- University Life
AU employees have wide latitude to create and maintain a presence on social media channels. They should do so in ways that are professional, technically secure and transparent. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that content posted by, or on behalf of, any unit, division, or department adhere to all American University policies and to appropriate laws that govern the dissemination of public information.
Because social media channels are fairly new and evolving every day, the following guidelines were adapted from respected university and industry sources to provide guidance in using these forums effectively, protecting personal and professional reputation.
Units, divisions, or departments should consider their messages, audiences, and goals, as well as a strategy for keeping information on social media sites up-to-date.
Both in professional and institutional roles, employees need to follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in other forms of business communication. The same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media, and other university constituents apply online as in person. Employees are accountable for their posts on social media sites.
Posts on social media sites should protect the University’s institutional voice by remaining professional in tone and in good taste. Only the American University social media sites administered by University Communications and Marketing represent the University as a whole. No other individual or departmental site should be construed to represent the institution as a whole. Consider this when naming pages or accounts, selecting a profile picture or icon, and selecting content to post—names, profile images, and posts should all be clearly linked to the particular unit, division, or department rather than to the institution as a whole. Use the appropriate college or school visual identity for pages representing those units.
Notify users and followers that any comment or post that is vulgar, slanderous, spam, solicitations, or otherwise inappropriate will be deleted. Post this policy in the info section of your social media account and refer people to it when questioned over a deleted comment/post.
Download the complete American University Social Media Guidelines in PDF.