You can use social media
platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr to share information
and build communities around common interests. DePaul University supports your
participation in these online communities.
Please review our general recommendations for best practices in social
If you plan to use these
channels on behalf of DePaul, please contact Marketing Communications and ask
to be added to DePaul’s Social Media Working Group. You’ll have access to the
group’s resource site, where you can find additional guidelines, tools and
resources to help you use these tools effectively and follow university
Success in social media
depends on several factors:
- Understanding that social channels are conversations, not
- Being civil, honest, ethical and responsive
- Remembering that nothing is private on the Web
Listen. Spend time listening
before you start posting. What issues are on the minds of the people you want
to reach? How do they feel about your area? What do they like: Polls? Funny
photos? The better you understand your audience, the more likely you are to
post content that they will want to comment on or share.
Talk. Social media are unique
because it’s the interaction–comments, likes, retweets–that makes the content
valuable. Be conversational, ask questions, thank people, comment on other
people’s posts. Your participation makes you valuable.
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 later. If you see a question or
complaint online, it’s fine to say that you’re getting more information and
will reply shortly. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible; after all,
that's how you build community.
If you make an error, correct
it quickly and visibly. This will earn you respect in the online community.
Be aware of your impact.
Social media often span traditional boundaries between professional and
personal relationships. If you’ve ever identified yourself as part of the
DePaul community online, readers will associate you with the university, even
if you are posting from your own account. Use privacy settings to restrict
personal information on otherwise public sites. Choose profile photos and
avatars carefully. Be thoughtful about the type of photos you upload.
Be calm. If you feel angry or
passionate about a subject, don’t post until you calm down. Even if your
settings are “private,” posts and comments can be found, copied and forwarded.
Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you wouldn’t
say it publicly, don’t say it online.
Be valued. Don't post
information about topics like DePaul events or a book you've authored unless
you are sure it will be of interest to people who belong to that group.
Self-promoting behavior is viewed negatively and can lead to you being banned.
Be yourself. Be honest about
your identity. If you’re authorized by your supervisor to represent DePaul, say
so. Never hide your identity or create a false identity for the purpose of
promoting DePaul. It's both unethical and prohibited by the Acceptable Use Policy.
If you post about DePaul on
your personal time, identify yourself as a DePaul faculty or staff member. Say
that you’re sharing your views as a member of the higher education community,
not as a formal representative of the university. Use a disclaimer on your site
or profile similar to this: "The views expressed here are mine and do not
necessarily reflect the views of DePaul University."
If you blog or write online
reviews, the Federal Trade Commission requires you to reveal if you have been
compensated in any way–monetarily or in kind, such as a free copy of a book,
dinner, or a complimentary admission–or have a relationship to a company,
product or service you review.
Be respectful. You are more
likely to achieve your goals or sway others to your beliefs if you are
constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing
with a concept or person. It’s Vincentian.
And, of course, the Acceptable Use Policy prohibits threats or harassment by using DePaul's computing
resources to "transmit material or data that causes or encourages physical
or intellectual abuse or that causes or encourages harassment, explicit or
Don’t post confidential or proprietary information about DePaul, its students,
its alumni or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow
university policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA, HIPPA and Health
Information Security and Privacy. For a list of topics you should not discuss
in any medium, refer to the Progressive Discipline Policy.
If you discuss a situation
involving individuals on a social media site, be sure that they cannot be
identified. As a guideline, don't post anything that you would not present at a
Respect university time and
property. As stated in the Acceptable Use Policy/Network Security, university
computers and your work time are to be used for university-related educational
and business purposes. It's appropriate to post at work if your comments are
directly related to accomplishing work goals, such as seeking sources for
information or working with others to resolve a problem. Limited personal use
of computing resources is acceptable as long as it doesn't violate any
policies, but for the most part, you should maintain your personal sites on
your own time using non-DePaul computers.
Be aware of liability. You’re
legally liable for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others.
Individual bloggers have been held liable for commentary deemed to be
proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous or obscene (as defined by the
courts). Employers are increasingly conducting Web searches on job candidates
before extending offers. Be sure that what you post today will not come back to
Obviously, using university
computing resources to threaten or harass anyone is a violation of
the Acceptable Use and the Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policies,
which "forbids any unlawful harassment which includes any behavior
(verbal, written, or physical) that abuses, assails, intimidates, demeans or
victimizes or has the effect of creating a hostile environment for any person
based on protected characteristics (i.e. race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex,
gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, parental
status, family relationship status, physical or mental disability, military
status). " Violating any university policy while using social media can
trigger consequences under the Progressive Discipline Policy.
Follow a code of ethics. There
are numerous codes of ethics for bloggers and other active participants in
social media, all of which will help you participate responsibly in online
communities. If you have your own social media site, you may wish to post your own
code of ethics.