Social Media @ UNI

Policy on Managing Social Media Sites at UNI

Departments should submit their social media site on the university’s social media page, so it may be included in the directory.

Posting effective content

UNI institutional offices maintaining social media sites are responsible for maintaining accurate and timely information on their site. Social media is about conversations, connecting with current and prospective students, alumni and other audiences, and building relationships with them. If you use it simply as a way to broadcast messages, you're not making effective use of the channel, and will likely not have much success in building a strong audience. 

When posting messages, try to post messages that can start conversations. It doesn't always have to be as explicit as asking a question; it can be as simple as posting a photo. If the photo is compelling, relevant, and/or engaging, your "friends" will comment on it and continue the discussion. The bottom line is authenticity, honesty and open dialogue are extremely important when creating your posts.

Managing the posts and comments on social media

The university encourages the vigorous sharing of ideas and viewpoints through civil communication. A key point to remember when maintaining a university social media site is that you don’t control the message as much as you do in other forms of media. The audience drives the message. You may post an initial comment, but others will post their thoughts and opinions, and they will not always be complimentary of the university. Social media not only allows you to hear what people say about you, but enables you to respond. Listen first, speak second.

To maintain a transparent, respectful presence, you are generally not advised to remove negative posts. Profane, rude or abusive posts may be removed, but a post should not be removed just because it disagrees with the university position on a topic. Administrators of social media sites should intervene only when postings are deemed to have broken one or more of the following guidelines. Intervention is specific to the situation, but can include deleting specific messages or banning posting by an individual or group, based on the situation.

The intent of these guidelines is to

  1. describe expectations for those who wish to communicate via UNI social media sites;
  2. ensure messages are consistent with the law and university policy; and
  3. give site moderators guidance on how and when to intervene, if warranted.

In general, messages that include any of the following are prohibited on UNI social media sites:

  1. Personal attacks. Messages typically falling under the definition of libel aimed at a specific person or group.
  2. Imminent threat of harm to oneself or others
  3. Commercial advertisements or overtly commercial overtones
  4. Uncivil discourse -- including profanity
  5. Violations of university policy, state or federal laws.
  6. SPAM -- as defined by federal regulations
  7. Solicitation for facebook friends
  8. Postings by groups or organizations with no ties to UNI

Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Violations of the Guidelines

Individuals who feel the university's guidelines on social media have been violated should contact University Relations at (319) 273-2761.

The Electronic Communication Manager, or his designees, will investigate the concerns and determine if the guidelines have been violated. A determination that these guidelines have been violated will constitute grounds for the immediate removal of the messages in question.

A student(s) and/or student organization accused of violating these guidelines also may be subject to university disciplinary action in accordance with the rules and procedures described in the Student Conduct Code.