This is an essential guide for all employees who have an official role in managing social networks on behalf of the university. It also benefits staff, faculty and students who might have an unofficial role in a university online presence. Some of the biggest impact (both positive and negative) comes from people, in both official and unofficial capacity, communicating about your brand.

Own your content

As a representative of OSU you have more responsibility than average users about what you post on social networks, even your own personal networks. The line between personal space and work is blurred in the world of social media. Realize that there are real-world consequences for things that you communicate online, just as there are real-world consequences for how you conduct yourself on the job, in meetings and at official OSU functions.

Keep it real

Make sure to communicate in an authentic voice. If you are promoting a product, event or action be clear about your intent and your relationship to the university. Own  your content. Don’t promote things that you wouldn’t personally endorse. While you should be aware that you are a professional who represents the university, you should also strive to find and use your personal voice.

Know your audience

Understand who you are trying to communicate with. Asking questions and taking polls are good methods to get your audience involved and it will help you understand their viewpoint. Ask them what they want to get out of their experience with the community.

Exercise good judgment

You are communicating with people who all have varied opinions. Think twice about everything you post. The worst errors happen when you are trying to get something out quickly.

Community as the priority

The essence of community is the idea that it exists so you can support others and they, in turn, can support you. Balance talking at your audience with listening and responding.

Respect copyrights

Always give people proper credit for their work, and make sure you have the right to use something before you share it. Never post copyrighted photos, music, text or video content without permission of the copyright owner.

Bring value

Social media will pay dividends for you if you add value to your followers', readers', fans' and users' experiences. What can you give them that they can’t get anywhere else?

Protect your community

Understand that OSU's official discrimination and harassment policies apply online. "Every member of the university community is responsible for creating and maintaining a climate free of discriminatory harassment." Refer to these policies when deciding how to moderate your online communities.

OUS Facebook Fan Page Policy

" -any official OSU Facebook page provide a link to the official OSU website. That doesn’t necessarily mean the OSU home page. Depending upon your FB presence, it might mean the University Housing and Dining Services site, the Powered by Orange site or some other logical URL serving as part of the official OSU website. Most of our official FB pages already carry such a link, but if yours doesn’t, please place one on the “Info” tab in the “Websites” location. Please look at all the pages you have responsibility for at your earliest convenience and make sure that we’re in compliance."