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Student Organizations and Social Media

Guidelines for appropriate usage of social media by Student Organizations

The University of Tennessee encourages student organizations to utilize social networks as tools for the further development of their organizations. Social networks can be a great opportunity for student organizations to promote awareness of their organization, awareness of a cause, as well as campus events. Student Organizations should at all times maintain a professional, positive, and respectful demeanor on their social networking platforms. All organizations own their own shared content, however, organizations and their members should not take lightly the reflection they have on the University as a whole.

Things to Consider Before Getting Started:

  • Have a strategy. It is easy for student organizations who want to try to keep up with the latest trends to jump on the bandwagon every time a new social media platform appears. Resist the temptation. Instead, take some time to consider your purpose, audience, the content of what you’re looking to share with other individuals or groups. Invest your resources in those platforms that best fit your needs while also keeping in mind what is relative to your audience.
  • Set goals for your organization social network interactions. Are you promoting awareness if your organization? Trying to increase your followers? Advertise an event or program? Connect with other community members? Trying to brand your organization? Consider the identity of your organization and identify in which ways you can use social media to affect change.
  • Use thought and consideration when creating your usernames; some sites don’t always give you the flexibility to change them.

Tips and Tricks for Smart Usage:

  • Remember that when you sign up for a social network account, you are agreeing to that platforms terms and conditions. This includes agreement to not post material that is protected by copyright agreements.
  • Ensure that you invest the time to be an active user. Set aside time to update your content and post new material. Also be sure respond to questions or comments within 24-36 hours.
  • Make sure that the contact information for your organization is up to date.
  • Be accurate. Check your facts before you post. If possible, post the direct link to your source of information. It is also helpful to check your posts for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Confidential information should remain confidential. Do not post student information (including contact information) without first attaining permission from said student.
  • When possible, student organizations are encouraged to have their advisor serve as an administrator on their social media pages. When leadership within the organization changes, the advisor will still be able to grant access to new organization officers.
  • Keep your content positive and respectful. Try not to speak ill of other individuals, organizations, institutions, or community establishments.

Student Organization Logos:

  • Unique student organization logos may not contain trademarks licensed by the University (logos, phrases, taglines, etc.) including “The University of Tennessee” and the “Power T”
  • Student organizations may request a logo from the Office of Communication and Marketing. Student leaders or advisors on file with the Center for Student Engagement may make that request.
  • Student organization social networking page titles must also reflect your organization affiliation at the University (ex: ABC Club at the University of Tennessee would be permitted, whereas The University of Tennessee ABC Club would not be permitted).

Things to remember when using organizational social network accounts:

  • Your organization profile and presence on social networks represents not only your personal self, but your organization, and all of its members, both current and former. Be aware that your personal social networking pages also reflect on both your organization, and the institution.
  • Be aware of liability. Individuals are responsible for content posted on their personal pages, as well as those representative of student organizations.
  • Remember your potential audience. Social media content can be easily accessed and shared. Consider the possible implications of the message before it is posted.
  • Be aware of copyright and its implications on shared content. If the content you are posting does not belong to your organization, make sure to credit your sources when sharing information, quotes, or photos online.
  • Be aware of the implications that could arise from posting or sharing a meme.