Social Media Guidelines
Representing Butler University on social media? Before you begin, please read the Social Media Policy.
We’ve also created some guardrails to help with your efforts.
These guidelines are also available as a PDF.
Using the Guidelines
When hosting a University-affiliated social media account you are representing Butler University and are expected to adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior.
Thus, the following guidelines are meant for all students, faculty, and staff interested in how social media can deliver the Butler message and support the brand standards and strategic goals of the University.
To inquire about creating a social media presence for your department, group, or area, please contact Marketing & Communications.
Guidelines for All Social Media Usage
[Includes personal sites that have been approved to use official University marks.]
- Fact check before posting.
- Spelling, grammar, and punctuation reflect you, your organization, and Butler University.
- Mistakes happen and are best addressed quickly.
Confidentiality & Privacy
- Never post confidential and proprietary information. All Butler faculty and staff must adhere to all University policies and procedures, as well as federal standards, such as FERPA and HIPAA.
- Posting confidential information regarding Butler University, its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors is strictly prohibited.
- Prior to posting, seek permission to post photos and video from parties involved.
- Think prior to posting. Do not consider any information posted to social media sites and blogs as private, even if you are using the strongest privacy settings. If you would not say it in public, do not say it online.
- Be respectful of copyrighted and trademarked information, including Butler University logos and marks. More information and guidelines regarding logos, licensing, and trademarks.
- Offer content of value to the audience that is representative of your respective area, unit, entity, etc.
- Post content that complements (not duplicates) content being broadcast by official Butler University social media accounts.
- Keep personal views and agendas separate from content being posted.
- Be respectful. Avoid posting obscene, vulgar, libelous, or defamatory statements. You can be held legally liable for any comment you make online.
- Always attribute content, including comments, posts, and assets that originate from another account.
- For multimedia content such as photography, music, and video, please consult copyright, confidentiality, and privacy guidelines and resources.
- For additional assistance regarding multimedia content, please contact us.
- Be clear about your role and/or position with the University.
- Read and obey the Terms of Service for all social media tools before posting anything.
- Be respectful of fans, followers, and those you engage with online. Use discretion regarding use of public forums versus direct messages.
- Social media is a 24/7-communication tool. Post updates regularly, and check activity regularly so as to respond in a timely and appropriate manner.
- Think before you post. Review before you post.
Guidelines for Institutional Social Media Usage
[Includes students, faculty, and staff managing Butler-sponsored social media.]
- The first step is to get approval from your supervisor, director, or dean and from the Office of Marketing & Communications before creating an official social media account.
- Marketing & Communications maintains the official Butler University accounts on several social media sites, but you may find that your college, department, organization, or program is equipped to maintain its own social media account(s). Our team can discuss the responsibilities that go with maintaining that site.
- For specific instructions regarding the creation of social media profiles on specific platforms, please review the Butler University Social Media Instructions.
- When posting on behalf of Butler University, you must also adhere to any department or school guidelines.
- Always acknowledge that you are representing Butler University when posting online.
- Use the Butler University logos for official sites, but do not alter any Butler University logos or insignia. Get more information and guidelines regarding logos, licensing, and trademarks. Any further questions can be directed toward Marketing & Communications.
- Content and overall presence should reflect the University’s brand identity.
- Monitor postings on all social media sites where you have an account on a regular basis, and respond when appropriate, but never engage in hostile exchanges. Remove comments that are vulgar, obscene, defamatory, or libelous immediately.
- Post relevant and timely information, and always verify that the information is accurate. When mistakes are made, withdraw or correct them immediately.
- Be authentic in a way that accurately reflects the identity of your University division or unit. Communicate with (not at) your audience through conversations regarding Butler University.
- Posts should not be used in any way to promote a personal agenda.
- Seek to adhere to the University’s three basic social media tenants:
- Offer content of value
- Be a good listener
- Be responsive
- All multimedia usage must adhere to copyright, trademark, and privacy guidelines and regulations.
- Images from private events require written release signed by subjects who have been photographed.
- Public events do not require a signed released by subjects. Furthermore, events that occur outdoors or in public space on or off campus are typically considered to be public events.
- Obtain permission from speakers, guest lecturers, performers, and other campus visitors who are present at any event, should you wish to use their images or material online.
- Avoid using imagery of minors in online media unless written consent is obtained from a parent or guardian.
- Images owned by the University may be distributed online as a part of a Creative Commons license agreement. Image ownership must be attributed to Butler University. Additionally, University images may not be altered or used for commercial purposes without special permission.
- Images related to Butler University Athletics may not be used without permission due to stringent NCAA rules and regulations regarding student-athletes.
- Usage of music protected by copyright is strictly prohibited unless written permission from copyright owner is received.
- Written permission for usage of copyright music must specifically include online distribution allowances. Additionally, broadcast and royalty requirements must be satisfied.
- Consumer ownership of music does not constitute a right to distribute, or usage on behalf of the University.
- Royalty-free music is recommended for usage online. Marketing & Communications staff can assist with the identification and acquisition of royalty-free music.
- Like photography, private events require a written release signed by subjects who have been captured on video. Public events do not require a signed release.
- Written permission should be obtained from speakers, guest lecturers, performers, and other campus visitors who are present at university-sponsored events, unless otherwise guaranteed in performance contracts.
- For use of images and music in videos, please review image and music guidelines above.
- Written permission for usage of copyright video must specifically include online distribution allowances. Additionally, broadcast and royalty requirements must be satisfied.
- Consumer ownership of video does not constitute a right to distribute, or usage on behalf of the University.
- To obtain University video footage, please contact Marketing & Communications.
- You must provide access to appropriate University officials. Marketing & Communications should be granted administrative access to all Butler University social media sites, but in some circumstances, this can be avoided by granting access to other supervisors, directors, deans, or human resources.
- Failure to properly maintain social media profiles will be cause for removal by Marketing & Communications staff.
- If you no longer want to operate your site, please disable or delete it.