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UPPS 06.05.05 - Official Social Media Accounts

Official Social Media Accounts

UPPS No. 06.05.05
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 6/17/2019
Next Review Date: 7/01/2021 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, University Marketing


    1. Texas State University encourages the use of social media to connect with others and further the university’s goals. This policy sets forth Texas State’s procedures for creating and managing official social media accounts.

    1. This policy applies to all social media accounts created to represent Texas State and any of its divisions, units, colleges, departments, programs, offices, or centers.

    2. This policy applies to all social media channels including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and similar services.

    3. While personal accounts of faculty and staff members are exempt from these policies, faculty and staff should avoid appearing to represent the university on their personal accounts.

    4. While social media accounts of student organizations are not included in this policy, they are encouraged to follow the standards outlined in Section 05.

    5. This policy does not include advertisements on social media sites promoting Texas State units or ads promoting the unit’s social media accounts.

    6. This policy does not provide specific guidance on planning, content, measurement, or other topics related to successfully running a social media account. For social media best practices, see the Office of University Marketing’s Social Media Guidelines page.


    1. Social Media – an online service used to communicate and share information, ideas, and content between people. Examples include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and other similar services.

    2. Copyright – the ownership and control of intellectual property in original works of authorship, subject to copyright law. It includes exclusive rights granted to the author (creator) of a creative work such as a book, movie, song, painting, photograph, design, computer software, or architectural rendering. These rights include the right to make copies, authorize others to make copies, make derivative works, sell and market the work, and perform the work. These rights may be sold, transferred, licensed, gifted, or inherited, in whole or in part (see UPPS No. 01.04.27, Intellectual Property: Ownership and Use of Copyrighted Works).


    1. Official social media accounts must be registered with University Marketing. Accounts can be registered by going to the Register Your Account webpage.

    2. Institution-issued shared mailbox accounts (i.e., office accounts) must be used for account setup. Personal email accounts must not be used.

    3. At least one social media account administrator must be a full-time employee. A minimum of two faculty or staff members must have access to the accounts. When an account administrator leaves their position at the university, they must surrender account passwords to their immediate supervisor. Account passwords should be changed as soon as possible.

    4. Accounts must be marked as “official” where the channel allows (for example, in a Twitter bio or in Facebook’s About section). Accounts must also provide contact information or links to a relevant page. Accounts should follow the university’s brand and visual guidelines.

    5. Accounts may be listed on the official Social Media Directory if they meet the following qualifications:

      1. have at least 300 followers;

      2. only follow accounts relevant to Texas State or groups related to their institutional purpose;

      3. are at least 30 days old;

      4. post content on a weekly basis;

      5. contain content relevant to the Texas State community;

      6. include a link to the unit’s official webpage;

      7. provide up-to-date contact information;

      8. feature a relevant and appropriate profile and cover photo; and

      9. engage followers in the form of likes, retweets, comments, etc.


    1. Texas State strives to make content accessible to all users. Social media administrators must adhere to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) standards. See University Marketing’s Social Media site for accessibility best practices.

    2. Social media administrators are expected to follow all copyright and intellectual property laws when posting to any social network. It is necessary to always get permission to use copyrighted material, and always give credit for the material (See UPPS No. 01.04.27, Intellectual Property: Ownership and Use of Copyrighted Works, for more information about copyright).

    3. Social media administrators must protect private and confidential information and abide by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This is especially important in dealing with students who post questions online about their educational circumstances (e.g., “Did my credits transfer?”). Social media administrators must direct such questions to appropriate, official channels (i.e., email, phone).

      Social media content, including posts, comments, messages, and replies are available to the public and reflect on Texas State. While account administrators are encouraged to interact with the community, social media administrators should not conduct official business on social media accounts. Refer official business through official administrative channels, such as email.

    4. Social media account administrators should attempt to keep content on their accounts for two years to meet ADM320 General Correspondence records retention requirements.

    5. Administrators must monitor and moderate comments. Accounts may include Texas State’s commenting policy on relevant pages:

      Texas State encourages discussion, questions, and criticism, but asks that you keep your comments and posts relevant and respectful. We may remove any post or ban anyone who violates these guidelines. We will not tolerate personal attacks, inappropriate language, racism, and spamming. Texas State reserves the right to remove posts advertising commercial products as well as posts that are inaccurate or that violate the channel’s terms of service.

      If an administrator sees a worrisome post involving threats of violence, or if a post is brought to their attention in a direct message, they must contact the Texas State University Police Department. To report an emergency or crime in progress, they must call 911. For posts involving student conduct, administrators must contact the Dean of Students Office. If someone reports a violation of the sexual misconduct policy, administrators must contact the Title IX coordinator. All reporting obligations that apply to faculty and staff offline, apply on social media.

    6. Social media accounts should be kept current. Any Texas State social media sites with no activity for 90 days or more should be inactivated by the account administrator.

    7. Administrators must make sure social media accounts are secure (see UPPS No. 04.01.01, Security of Texas State Information Resources, for more information about digital security). Texas State is committed to protecting personal privacy. Account administrators should be aware of Texas State’s Privacy Statement. Owners with multiple accounts are encouraged to leverage the university’s social media management tool (Hootsuite).

    8. Administrators cannot conduct any personal activity under the guise of official accounts.

    9. Administrators must ensure accounts represent the units for which they were created and should not try to represent the university as a whole.

    10. Social media sites are third-party sites and have terms of service and policies that are not governed by the university or the State of Texas. These third-party sites are not official Texas State websites, and the third party’s website terms of service and policies apply. Administrators should be aware of and follow these policies. These sites include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Spotify.

    11. Administrators must follow the branding best practices outlined on University Marketing’s Social Media site.


    1. University Marketing runs the university’s official central social media accounts, including accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Spotify.

    2. University Marketing maintains the Social Media Directory. Accounts may be listed on the Social Media Directory by submitting a form online and meeting the requirements outlined in Section 04.05.

    3. Violations of a platform’s terms of service to the social media platform must be reported. Fake accounts should also be reported to the social media platform. See the Social Media Policies page for more information on reporting accounts for impersonation.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Director, University Marketing July 1 E2Y
      Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing July 1 E2Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Director, University Marketing; senior reviewer of this UPPS Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing

    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs