Social Media Policies

Social Media Policies

Purpose:
This brief provides rationale and recommendations for integration of a sanctioned social media platform policy in the Troy University Style and Graphics Standards Manual, and referenced in the ePolicy Manual, that will enable Troy University faculty and staff members to engage their constituents through effective social media communication.

Background:
Unlike peer institutions, Troy University does not publish for its employees a policy on the use of sanctioned social media platforms. However, TROY has used social media as a part of its official marketing and communication efforts since 2009, and the Marketing and Communication unit provided a set of guidelines to employees in other units in late 2009/early 2010. Those guidelines for employees outside of marketing and communication restricted social media use on behalf of the University to only Twitter accounts. Those guidelines are now outdated and a revision is required to realize the full potential impact of social media. This policy has been reviewed by Human Resources and by the University Attorney. Both concur with itsadoption.

Official, institutional social media platforms are maintained by the Office of Marketing and
Communication and the Department of Athletics. The Office of Marketing and Communication maintains the University’s official social media platforms on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TroyUniversity), Twitter (https://twitter.com/TROYUNews),  and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/TroyUni). These platforms are promoted at www.troy.edu.
Similarly, the Department of Athletics maintains official social media platforms on Facebook
(https://www.facebook.com/troyathletics) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/TroyAthletics) . These
platforms are promoted at www.troytrojans.com and coordinated, when appropriate, with the
Office of Marketing.

Sanctioned social media platforms that are not maintained by the Office of Marketing and
Communication or by Athletics but that are coordinated with these units are promoted on a
central landing page at www.troy.edu. Examples of these sanctioned platforms are
@TROYUIMPACT and @TROYUSOS.

So that social media platforms can be used to their greatest potential, yet also managed to
professional standards, academic or administrative units of the University that wish to establish a
sanctioned social media platform (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube accounts) must submit a request to the Office of Marketing and Communications via
socialtrojan@troy.edu. Requests should include details of how the platform will be used and who
in the unit will maintain and monitor the platform. An unsanctioned social media platform that
represents, or appears to represent, Troy University may be subject to reporting for trademark,
intellectual property, or other infringement.

Sanctioned social media platforms must meet the following guidelines.
Account holders for sanctioned social media platforms that do not meet one or more of the
following guidelines must deactivate the platform immediately upon request by the Office of
Marketing and Communication.

  • Platforms must present an image that is unified, of a high quality and favorably
    representative of the University.
  • Platforms should have a primary account holder responsible for monitoring and updating
    the site. However, login information for the site (username/password) should be
    accessible by at least one other person in the unit so the platform can be maintained in the
    primary account holder’s absence. All login information must be made available to the
    Office of Marketing and Communication upon request.
  • Platforms must be monitored and updated regularly by the units that create them,
    including responding as needed to questions or comments by users.
  • Involvement in social media must be carried out in such a manner that positively supports
    TROY’s values, missions and goals, and complies with all University regulations,
    policies, procedures, and state and federal laws.
  • Engagement with the audience through the platform must add value to both the
    University and the audience.
  • Upon request of the Office of Marketing and Communication, sanctioned social media
    account holders must promptly remove any content that is deemed hostile, insulting,
    offensive, disrespectful or otherwise inappropriate.
    • Platform content should not be written in a manner that can be interpreted as
      combative, demeaning or otherwise negative. Do not post content that shows (or
      may be perceived to show) someone getting hurt, attacked or humiliated; that
      might be considered racist, bigoted or demeaning to a particular group of
      individuals; that depicts activity that is (or may be perceived to be) illegal, such as
      drug use; or that could otherwise show the account holder or the University in a
      negative light.
    • In most cases, content should not be posted unless it is clearly suitable for all
      ages. However, if controversial content is related to academic study, ensure that
      appropriate context and disclaimers are provided. Also package the content in a
      manner that does not make it easy to reuse without the appropriate context.
    • All comments that are negative about Troy University do not have to be deleted.
      Open discussion should be encouraged. Criticism of the University should be
      evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine what response, if any, is needed.
      Contact the Office of Marketing and Communication for further guidance.
  • All content posted to sanctioned social media platforms must adhere to all current TROY
    policies, including those regarding intellectual property, privacy and the use of
    information technology. See IT Technology Policy and Troy University Privacy Policy.
    • Privacy Guidelines:
      • Do not include personally identifiable information that can be used to
        locate any individual without that person's written permission. This
        includes an individual’s screen name, personal photo, hobbies,
        identification numbers -- such as Social Security numbers or student ID's -
        - addresses and phone numbers (other than an authorized business address
        or business phone number).
      • Do not upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make publicly
        available on a social media site any private information of any affiliated or
        unaffiliated third party, including addresses, phone numbers, e-mail
        addresses, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers.
      • University units may not use social media platforms to collect personal
        information of users.
      • Do not post content that could create a security risk for the account holder or the University.
        • Examples include but are not limited to images of restricted access research areas and information technology facilities.
        • Employees who share confidential information without appropriate authorization do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination.

Use of TROY Graphics/Logos
Approved social media platforms may utilize TROY logos, graphics and colors in their design,
however the use of University branding materials is strictly controlled. TROY logos may not be
altered. Consult this Graphics and Standards Manual or the Office of Marketing and
Communication for more information.

Photo Releases
If you photograph a subject with the intent to publish that photo on a social media site, you must
have your subject sign a photo release form before you post the photo. Account holders must
make photo releases available promptly upon request. Learn more about image release
requirements here: https://www.troy.edu/_assets/office-marketing-communication/_documents/talent-release.pdf

Personal Use of Social Media Platforms
The above guidelines do not apply to online activities by employees that are purely personal and
in which the individuals do not identify themselves as a faculty or staff member of the
University.

Employees may identify themselves as a University employee in personal online profiles, but are
encouraged to make clear that their comments and postings do not represent the views of the
University as a whole, even if such accounts are private or have otherwise restricted access.

Faculty or staff members who utilize personal social media accounts for official business (i.e.
communication with students, alumni or other constituents) should clearly identify themselves as
a representative of the University in such cases and know that all relevant University policies
regarding social media, privacy and communication will apply.