WVU Extension Service

WVU-ES Social Media Guidelines

*Adapted from IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines

Keep the following guidelines in mind when deciding how and when to use social media.

WVU-ES Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices

  • Employees are personally responsible for the content they publish on blogs, wikis or any other form of user-generated/social media.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot “erase” something once it’s been posted on the Web. Many images, writings, postings, etc., remain on pages for a long time. Protect your privacy and be professional.
  • Identify yourself—name and, when relevant, role at WVU only when you discuss work-related matters. And write in the first person. You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of every University employee, or the University itself.
  • Social networking pages (ex: Facebook) created for your office or program must be developed by WVU Extension’s Office of Communications. Communications staff members will create the page for you and include the appropriate, approved . Once the page has been created the account will be signed over to the office representatives. Contact Brittany Dick if you need a page created for your office or program.
  • All approved pages must include WVU and/or WVU Extension branding.
  • In accordance with WVU policy, all pages must have more than one administrator from within the University. WVU Extension requires that one of the two administrators be the Office of Communications.
  • The purpose of WVU Extension’s social media use is to show how Extension’s faculty and staff make a difference in the lives of the people they serve. This means that all posts, photos, and other communications should show our employees and participants in their best and most productive light.
  • Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
  • Don’t cite or reference colleagues or partners without their approval. When you do make a reference, where possible link back to the source.
  • Respect your audience. Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in WVU’s workplace. You should also show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory—such as politics and religion.
  • Be aware of your association with WVU in online social networks. If you identify yourself as a University employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to represent yourself with colleagues and clients.
  • Try to add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. WVU’s brand is best represented by its people, and what you publish may reflect on WVU’s brand.
  • In accordance with WVU standards, a legal disclaimer will be incorporated into all social media pages beginning in 2014.
  • The County or Program Unit website should be the primary source of information on the web. Social media accounts should direct readers back to the website for expanded and up-to-date information.

Related Links

Do we need Social Media?
Personal Accounts and Social Networking
WVU-ES Social Media Standards