Texas State University Logo

Helpful Links

Join the Conversation

adjust type sizemake font smallermake font largerreset font size

Social Media Policies

General

Texas State has been growing its participation in social media to strengthen our brand and our connection with:
Future students Parents
Current students Alumni
Faculty Donors
Staff
Fans of athletic teams

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have evolved into what many consider the newest form of media, one that can be used to facilitate two-way communication with diverse audiences.

Texas State has developed a significant following through social media, and the interest and interaction continue to grow. A framework of policies and procedures is necessary to maintain a level of professionalism and transparency in these media when used on a professional basis.

1. Be aware and respectful. Keep comments in good taste. If linking to other sites, make sure those links are safe and appropriate. Avoid negative comments and arguments.

2. Transparency is vital. When posting content about education, campus life or other topics related to Texas State, make it clear that you are representing the university.

3. Keep Texas State blogs and personal blogs separate. Don’t use Texas State logos and symbols on personal sites, and use them correctly on official sites.

4. Protect information and relationships. Know that writing on social media not only is public, but archived. Avoid identifying and discussing people unless you make them aware that they are being included. Properly credit copyrighted content and never discuss proprietary Texas State information.

5. Be honest. Make sure that what you’re posting can be verified through reliable sources. And if you make a mistake, admit it and correct it.

6. Keep a calm perspective. Realize that you cannot control social media, and not everyone is going to agree on every subject. Express your point of view clearly and calmly, and if at all possible avoid back-and-forth exchanges. Sometimes, the best response is no response at all.

7. Keep up to date. One of the most important facets of social media is timeliness. Participate on a regular basis with new content, answers to inquiries and updates.

8. Use caution in revealing personal data. There’s no requirement to provide all your personal information when creating social media accounts. Share only what you feel comfortable sharing. And use the same caution with links and attachments that you use in e-mails.

10. Pay attention to security warnings. There’s a reason your security software provides warnings like:

• “A process is attempting to invoke xyz.exe. Do you wish to allow this?”
• “The process ‘IEXPLORE.EXE’ is attempting to modify a document ‘X.’ Do you wish to allow this?”
Never allow or say “yes” to such actions, unless you know that they are safe.

The university’s social media presence is growing all the time. The ability to engage online with current and future students, faculty and staff, parents and alumni, and donors is an important part of our marketing and our brand strategy. Following these procedures will help ensure we stay on course as a university and at the same time safeguard your personal privacy.

(Adapted from the social media policies of Kodak, Intel and IBM.)

Blog philosophy

Goals
The primary goal of having a blog for the university is to diversify the spread of Texas State’s unique social media content and attract new audiences through search engines. A blog serves as another component of building community by providing positive information and impressions about the university. That relationship will lead to more enrollment, greater retention and graduation rates, and more donations.

The secondary goals are to:

  • drive users to learn more about the university through information posted at the Texas State website, Facebook page and YouTube channel
  •  listen to what is being said about the university online and respond as appropriate

Sources
The primary source of blog posts is content prepared by the Office of University Marketing, including profiles of students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as feature stories about campus events and programs. Content often will be linked to other online locations, including the university website and other social media.

Methods
Building a blog community is done through posting information and links to the blog on Twitter and Facebook, and creating a link to the blog homepage on the university homepage. The frequency of blog posts depends on the activity from the sources, but a goal is at least two per week.

The Texas State blog is hosted by Wordpress, which has the most robust tools for formatting and modifying the interface, as well as a series of sophisticated analysis tools.

Wordpress blogs can be monitored through third-party tools (Hootsuite.com) and an iPhone/iPad Touch app.

The official Texas State blog is www.txstateu.wordpress.com


Facebook philosophy

Goals
The primary goal of having a Facebook account at Texas State is to build a community of current and future students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. That community is designed to create an intimate relationship between those individuals and the institution by providing them with positive information and impressions about the university. That relationship will lead to more enrollment of highly qualified and diverse student populations, greater retention and graduation rates, more donations and a stronger long-term connection to the university.

The secondary goals are to:

  • Drive users to learn more about the university through information posted in longer forms at the Texas State blog, website and YouTube channel
  • Listen to what is being said about the university online and respond as appropriate

Sources
The primary sources of information for Facebook posts are stories and news posted by the University News Service on the university website and the Texas State blog.

Other sources:

  • News and blog searches of the Internet
  • Posts by Texas State offices, academic departments, athletics, organizations
  • Videos posted to the university website and YouTube site

Methods
Building a Facebook community is done through posting information on Facebook, encouraging interaction with fans and answering questions in a public forum. The frequency of postings depends on the quality and relevance of available information. In a given day, there may be one post or multiple posts, given the relevance to the varied fans of the page.

