Be respectful.

Anything you post as an FLC employee reflects on the institution. Be professional and respectful at all times on your social media site. Do not engage in arguments or extensive debates with naysayers on your site.

Be transparent.

Make it clear that you are blogging/tweeting / Facebooking, etc., in your role as a staff member for Fort Lewis College. One of the great benefits of social media is that the individuals maintaining social media sites personalize large and complex institutions such as Fort Lewis College. Use your own "voice." Do not ghostwrite posts for supervisors.


Being a social media consumer is essential to successfully producing social media content. "Listen" to online conversations on your preferred tools – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or anything else – to maintain a clear and current understanding of what is relevant and of interest to the community.

Be active.

Social media presences require diligent care and feeding. Suppose you do not have the time or resources to check in on these sites for at least a few minutes each day and to post fresh content several times a week; reconsider jumping into social media at this time. Your site is only as interesting as your last post – if that post is several months old, visitors will consider it mothballed.

Be timely.

One of the great benefits of social media is the ability to share information almost instantly with a global audience. This timeliness is also one of the expectations of that audience. Be prepared to respond quickly to new developments, announcements, or emergencies with relevant information on your site. A short amount of accurate information delivered at the time of need can sometimes be more valuable than a full report delivered well after the issue has passed.

Remember, everything you do online can and will live forever.

Think before you post, remembering that anything you share within social media, even within a closed network, is not private. It can and will be shared, stored, and spread globally. Don't post anything online that you wouldn't feel comfortable seeing on the newspaper's front page or CNN website.


As a consumer as well as a producer of social media, offer comments on interesting posts and share the excellent work of others using your sites. Social media is about more than just sharing your news and success. It's about sharing information that interests your readers and viewers.

When commenting as part of your job, indicate who you are and your affiliation with Fort Lewis College. If you see a post that requires or would benefit from an official Fort Lewis College response, please get in touch with Ashley Muckway, the social media coordinator and designer.

Accept and monitor comments.

A social media site without comments isn't very social. Be prepared to accept and respond to comments. Understand that not all comments will be positive, and respond to negative comments professionally and by providing any additional information that may help resolve the issue. Post a disclaimer on your site stating you reserve the right to remove inappropriate comments. Remove those comments containing vulgar language, those that attack any group or individual, and those that are spam.

Separate personal from professional.

Balancing your professional and personal social media presence can be tricky, mainly if you are an avid user of both arenas. Appropriate content of interest to your individual friends is likely unsuitable or of interest to your department's fans. Keep these two presences as separate as possible by keeping content about your non-work life on your page.

Be a valued community member.

Don't just talk about your program or department – share the best information you find from trusted sources outside of Fort Lewis College. This will increase the value of your site and also will ensure you are a valued member of the community and are not just tooting your own horn.

Don't cyberslack.

Endless amounts of time can be spent and wasted on social media sites. Limit the time you spend attending to your department's social media presence to what is needed to post content, evaluate traffic data, review related sites, and monitor comments. Limit your personal use of these sites while at work as directed by your department's guidelines.