Standards: Social Media Best Practices

If you have been authorized to create an official Loyola social media site, please contact the Office of Web Communications for related images and to ensure coordination with other Loyola sites and content.

Identify Yourself

When participating in or maintaining a social media site on behalf of Loyola, clearly state your role and goals. Keep these in mind as you determine the most effective use of social media to deliver your message.

Keep It Legal

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 source. Keep your links up to date and make sure they work. Do not use images retrieved from the web without permission from the author or artist.

Separate Opinions from Facts

Make sure your audience can easily identify the difference.

Be Respectful and Professional

Loyola’s employees should always keep in mind our principles of respect for others and the civil and thoughtful discussion of ideas. The freedom and speed of online conversations can often prompt people to behave in ways they may otherwise would not. Your reputation and Loyola are best served when you express yourself professionally.

Add Value

If you join a social network, such as a Facebook group, or comment on someone’s blog, make sure you are contributing positively and productively to the conversation, always keeping your role and your goals in mind. Do not post information about topics unless you are sure it will be of interest to readers.

Be Engaged and Informed

Read the contributions of others. Know what the current conversations are in order to see if, and how, you may be able to contribute a new perspective. Participation is the fuel of social computing.

Aim for Quality, Not Quantity

Keep the language simple and flowing. Offer your contribution with context whenever you can. Provide links to other blogs, media articles, or whatever sources you think are necessary. Make your content rich and interesting for others to read.

Think Before You Post

There is no such thing as a private social media site. Search engines turn up posts years after they were published. Comments can be forwarded, copied, and printed. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it is wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed.

Institutional and Personal Privacy

Do not post confidential or proprietary information about Loyola, its students, alumni, or employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies, as well as federal requirements such as FIPPA. If you discuss a situation involving specific individuals on a social media site, be sure that those individuals cannot be identified. As a guideline, do not post anything that you would not present publicly.

Monitoring and Upkeep

Assign an administrator who can regularly monitor postings and content. Aim for frequent postings and updates—the recommended frequency is at least once a week. If you invite questions and comments through your blog, Facebook profile, or Twitter account, make sure to respond in a timely fashion.

« back to Web Communications Standards home