The official Texas State Facebook page is www.facebook.com/TXSTATEU.

Guidelines
If fans make postings or comments on the Facebook wall for establishments promoting alcohol, or for non-local businesses, or for sexually oriented businesses, such postings and comments should be removed when they are discovered. Any links with posts should be checked for the same criteria. Links, including videos, from individuals should be checked for appropriate content and removed if they include objectionable images or language. As a courtesy, send a message to the person who posted the item being removed. Comments with inappropriate content also should be removed, followed by a message to the person who made the comment.

Issues sparking debate among commenters should be monitored closely, and the discussion can be moderated with comments as deemed necessary.

Twitter philosophy

Goals
The primary goal of having a Twitter account at Texas State is to build a community of current and future students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. That community is designed to create an intimate relationship between those individuals and the institution by providing them with positive information and impressions about the university. That relationship will lead to more enrollment, greater retention and graduation rates, and more donations.

The secondary goals are to:

  • Drive users to learn more about the university through information posted in longer forms at the Texas State website, blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel
  • Listen to what is being said about the university online and respond as appropriate

Sources
The primary sources of information for Twitter posts are stories and news posted on the Texas State blog.

Other sources:

  • News and blog searches of the Internet
  • Posts by Texas State offices, academic departments, athletics, organizations and special-event Twitter users
  • Posts by Texas State students, employees and alumni
  • Posts on the Texas State Facebook page
  • Videos posted to the university website and YouTube site
  • News posted by the University News Service on the university website

Methods
Building a Twitter community is done through posting information on Twitter, re-posting relevant information from other Twitter sources and answering questions in a public forum. The frequency of postings depends on the activity from the sources, but a goal is at least one post a day.

Listening to the Twitter community is accomplished by:

  • Using advanced online tools (Hootsuite.com, Tweetdeck) to watch a range of activity and posts
  • Following users who are identified as part of the university community

The official Texas State Twitter account is @txst.

YouTube philosophy

Goals
The primary goal of having a YouTube channel at Texas State is to present the institution, campus, students, faculty, staff and activities in a positive light to future students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. This will create an atmosphere that will lead to more enrollment, greater retention and graduation rates, and more donations.

The secondary goals are to:

  • Serve as an archive for video content that debuts on the university homepage
  • Provide an outlet for video produced for and about the university that does not fit the format of the homepage
  • Serve as a repository for video to be linked to other websites
  • Use YouTube’s analytical tools to identify sources showing interest in the university
  • Get feedback on videos to gauge outside perceptions of the university

Sources
The primary source of videos for YouTube is the digital video specialist in the Office of University Marketing, who is responsible for producing the “Rising Stars” and “Be a Bobcat” profiles for the Texas State homepage.

Other sources, to be organized in playlists on the Texas State channel, include:

  • Student workers producing short interviews and features for the Office of University Marketing and related offices like Admissions
  • Professionally produced advertisements for Texas State
  • Special events like the student video contest
  • Videos produced by university offices and academic colleges, schools and departments

Methods
Building a YouTube site requires a steady stream of videos from the combined sources. Once videos have been posted on the university homepage for one month, they should be uploaded to the YouTube channel.

Turning that video collection into a community-building resource involves:

  • Linking videos across a range of platforms, including the university website and Facebook
  • Building a base of YouTube subscribers and friends who are updated automatically when a new video is posted

The official Texas State YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/txstateu.

 

Comment Moderation philosophy (updated June 2011)


Goals

The primary goal of moderating user comments — including wall posts, links, content submissions and other forms of publically viewable feedback — is to present the institution, campus, students, faculty, staff and activities in a positive light to future students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. Comment moderation will help maintain the positive messaging of Texas State social media outreach.

The secondary goals are to:

  •  Keep sites free of spam and suspicious links
  •  Maintain attractive appearance of sites
  •  Prevent users from being offended, insulted or bullied by other users

Methods

Feedback from social media audience members is very important to university staff. While comments are welcome, the university reserves the right to moderate and remove comments that are offensive, insulting, bullying, spam or problematic because of libel, legal or other issues. Moderating comments is the responsibility of site administrators.

Moderating comments and other public feedback involves:

  •  Monitoring social media sites regularly, especially on sites like Facebook where users may leave comments without administrator approval
  •  Adjusting comment settings so that comments must be approved by an administrator before they become publically viewable
  •  Adjusting comment settings to automatically flag comments that contain offensive vocabulary
  •  Viewing, approving, removing and responding to comments as needed