New York Law School’s Social Media Toolkit is designed to be a helpful resources to students, faculty, and staff utilize social media to its fullest capacity in a professional setting. Below are some useful tips and guidelines for professional use of social media as well as recommendations for managing an NYLS-affiliated social media account.
Best Practices for Professional Social Media Use
Use social media to network and build professional relationships. Social media has become an increasingly valuable tool to build and facilitate potential business relationships. Since social media has become a valuable way to network and individually brand content, members of the NYLS community are encouraged to actively participate in social media. LinkedIn and/or Google+ should be used as the primary professional networks for reaching out to colleagues and other business contacts, while Facebook and Twitter should be treated as more personal networks.
Social media is a public place. Despite any privacy settings that may exist on a social media network, do not assume that every post, comment, photo, video, etc., will remain private. Always operate under the assumption that anything posted on social media networks is public or at some point could become public.
Use common sense and good judgment. All social media users are individually responsible for comments, statements, and other content posted on social media. Keep in mind that any information posted on social media may be public for a very long period of time and that individuals may be held personally liable to others for any defamatory, derogatory, harassing, or any other inappropriate comments or remarks.
Be transparent. If members of the law school community choose to voluntarily associate themselves with NYLS on social media, users should make clear that they are not representing the views and opinions of NYLS.
Be respectful. Always be fair and courteous to other social media users. Avoid posting complaints or criticisms on social media or other content that could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, or intimidating, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm another’s reputation, or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion or any other group protected by law.
Be mindful of perceptions of personal social media activity. Some social media activities and other online endorsements may also be publicly available. Keep this in mind when joining groups or “liking” certain Facebook pages or Twitter posts.
Respect intellectual property rights. Intellectual property generally comes in many forms – patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. These forms are all protected by law offline as well as online. For the protection of NYLS and yourself, refrain from posting any content you know or should have reason to know is protected intellectual property of any kind. Piracy will not be tolerated; downloading pirated intellectual property at NYLS or through the law school’s network could result in disciplinary action.
Best Practices for Managing an NYLS-Affiliated Account
This section pertains specifically to Content Managers who have been authorized by NYLS to monitor, maintain, and create content for social media using an NYLS-Affiliated Account. The Best Practices suggested for Professional Social Media Use should also be observed by all Content Managers.
Use Social Media to network and build professional relationships. As is also the case with personal and professional social media accounts, Content Managers of NYLS-Affiliated Accounts are encouraged to actively participate in social media networking to promote NYLS, its programs and centers, students, faculty, alumni, and other events.
Facilitate engagement and encourage feedback from all users. In order to make the most of social media, users must actively participate and seek out engagement from other users. Content Managers of NYLS-Affiliated social media accounts should encourage and facilitate feedback from the social media community and encourage comments, likes, mentions, retweets, etc., to be made.
Adhere to all existing policies and conduct agreements at NYLS. All ethical and professional guidelines in existence at NYLS also apply to comments, statements, and other content posted online to social media. Violation of these pre-existing policies, including the Student Code of Conduct, could result in disciplinary action.
Be honest and accurate. Content Managers should ensure that information posted to social media is accurate and up to date. Mistakes are inevitable; don’t be afraid to make them. It’s easy to remove postings on every social media network. Should you realize a mistake has been made corrective action should be taken as soon as possible. Keep in mind that even though the mistake may be removed, the Internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings may be able to be searched. Avoid posting speculative information or rumors that you know or should have reason to know are false. All claims should be capable of being substantiated.
Do not discourage feedback from other users. Should Content Managers or other operators of NYLS-Affiliated social media accounts disagree with another user’s opinion, keep the conversation appropriate and polite but do not discourage negative opinions should they arise. Avoid being argumentative.
Maintain confidential information and other proprietary interest of NYLS. Content Managers may not disclose externally, in any way, any NYLS-related, confidential information or trade secrets belonging to NYLS, its students, vendors, suppliers, contractors, or others. This could include: financial information, systems and technology information, intellectual property and operating agreements.
Refer media, press, and other inquiries to the Office of Marketing and Communications. Students and/or Content Managers who are not authorized to speak on behalf of NYLS should refer all inquiries to the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Be mindful of online security risks. Participation in social media can often attract online hackers who may present security concerns to the law school networks as well as personal computers and other mobile devices connected to the network. Keep in mind that social media accounts are often hacked to distribute malicious software (malware) and other computer viruses. Do not click on links that may appear suspicious.
Promote NYLS in a positive way. Content Managers of NYLS-Affiliated social media accounts should seek to promote NYLS in a positive way. Negative comments about NYLS, its students, faculty, and employees should not be made using an NYLS-Affiliated Account.
- Grovo.com provides tips for users of all levels of experience using short web-based video tutorials.
- Social Media Best Practices for Law Schools.
- For articles, policies, events, and other information regarding social media and higher education, visit the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
If you know of any other helpful resources, please contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.