkosh community, the only official social media messages will come from the main UW Oshkosh profiles and the UWOPD profiles. However, please do not share any posts from those official channels during an emergency: as an emergency situation progresses, important new information may change the context of earlier messages. In addition, please refrain from giving any information about the emergency in your own words. If you would like, you may refer your followers to an official information feed with language like the following: “There is an emergency situation on campus. For updates, please refer to @uwoshkosh.” Otherwise, your page should remain silent for the duration of the emergency. Refer all inquiries to the main UW Oshkosh pages.

Reporting dangerous or illegal social media posts: As a professional who uses social media as part of their job, you might come across evidence of dangerous or illegal activity while you are working. Notify the police if you come across any of the following on social media:

  • Threats or evidence of violence against self or others
  • Mentions of drugs or illegal activity
  • Offers to sell or buy weapons or dangerous objects
  • Mentions of crimes: past, present, or planned
  • Bullying or harassment of another person
  • Hate speech against any person or group of people
  • Any other content that you believe to be indicative of dangerous or illegal activity

If you believe the situation is a time-sensitive emergency, call 911. If not, notify UWOPD, Oshkosh PD, or whatever authority is appropriate to the situation’s location. If the situation is on campus, you may also want to contact any relevant campus departments who could provide help or resources. If you feel comfortable doing so, you may also report the situation to UMC, who will use the circumstances of how you found the post to inform their future social listening.