Social Media Guidelines

Guidelines for BU School of Medicine faculty, staff and students regarding new and existing social media accounts.

REQUIREMENTS
In order to establish a new social media account for your division, department or group, the following is required:

  • 30 days of content: The Communications Office requires 30 days of content (calendar, Word Doc, list, etc.). Today’s followers expect continuous communication and current information. Although there are different optimal posting frequencies for various platforms, it is important to post daily so that your account does not get lost in the newsfeed of your followers, who are likely following hundreds of other accounts.
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    What will you be sharing? Is it important and frequent enough to set up an account or can the Communications Office share via @BUMedicine? Consider the following:

    • News – How often does your division, department or group share news? Is it groundbreaking? Is it frequent enough that your social media account would serve as a go-to source for this information?
    • Events – How often do you hold or host events? Can you provide content for Save the Dates, RSVPs, event recaps, photo albums, etc.?
    • Visuals – Can you provide photos, illustrations or visuals to support your content?
    • Accolades – What are the different ways you can highlight or honor your faculty/staff/students?
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  • Branding: Since you will be representing BU, there should be some type of visual (logo, image, colors, etc.) indicating your relation to the University. Please work with the Communications Office to obtain visuals that align with the School of Medicine.

Email Kathryn Mariano, Communications Manager, at kmariano@bu.edu for more information.

GENERAL GUIDELINES
For faculty, staff and students with existing social media accounts:
Source: American Medical Student Association

  • Be professional. Represent the school and the medical/scientific profession with integrity. Adhere to the rules of ethical and professional conduct at all times.
  • Think ahead. Carefully consider the content you post. Exercise good judgement because anything you post can have immediate or long-term consequences and carry the potential for significant public impact or viral spread of content. Be sure to differentiate opinions from facts.
  • Protect client/patient information. Do not discuss confidential information and follow standards of patient privacy/confidentiality outlined in HIPAA and FERPA.
  • Follow copyright laws. Make sure you have the right to use material before publishing.
  • Maintain separation. Avoid interacting with current or past patients and avoid requests to give medical advice (through social media).
  • Use disclaimers. Disclose yourself and provide appropriate disclaimers if your view differs from the School or University. Be sure to reveal conflicts of interest, and be honest about your credentials.

CONTENT GUIDELINES
If you identify yourself as BUSM faculty/staff/student member in your profile or bio, use the following language in your account description:

  1. Views are my own.
  2. Tweets are my own. (Twitter only)
  3. The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Boston University School of Medicine, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. (If word count limit allows)

BUSM does not agree with or endorse any comment, image or video that individuals post on our social pages. Our goal is to share ideas and information about the medical school with the public. Our guidelines are to accept the majority of comments made to our profile.

Content will be deleted if it contains:

  • Hate speech
  • Profanity, obscenity or vulgarity
  • Nudity
  • Defamation to a person or people
  • Name calling and/or personal attacks
  • Comments with the main purpose of selling products
  • Spam comments, such as the same comment posted repeatedly on a profile
  • Other comments that the Communications Office deems inappropriate

Repeated violations of content guidelines may cause the author to be blocked from all medical campus social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Questions? Contact Communications Manager Kathryn Mariano at kmariano@bu.edu.