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Social Media Policy

Policy and Guidelines

At the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, we recognize that social media is an increasingly important form of communication for our institution, faculty and staff, students, community, and the world at large. Our goal is to use social media as tools for UL Lafayette to inform and interact with its diverse audiences.

To utilize these new mediums effectively, the University has developed a social media policy to serve as a guide for any faculty and staff operating an official social media account created to represent UL Lafayette’s colleges, departments, programs, or offices.

I. Outcome Goal

To provide guidelines outlining how the University of Louisiana at Lafayette supports institutional communication goals through social media mediums.

II. Definitions

  • Administrator: individual assigned the responsibility of maintaining, monitoring, and moderating a UL Lafayette social media platform.
  • Moderator: individual assigned by administrator and/or department to support the moderation of comments and postings by internal and external users, including deleting comments and posting that do not meet the criteria set forth in this policy.
  • Social Media Platforms: technology tools and online spaces for integrating and sharing user-generated content to engage constituencies in conversations and allow them to participate in content and community creation. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • Official UL Lafayette Social Media Account: any social media account primarily intended to communicate with external audiences. This includes accounts, such as Facebook pages, primarily meant for recruiting students, pages for communicating with alumni, athletics news, and Twitter accounts. Student clubs, classroom accounts and internal administration pages are not considered “Official UL Lafayette Social Media Accounts,” but must still adhere to the university’s code of conduct, best practices, and follow the university’s graphic and style standards when using its official logos and name.

III. Policy

  • UL Lafayette offers support of institutional communication goals, as well as provides social computing guidelines for UL Lafayette faculty, staff, and students engaging in online discourse and identifying themselves with the university.
  • The Office of Communications and Marketing must approve all Official UL Lafayette Social Media Accounts. To obtain approval, submit the Social Media Request Form included in this toolkit. This applies to all accounts created prior to the release of this policy.
  • UL Lafayette employees identified as administrators of accounts are responsible for managing and monitoring content of their officially recognized accounts.
  • Each Official Social Media Account must have as one of its administrators a representative from the Office of Communication and Marketing. Although Communications and Marketing does not intend to actively engage in maintaining these sites, this designation will enable the university to properly track pages and ensure that the account can continue to be accessed in the event of the unavailability or departure of the university employee who has administrative management of the page.
  • All Official UL Lafayette Social Media Accounts must follow the university’s code of conduct, style guide, graphics standards, and further the institution’s official communication strategy and branding platform.
  • This policy is not intended for internet activities that do not associate or identify a UL Lafayette faculty or staff member, do not use email addresses, or that do not discuss UL Lafayette and are purely about personal matters.

IV. Specific Information

  • Official University Web 2.0 Communications
    • Because of the emerging nature of social media platforms, these guidelines do not attempt to name every current and emerging platform. Rather, they apply to those cited and any other online platform available and emerging, including social networking sites and sites with user-generated content. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • YouTube
      • Facebook
      • Spotify
      • LinkedIn
      • Snapchat
      • Twitter
      • Blogs
      • Reddit
      • Social media content that is hosted internally and protected by UL Lafayette ID/Password
    • Institutional representation via online social media platforms can only be initiated and authorized through the efforts of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Office of Communications and Marketing. There can be no official UL Lafayette sites or pages on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. unless they are developed or authorized by Communications and Marketing. Any sites or pages existing without prior authorization as required above will be subject to review when discovered and may be amended or removed.
    • UL Lafayette official sites on social media platforms can have pages or content areas that are assigned to colleges, departments, divisions, or programs. These policies apply to such pages, as well as content maintained by UL Lafayette and Communications and Marketing.
    • Administrators, as named by their departments or department’s leadership, are responsible for posting and using content and maintaining compliance with UL Lafayette’s code of conduct, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and policies related to Conflict of Interest, Privacy, Security, Safety and Human Resources, and FERPA (Federal Education Records Protection Act).
    • Administrators are responsible for monitoring and maintaining web content as follows:
      • Content is current and accurate.
      • Engaging in communications that are acceptable in the UL Lafayette workplace and respect copyrights and disclosures. Proprietary financial, intellectual property, patient care or similar sensitive or private content may not be revealed.
      • Gaining the expressed consent of all involved parties for the right to distribute or publish recordings, photos, images, video, text, slideshow presentations, artwork and advertisements, whether those rights are purchased or obtained without compensation.
      • Administrators are responsible for constantly monitoring postings and comments to social media sites, and for deleting postings that do not adhere to our policies.
    • As part of the account approval process, Administrators and Moderators acknowledge their compliance with the Administrator/Moderator Terms and Agreement. These terms and agreement are renewed annually and will be monitored by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
  • Guidelines for Faculty, Staff, and Students Representing UL Lafayette through Social Media
    • Uphold the university’s mission and values. Always consider whether a message via social media is supporting the university’s goals, programs, and overall brand.
    • Use good judgment about content and respect privacy laws, including FERPA. Confidential University information should not be shared publicly on these social media channels.
    • Be an ambassador for UL Lafayette. Although you may not be speaking on behalf of the university, you still represent it. Faculty and staff should strive to represent UL Lafayette in the best way at all times.
    • Identify personal opinions as your own and not the university’s. You may not use the UL Lafayette name to endorse political candidates (regardless of any connection to UL Lafayette) or promote opinions, products, services, or causes that might contradict the university’s mission and values.
    • Follow university policies and editorial guidelines. While UL Lafayette does not regularly review content posted to social media sites, be aware that all posted content is subject to review in accordance with these policies and guidelines.
    • Familiarize yourself with and abide by the terms of service of any social media platform you are using.
    • Provide proper attribution when using or posting online material that includes direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos, or videos. Include a link to the original material if available.
    • Track and utilize analytics diligently (either Facebook’s own analytics or Google analytics) to gauge the success and impact of your social media communications.
    • Consider carefully who you “follow” on Twitter accounts to avoid creating the impression that the university endorses individuals, causes, or organizations that might contradict the university’s mission and values.
    • Remember that on Facebook, official UL Lafayette pages should be be “Company, Organization, or Institution” or “Cause or Community” pages which users “like” rather than “friend.”
    • Contact Communications and Marketing before responding if someone with the media contacts faculty, staff, or students about posts made in online forums that relate to UL Lafayette in any way.
    • Protect yourself. Remember that all content contributed on all platforms becomes immediately searchable and can be immediately shared. This content immediately leaves the contributing individual faculty/staff/students members’ control forever.
    • Report any potential or direct threats to the UL Lafayette Police Department immediately.
  • Personal Use of Social Media

The social media policy applies to personal activity and/or professional activity that is not part of official UL Lafayette communication, and where you identify yourself as a UL Lafayette employee, either through a bio, comments, or by using your email address.

The following disclaimer should be added whenever you identify yourself as part of UL Lafayette while not officially acting on behalf of the university:
The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.