Social media is an excellent tool for sharing information and connecting with various audiences. UWL is active in these communities and supports participation by colleges, departments and university organizations.

However, departmental use of social media to conduct university-related messaging can introduce a variety of legal and policy issues.

Departments and organizations that choose to represent themselves on social media should first view the recommendations below to ensure they protect the university's reputation, support the UWL brand and adhere to university policies. Keep in mind that social media is not a substitute for official communication from your department or organization. UWL entities must use secure, internally controlled services to conduct required or official university activities including communication that contains privacy-protected information.

View the UW-La Crosse social media policy here.

Check out the UWL social media directory here.

Becoming an official UWL social media account expanding section

University Communications considers a social media page or profile to be “official” when it follows guidelines created on this page. Official accounts will receive support from UWL Communications. Please note if your page is not “official,” we will not advertise your page on our website or through our flagship social media pages.

Questions to ask yourself before creating an official UWL social media account:

  1. Why do we want and/or need a social media presence outside of what has already been created?
  2. Can we meet our organization/department purpose by doing so?
  3. How much time per week can we commit to managing the content and activity?
  4. Who will be our official page administrators?
  5. Are we willing to comply with University Communications’ policies and procedures regarding social media profiles?

*You must have a personal profile if you plan to be an administrator for a Facebook page. Accounts/pages on other platforms (Twitter, Instagram) are created independently.

Requirements for official UWL social media accounts expanding section
  1. You must schedule an introduction meeting with University Communications to go over your plans and strategy for the account.
    • The current Social Media Specialist is Nick Ragner.
  2. A page must follow official naming convention.
    • Ex: UW-La Crosse English Department
    • Note: This is for consistency and searchability purposes.
  3. University Communications must have login credentials or admin access.
    • Facebook: Web Communications profile added as an admin.
    • Other platforms: Login credentials are shared with University Communications.
    • Note: This is NOT for oversight. This is so there are transition plans in place in case staff managing the pages leave and do not share credentials within the department or office.
  4. Must feature an “about” description that includes information about your organization/department.
    • Make sure to clearly identify your office, department or organization that is associated with the account.
    • Add a disclaimer that content that your page shares from external pages/websites does not endorse the viewpoints of that source.
    • Add a link to our official UWL webpage.
  5. Must feature a link to UWL’s social media policy:
  6. Page managers must actively engage with University Communications after the page has been created.
Guidelines for official UWL social media accounts expanding section

UWL social media pages are inclusive

UWL pages are open to any person who has interest in the topic or organization of the page.

Social media participation is extracurricular

Participation in the page must be voluntary. Faculty and academic departments should never discipline students on social media. Social media should not be used to conduct official or required activities. It should be considered a method for supporting existing official channels of communication.

UWL social media pages are public

Never communicate personal, educational or health records via social media or any other non-secure third-party system.

The Good, The Bad, but not The Ugly

Regardless of whether an external user’s content is favorable or unfavorable, it is allowed if it is in context of the conversation. But if the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating, or completely out of context, it may be rejected. Refer to UWL’s social media policy for more on this topic.

Pages and profiles follow UWL branding

UWL has set branding that includes logos, fonts, colors and more. Be sure to follow these branding elements to comply with UWL policies. These can be found at uwlax./edu/ucomm.

Merging or deleting official UWL social media accounts expanding section

Facebook pages can be easily merged into one official page if you have multiple pages. If you’re no longer interested in managing an account, you can also delete it. Please notify University Communications if you plan to make either of these changes.

I have created an official UWL social media account. What now? expanding section

The very first thing you should do with your new page is experiment. Understand the various features it provides and how to best go about making it an engaging, informative resource for your fans and followers. Change settings, update the page layout, etc.

You can always make your page "private" if you would like to test things before making it public.

Once you feel comfortable with your page/profile, it’s time to get to work:

  1. Invite fans/followers– engage students, alumni, employees, and others to get your page noticed. Make sure to have a comprehensive plan for your startup so when you gain followers, you keep them!
  2. Post regularly with engaging content– this varies from platform to platform but make sure to not fall behind with posting content!
  3. Engage your followers– you need to communicate for your page to catch steam. Try to start conversations and solicit questions.
  4. Like and tag other UWL official pages– an easy way to collaborate and connect with other pages on campus.
  5. Show personality- remind fans and users that there is a person behind the account.

Above all, publicize your pages! Simply creating a page and posting content doesn’t always help you gain follower right off the bat. You need to put in the work for your page/profile to gain traction. Update department documents, brochures, websites, and any other marketing materials that you regularly use. Even adding a link or icon in your email signature helps! If you are going to put the work into having a social media presence, don't let it fail due to a lack of front-end advertising!

Connect with us

Instagram takeover application expanding section

Interested in highlighting our campus organization or department? Maybe you're a student that wants to show the world what it's like at UW-La Crosse? Or an alum that wants to show what a degree at UWL can do?

Apply to takeover our Instagram stories! 

Contact us expanding section

Have an event or promotion that you'd like to be featured on the main UWL social media accounts? Have questions about starting your own account or would just like some guidance? Contact UWL Social Media Specialist Nick Ragner.