The University of Texas at Tyler
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Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Project

Before establishing a presence on any social media network on behalf of The University of Texas at Tyler, please consult with the Office of Marketing and Communications. Be prepared to follow the guidelines below:

Sponsoring Department/Program

Purpose and Goals

Social Media is all about using today’s technology to present the positive aspects of The University of Texas at Tyler and to open the lines of communication.

  • When people choose to follow us or friend us, our goal is to make people's experience a good one and help present UT Tyler's best to the world.
  • Provide a venue for people to contact us directly and get helpful answers.
  • Social media is not a replacement for standard forms of media. It is simply another platform of communication that we can use to increase the public’s awareness of UT Tyler and all we have to offer.
  • In social media, word of mouth is everything.
  • You can try to frame conversations around topical and specific issues around campus. Help people learn about the UT Tyler community and all we have to offer. 
  • Highlight the headlines and give some of the back story by driving people back to our website.
  • On Twitter, use keywords and hash tags, when appropriate, so that readers become interested in the conversation, thread or topic.

Establish an internal process

The web is not anonymous. Everything written or posted on behalf of the university can be traced back to UT Tyler and to a specific individual. Before launching a social networking site:

  • Notify your college/department/unit communications staff and the Office of Marketing and Communications.
  • Vow to keep university contact information accurate and current.
  • Understand that passwords and administrator access to the site must be carefully managed. Two administrators from your area and one from the Office of Marketing and Communications should be set up. (The Office of Marketing and Communications is not responsible for maintaining your page. We are there to offer support and ensure continuity through any turnover in university personnel.)
  • Link to the UT Tyler Social Network Policy from your Social Network site.
  • Establish criteria for replying to comments, including timeliness and appropriateness.
  • Avoid duplicating efforts. Be aware of current initiatives under way by checking the main university Social Networking sites.

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.

Best Practices

  • Be clear about what your objectives are and who your audience is for your particular social media page.
  • In the web world, it actually does more harm to do something halfway than to not do it at all. Be consistent. Keep content fresh and dynamic to keep people coming back to your site.
  • http:// before all websites in all URLs so the link is automatically hyperlinked and only one click away.
  • Monitor your site and delete profanity or offensive comments according to the UT Tyler Facebook/Social Media Policy. At the same time, respond to any negative or inaccurate comments about UT Tyler by providing accurate information in a positive way. It is NOT appropriate to delete comments because you disagree. 
  • The whole concept of social media is to engage people in conversation. Encourage comments.

Marketing

Raise awareness of your communications efforts by:

  • Linking back. Provide links back to a unit's web page(s) from the social networking sites.
  • Sharing your social networking site. Many university department and programs have official UT Tyler social networking presences. Add the name to the university list by submitting the link to web@uttyler.edu.

Respect Copyrights and Fair Use

Provide links to material when they are available. Show proper respect for copyright and fair use laws. Only quote short excerpts of other people’s material and always try to link to others' work.

Liability

You are legally liable for what you post, no matter if it is your own site or that of others. Possible liabilities include  copyright infringement, breach of confidentiality, defamation, libel, and obscenity.

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