Policies, Guidelines, and Procedures

Social media refers to online communication sites and services that allow Internet users to create and publish content. Many of these sites use personal profiles where users post information about themselves. The “social” in social media comes in as these individuals find others with similar interests and interact with them through online communities, sharing information and knowledge, offering support and networking. Social media also allows for the easy sharing and re-purposing of existing content and back and forth interaction, expanding the reach of messages and enabling others to share them with their friends and networks. Popular social media services include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and Snapchat.

Social media has changed and will continue to change the way organizations and individuals communicate. With tools such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, Vine, Snapchat and Flickr, anyone with an Internet connection now has the ability to create a dynamic web presence, update it from wherever they are whenever they want, and share their content instantly with friends and followers around the world.

Social media has given Miami University the opportunity to engage in ongoing “conversations” with our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, colleagues, fans and friends about what is most important to them, extending and connecting the community found on the Miami campus to the world. Miami University supports the use of social media by employees as part of their official duties to connect and engage with students, parents, colleagues, alumni, fans, donors, prospective students and prospective parents and other audiences. This document contains policies, guidelines, recommendations and resource information to help employees in setting up, maintaining, managing, and monitoring official Miami sites in a way that encourages engagement while providing the parameters to protect and enhance Miami’s reputation.

Although some of these policies and guidelines are unique to Miami, Miami has modeled parts of them on what are considered the best practices of other institutions of higher learning. Many universities are working together in this way to provide consistency across the industry. Yet, just as social media is constantly changing, these policies and guidelines will also continue to evolve. It is important to refer to them frequently for new information.

Please direct questions, concerns or suggestions to Kelly.Bennett@MiamiOH.edu, who oversees Miami social media, in the Office of University Communications and Marketing, which has overarching responsibility for official Miami University social media sites.