Social Media Guidelines
This policy provides guidelines for communicators using social media on behalf of
Illinois Wesleyan University academic and administrative departments or registered
student organizations. The goal of this policy is to provide guidance so that social
media communications are supportive of the University’s overall communications goals
and are consistent with the University’s values and general policies related to conduct,
privacy, legal usage, accuracy, etc.
Following are the policy guidelines for social media communicators:
Support Our Identity : Social media communications on behalf of the University should reinforce our core
messages and visual identity.
- The University’s core messages, identified in the Strategic Planning process, are
available and described in the University Writing Guide.
- Acceptable web-formatted graphic identity pieces can be obtained from the Office of
Publications, Printing and Mailing Services. Resources and guidelines are at www.iwu.edu/identity/
Follow Applicable Policies : Individuals representing the University through social media channels are responsible
for knowing and abiding by University policies governing standards of conduct, such
as those in the Student, Faculty and Support Staff Handbooks, the Sexual Harassment
Policy, and the IWU Information Technology Usage Policy. The IT Usage policy includes provisions for copyright observance, privacy rights,
courtesy, sanctions, and liability. The various handbooks provide definitions and
sanctions against harassment and intolerance.
Be Respectful : When using social media, common principles of good manners and good judgment should
be observed. Put simply: Don't be rude, don't be mean, and don't be stupid.
- Respect applicable copyright and fair use laws.
- Respect the privacy of others and yourself.
- Respect your audience. As ambassadors of the University, be courteous and professional.
- Respect the reach and longevity of the World Wide Web. Remember that colleagues, family
members, peers and current/future/potential employers can and will see your output.
- Respect our reputation. While social media channels are informal by nature, remember
that we represent excellence in higher education, so don't lose your grip on basic
grammar and spelling.
Follow these additional guidelines to ensure that your communication is useful to
your followers and consistent with the mission of the University:
Identify Yourself: Don't hide or misrepresent your identity when posting. When posting as a representative
of the University, indicate your connection or role with the university.
Account Ownership: Clearly assign responsibility to the person(s) in charge of regularly posting and
monitoring the content on a social networking site. Remember to make arrangements
for succession, transferring responsibility and administrative access to the account
when necessary. Keep passwords secure.
Stay Connected: Maintain the account with regular updates and postings. Respond to prompts and questions
in a timely manner. If you can’t devote time to this important task, don’t start a
social media account.
Allow Interaction: Social media demands authenticity. It is generally best not to censor or delete unflattering
comments. However, it is recommended to delete comments or posts that contain profanity,
obvious spam, and any messages that are discriminatory or otherwise offensive. Consider
posting a disclaimer on your social media site that you reserve the right to remove
Be Accurate: Take the time to learn about an issue or topic before posting. Where possible, provide
relevant links for those who want more information. If something has been posted in
error, admit and correct the mistake as soon as possible.
Protect Confidentiality: Don't share information that is not meant to be common knowledge.
Don’t Spam: Respect your peers and do not use this space to post irrelevant information.