The University of Texas at Tyler
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Social Media Guidelines

Best Practices

Purpose and Goals of Social Media

Social media is all about using today’s technology to present the positive aspects of The University of Texas at Tyler and to open the lines of communication.

  • When people choose to follow us or friend us, our goal is to make people's experience a good one and help present UT Tyler's best to the world.
  • Social media provides a venue for people to contact us directly and get helpful answers.
  • Social media is not a replacement for standard forms of media. It is simply another platform of communication that we can use to increase the public’s awareness of UT Tyler and all we have to offer.
  • You can try to frame conversations around topical and specific issues related to campus. Help people learn about the UT Tyler community and all we have to offer. 
  • Highlight the headlines and give some of the backstory by driving people back to our website.
  • On Twitter, use keywords and hash tags when appropriate, so readers become interested in the conversation, thread or topic.

Establish an Internal Process

The Web is not anonymous. Everything written or posted on behalf of the university can be traced back to UT Tyler and to a specific individual. Before launching a social networking site:

  • Notify your college/department/unit communications staff and the Office of Marketing and Communications to register for an official UT Tyler social media account.
  • Vow to keep university contact information accurate and current.
  • Understand that passwords and administrator access to the site must be carefully managed and updated through the UT Tyler Web team. Two administrators from your area and one from the Office of Marketing and Communications should be set up. (The Office of Marketing and Communications is not responsible for maintaining your page. We are here to offer support and ensure continuity through any turnover in university personnel.)
  • Link to the UT Tyler social network policy statement from your social network site.
  • Establish criteria for replying to comments, including timeliness and appropriateness.
  • Avoid duplicating efforts. Be aware of current initiatives underway by checking the main university social networking sites.

Be accurate. Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible; after all, that’s how you build community.

Best Practices

  • Be respectful. Anything you post in your role at UT Tyler reflects on the university. Be professional at all times on your social media site. Refrain from engaging in arguments or extensive debates with naysayers on your site.
  • Be authentic. Social media is all about people connecting with people. Remember to humanize your social media interactions. When people choose to follow us or friend us, our goal is to make people's experience a good one and help present UT Tyler's best to the world.
  • In the Web world, it actually does more harm to do something halfway than to not do it at all. Be consistent. Keep content fresh and dynamic to keep people coming back to your site.
  • Monitor your site and delete profanity or offensive comments, in accordance with the UT Tyler social media policy. At the same time, respond to any negative or inaccurate comments about UT Tyler by providing accurate information in a positive way. It is NOT appropriate to delete comments because you disagree. 
  • The whole concept of social media is to engage people in conversation. Encourage comments and follow up.

Marketing

Raise awareness of your communications efforts by:

  • Linking back. Provide links back to a unit's Web page(s) from the social networking sites.
  • Sharing your social networking site. Many university departments and programs have official UT Tyler social networking presences. Register to be an officially recognized social media presence for UT Tyler.
  • Using hashtags. Use appropriate hashtags (#) to build a thread. For assistance with appropriate hashtags or ideas for new hashtags, contact the UT Tyler social media team.
    • UT Tyler most-used hashtags: #UTTyler #UTTylerPatriots #SwoopSwoop #TalonsUp.

Respect Copyrights and Fair Use

Provide links to material when they are available. Show proper respect for copyright and fair use laws. Only quote short excerpts of other people’s material and always try to link to others' work.

Liability

You are legally liable for what you post, no matter if it is your own site or that of others. Possible liabilities include copyright infringement, breach of confidentiality, defamation, libel and obscenity.

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