Social Media Policy
We are well into the digital age and it has transformed the way we communicate, both as individuals and on behalf of a company or organization. Instantaneous, 24-7, and on-the-go communications are ever–present, and popular social media channels continue to evolve and grow or decline regularly. While traditional content channels (e-mail, newsletters, advertising, etc.) continue to play a major role in an organization’s communication, social media channels are preferred outlets for sharing news and creating conversations, particularly with younger audiences. Social media posts are increasingly picked up by mainstream media outlets as well. Social media has many benefits, but regulating or controlling it is difficult. Given our resources at Loyola, our response to controversial content has been reactive and focused on mitigation.
This policy covers three aspects of social media:
- Primary Channels - Define the role of the primary Loyola University Chicago social media accounts;
- Loyola-sponsored accounts - Set forth policies for all Loyola-sponsored social media accounts;
- Personal use - Outline the policies for the personal use of social media while employed at Loyola.
1. Primary Loyola University Chicago Social Media Accounts
The primary University social media accounts are managed by the Division of University Marketing and Communication (UMC). These include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube. Other departments, divisions, schools, areas, and offices at the University also have official social media presences. In fact, the University has more than 500 social media accounts, and that number is growing.
The role of the primary social media accounts is to engage the Loyola community; promote events and activities; celebrate outcomes; and boost the reputation of and affinity to Loyola. Only University-wide information deemed relevant to various Loyola audiences is shared via the primary social media channels. Content from other areas of the University is welcome and encouraged, but is vetted through an editorial process and posted at the discretion of UMC staff. In addition to engagement, the primary University accounts are also a crucial means of reaching the general community and public during times of crisis.
While UMC manages only the primary accounts, the division is available to offer strategic counsel, particularly as it relates to best practices for content within social media channels and the reputation of the larger University.
2. Loyola-Sponsored Social Media Accounts
The policies below apply to all official Loyola-sponsored social media accounts and those employees and students that manage the social media content, including those for departments, divisions, schools, areas, and offices at the University.
- Any published content or accounts are subject to the policies of the University. The University can remove or change any content or accounts at the discretion of the Vice President of University Marketing and Communication and in coordination with other officers of the University.
- Administrative access and passwords for University social media accounts must be maintained and surrendered to a University leader at the dean or vice president level in the event that the current social media manager, whether a student or employee, leaves the department/division/University.
- All laws under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) must be followed. In the case of a health-related issue, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must be followed.
- Any student employee assigned to, or responsible for, social media as part of their on-campus job is required to abide by departmental policies and the Student Worker Employment Guide.
3. Personal Use of Social Media
Everyone in the Loyola community should be aware that social media presents distinct considerations as it relates to representing the University. All University policies must be adhered to, with special attention to the:
If you are part of Loyola’s Health Sciences Division, also please note the Loyola University Health System’s e-mail, internet, and other social media service usage policy.
Note: In the event that any of the above policies are not being adhered to, please contact University Marketing and Communication at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.915.6158.