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Social Media Standards

These are the official standards for the use of social media by IU South Bend representatives. If an employee or student is creating or contributing on behalf of IU South Bend to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds or any other kind of social media or on one of the social media sites – these standards should be observed. We expect all who participate in social media on behalf of IU South Bend to be trained, to understand and to follow these standards. Failure to do so could put your future participation at risk. These standards will continually evolve as new technologies and social networking tools emerge—so check back often to make sure you're up-to-date.

Promote open dialogue.

- IU South Bend strongly encourages user participation.
- We do not review or approve content before it's published on any of our social media sites.
- We allow both positive and negative participation as long as it is in context of the conversation, regardless of whether it’s favorable or unfavorable to IU South Bend.
- Social Media allows for learning the good and the bad about our organization.
- If content is ugly, offensive, denigrating and completely out of context, we have the right to remove it.

Be transparent.
- Your honesty, or dishonesty, will be quickly noticed in the social media environment.
- Always use your real name, and when appropriate, share your connection with IU South Bend.
- Transparency is about your identity and relationship to IU South Bend. However, you still need to keep confidentiality around proprietary information and content.

It's a conversation.
- Talk to students like you would talk to your friends.
- Don't be afraid to bring in your own personality and provide unique, individual perspectives on what's going on at IU South Bend.
- Consider content that's open-ended and invites response.
- Encourage comments.
- Post to your site frequently. If you can’t make that commitment, social media is not for you.
- Reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.
- Be respectful when responding to negative comments so as not to offend anyone or pick a fight.
- Write things that people will value and find exciting.
- Content should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community.

Your responsibility.

- What you write is ultimately your responsibility.
- Participation in social media on behalf of IU South Bend is not a right but an opportunity, so please treat it seriously and with respect.

Did you mess up?
- If you make a mistake, admit it.
- Be upfront and be quick with your correction.

If it gives you pause, pause.

- If you're about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don't shrug it off and hit 'send.' Take a minute to review these guidelines and try to figure out what's bothering you, then fix it.
- If you're still unsure, you might want to discuss it with the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM).
- OCM monitors social media sites referencing IU South Bend and will notify account managers of improper use of university material and information.

Last updated: March 2010