Social Media Guidelines

1. Know the college's brand.

  • Notify FSU College of Medicine Communications Office

The communications office at can advise you before you create a social media account to promote anything related to College of Medicine, including your group or your department.

  • Always Follow FSU College of Medicine Graphic Standards

The College of Medicine has a specific social media brand. Contact the communications office at before placing any College of Medicine logos or FSU seals on a social media Web page.

2. Maintain professionalism.

  • Keep Personal Online Presence Separate from Professional

It's important to maintain boundaries between your personal online presence and professional activities. Consider creating separate accounts on social media sites. Remember: Your personal social media account contains your opinion; a professional, college-affiliated social media account does not.

Any College of Medicine Facebook or other social media groups are unofficial. The opinions and comments expressed in those groups are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect the College of Medicine’s views. No College of Medicine employee monitors those pages. It’s up to class officers to determine who is a page administrator and what that role entails.

3. Prepare content carefully.

  • Be Accurate

Are you sure your information is correct and appropriate? If not, don't post it. Also, don't answer questions on behalf of another department, or questions you aren't confident answering. Those questions should be directed to the communications office at

  • Remember Your Audience

Determine your interaction's level of formality and choose your language accordingly; for instance, you would not write in first person using a professional account, because it's too casual.

  • Provide Context

Make sure your audience understands the purpose of your site. Often, there is a designated field for this, such as the "About" section on Facebook.

  • Be Thoughtful and Respectful

Other FSU College of Medicine groups may be affected by your actions. All College of Medicine accounts can be viewed (correctly or incorrectly) as representative of the university as a whole, regardless of your intentions.

4. Remember the law.

  • Respect Copyright and Fair Use Laws

Always give credit where credit is due. Also, adhere to the guidelines when posting lectures, materials or other intellectual property; these do fall under intellectual copyright. Read more.

  • Protect Confidential and Proprietary Information

Though our university is a public institution with laws governing the availability of our information, not all content and topics are appropriate for social media. The university is required to comply with the federal Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) when it comes to certain student information; it may also apply to some faculty and staff information. Make sure you understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well. HIPAA is a federal law that says a patient has control of his or her own protected health information. No one else can release that information without consent of the patient.

5. Use best practices.

  • Be the First to Respond to Your Mistakes

Be upfront about your mistakes and correct them quickly. Also, if you see mistakes on another FSU College of Medicine account, let those employees know offline and help them make corrections.

  • Use Your Best Judgment

Remember that social media can be public, and anything published to social media sites can have consequences. If you are on the fence about publishing any content, then don't. When in doubt, ask your supervisor or a co-worker for input -- ask more than one person. Also, seek advice from your university peers who use social media.


Questions? Contact the FSU College of Medicine communications office at

Additional Resources:

PDF Version of Guidelines [pdf]

AMA policy: Professionalism & Social Media

Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media

FSU Social Media Brand Guidelines and Guidebook

Social Networking at Florida State