Social Media guidelines
I know social media is a hot topic currently and many people are trying to figure out where to start as far as where to start and what to think about I suggest you take a look at these slides from a presentation of mine called Using Interactive Technology and Social Media in Higher Ed.
However, the main reason for this post was to touch on some guidelines for how to communicate on behalf of FIU on social media sites. Here are a few things to think about
- Respect others Users are free to discuss topics and disagree with another, but please be respectful of others’ opinions. You are more likely to achieve your goals or sway others to your beliefs if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.
- Be a valued member. If you join a social network like a Facebook group or comment on someone’s blog, make sure you are contributing valuable insights. Don’t post information about topics like FIU events or a book you’ve authored unless you are sure it will be of interest to readers. Self-promoting behavior is viewed negatively and can lead to you being banned from Web sites or groups.
- Don’t spam Use the space as a platform to share information about your work and achievements.
- Stay on topic Engage in open discussion about FIU; however, postings that are irrelevant to the FIU add no value
- Be transparent. If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of the university, clearly state your role and goals. D
- Be respectful. As a FIU employee, you understand the university’s commitment to respect for the dignity of others and to the civil and thoughtful discussion of opposing ideas. Some online communities can be volatile, tempting users to behave in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. Your reputation, and FIU’s, are best served when you remain above the fray.
- Be accurate. Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible; after all, that’s how you build community.
- It’s a conversation. Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people in professional situations. In other words, avoid overly pedantic or “composed” language. Don’t be afraid to bring in your own personality and say what’s on your mind. Consider content that’s open-ended and invites response. Encourage comments. You can also broaden the conversation by citing others who are blogging about the same topic and allowing your content to be shared or syndicated.
- Did you screw up? If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.
- Be a Leader. There can be a fine line between healthy debate and incendiary reaction. Do not denigrate our competitors or FIU. Nor do you need to respond to every criticism or barb. Try to frame what you write to invite differing points of view without inflaming others. Some topics—like politics or religion—slide more easily into sensitive territory. So be careful and considerate. Once the words are out there, you can’t really get them back. And once an inflammatory discussion gets going, it’s hard to stop.
What this gets at is just use common sense, treat people well, report what you know and be transparent and genuine.
For further reading check out 10 golden rules of social media
Update 6/4/09: 10 social media policy must haves
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