Business Policies

Policy 13-2: Social Media--Official Accounts

Issued: 05/12
Revised: 06/12

I. INTRODUCTION

This Policy is to assist Fort Lewis College offices in creating and managing their official Fort Lewis College social media accounts.

II. DEFINITION

Social media are defined as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media include, but are not limited to, blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, RSS feeds, video sharing (e.g.,  YouTube), microblogging sites (e.g.,  Twitter), and social networking sites (e.g.,  Facebook, Buzztown, LinkedIn, MySpace).

An official social media account is an account that was created for the purpose of officially representing and/or promoting the College’s brand, departments, programs, and activities that is maintained by current employees--faculty, staff, and student workers--who message on official college social media accounts as part of their assigned work duties.

III. OFFICIAL DIRECTORY

A directory of official social media accounts will be maintained by the Office of Marketing & Communications at www.fortlewis.edu/smdirectory. Official social media accounts are required to be included on the official directory.

An administrator of the social media account must submit details via a web form at www.fortlewis.edu/smdirectory. At least two administrators need to be listed for each account and make a commitment to regularly updating and monitoring content on their account (see IV. CONTENT). The Office of Marketing & Communications will support all faculty and staff in obtaining official social media accounts and gaining the necessary skills to maintain them (see Addendum A).

All accounts listed in the official directory, and the content therein, belong to the College, not the departments, individual(s) serving as the administrator(s), or the individual(s) posting materials and messages.

IV. CONTENT

In order to be in compliance with various laws, the following content restrictions apply to official accounts representing Fort Lewis College:

A. Confidential Information
No one shall post confidential information about FLC students, employees, or alumni, in accordance with Policy 6-1 Privacy Statement. When posting materials, applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPPA, as well as NCAA regulations, and all applicable College confidentiality policies, must be followed at all times.

B. Copyright and Fair Use
When posting non-original materials, everyone must be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of the original materials. Copyright law must be followed. For further clarification of copyright and fair use law, visit Information Technology’s Copyright Information Page or contact the Director of the John F. Reed Library.

C. Appropriate Content
The College’s official social media accounts are not to be regarded as a public forum. No one shall post inappropriate content, including but not limited to, threatening, obscene, profane, pornographic, and/or libelous messages, and messages with personal attacks.

D. Removal of Content
Fort Lewis College reserves the right to remove any content that violates this policy.

E. Use of the FLC Logos and Wordmarks.
Only official accounts may use FLC marks. Any FLC logos or wordmarks used by departments or programs as an avatar for a social media account must be approved and unmodified, as directed by the FLC Logo and Identity Guidelines and Policy 13-1 Trademark Licensing. Contact the Social Media Coordinator to procure a digital version of the appropriate logo or wordmark. 

F. Education
The College is committed to educating faculty and staff on social media policies, best practices, and industry trends (see Addendum A).

V. CONSEQUENCES OF POLICY VIOLATIONS

Messaging on official social media accounts is considered official representation of the College and is therefore subject to the Codes of Ethics and Conduct set forth in Faculty, Staff, and Student Handbooks. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action, subject to normal College procedures as described in the appropriate student, faculty or employee handbooks and other documents. 

ADDENDUM A: SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT & EDUCATION

In order to assist faculty and staff with feeling comfortable in the world of social media, while maintaining an appropriate presence online, the following support methods will be utilized:

1. Implementing a social media policy.

The policy will provide basic guidelines for social media usage in the College’s name, including the following:

a. Definition of social media;
b. Definition of official social media accounts;
c. Information regarding the social media directory and how to be included in the directory;
d. Appropriate content for social media use;
e. Relationship to the employee handbooks and Student Conduct Code; and
f. Consequences of policy violations.

2. Creating a social media handbook.

A digital social media handbook will be created for use by faculty and staff and will be maintained at www.fortlewis.edu/socialmedia. This process will begin with a Facebook handbook and expand to other social media platforms as their popularity rises. These handbooks will be updated regularly and will cover topics such as:

a. Getting started (e.g., how to create a Facebook page from scratch);
b. Roles of administrators;
c. Content best practices (This is different from the “Appropriate Content” section of the policy; it will relate more to how to post interesting and engaging content, rather than how to post content that is legally appropriate);
d. Engagement and how to measure it; and
e. Advanced techniques like contests, promotions, and ads.

3. Offering social media classes to faculty and staff.

The Social Media Coordinator will conduct classes that cover the material listed in the social media handbook in a more hands-on manner. Classes will be announced on FLC-OFFICIAL by October 1, February 1, and May 1 of each year.

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