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Social Media

Best Practice Guidelines

The University of Denver encourages you to use social media as a tool to engage with the public and members of our campus community. Before you begin to use social media on behalf of the University, you should schedule a social media consultation.

Be transparent.
If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing online, point it out.

Sharing your opinion.
What you say online as a representative of the University will be perceived as being the position of the University. Unless you're an authorized University spokesperson, make it clear that the views express are your own.

Foster conversation.
You and your readers are real people, so talk to them that way. Use an authentic, conversational voice, and feel free to show your personality. Don't lecture or broadcast repeated promotional messages; instead, encourage conversation with open-ended content that invites readers to respond.

Add value.
If you want people to read your content, write about things that your audience will value. Your social communication doesn't have to be all DU all the time. Remember: DU is here to create, share and apply knowledge. Use social media to provide unique, informed perspectives on non-DU topics that are relevant to your audience.

Create a buzz.
DU is working to improve the human condition and address the great issues of today. Spread the word about the many ways DU and its people are making the world a better place. Encourage your audience to share ideas and get involved, and provide ways for them to participate.

Share the DU network.
Follow and engage with other official DU social media accounts. When you find interesting posts, repost or retweet them for your audience, including your own comments, whenever possible.

Be civil.
The University of Denver values discourse. There is room for disagreement, but when you disagree, always respond respectfully. Personal attacks, taunts, name-calling and threats have no place in civil discussion.

Stay on topic.
Stick to your area of expertise and write what you know. Posts should be meaningful, honest and respectful – meaning no spam and no remarks that are off-topic or offensive.

Respect others' responses.
Don't delete comments simply because they're critical of you or the University. (Do, however, remove comments that include discrimination or hate speech, are libelous, are spam or contain confidential or protected information.)

If a comment contains a factual error, respond to it calmly and, whenever possible, link to a source for the correct information. Sometimes a complaint can be the beginning of a valuable conversation, and sometimes it simply fulfills a user's need to have his or her opinion heard.

Review your posts.
Get all the facts prior to publishing your posts. Be sure to provide citations, references, "@" tags, links and hashtags to sources whenever possible. Check for errors before you submit and try to use standard punctuation, spelling, grammar and capitalization.

Honor differences.
The University of Denver will not tolerate discrimination, including discrimination based on age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, genetic background, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability, or veteran or marital status.

Be timely.
Social media doesn't sleep and readers may be responding while you are off the clock. You (or your department) are responsible for monitoring your social accounts daily, including weekends and holidays. Respond quickly when a response is called for – within 24 hours or less.

Take responsibility.
If you make a mistake, disclose it and be prompt in issuing a correction. If you modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so.

Protect yourself and DU.
You are personally responsible for what you publish so consider the content carefully. What you publish is widely accessible and long lasting. Use common sense, and when in doubt, don't publish.