Social Media Guidelines


Social media is one of the many communication methods used by New Mexico State University to share information, engage with our audiences and create a sense of community among our followers. This channel, unlike most others, provides the opportunity for instantaneous, two-way communication with prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents of prospective and current students, media and other audiences. Social media allows the University not only to share information, but also to raise awareness of our mission and values, and to build support within our local, national and international communities. 

These social media guidelines are intended to be a minimum standard. NMSU welcomes feedback and encourages participation on its social media sites, but retains complete editorial discretion over the sites. Certain NMSU entities, departments, programs, or groups may adopt additional guidelines for their users. When commenting, please keep in mind that people of all ages may view NMSU’s social media sites.


In this guide: Main Channels & Hashtags  |  For Faculty and Staff  |  For Social Media Managers   |  Posts & Comments   |   Branding   |  Helpful Tips  


Main University Channels & Hashtags

Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

The following guidelines and corresponding best practices will help faculty and staff utilize social media in a professional capacity. Information posted via social media is considered public information and other employers, organizations and individuals actively monitor and share information they may find on social media.

Manage Your Online Identify

  • Be aware of your association with New Mexico State University in online social networks. Ensure your profile and content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself to colleagues, students, parents, and the NMSU community.

Know the Law

Be Aware of Liability

  • You are personally responsible for what you post on blogs, social networks, forums and other social media. Be sure that what you post today will not come back to haunt you.

Use a Disclaimer to Maintain Transparency

  • If you publish content to any website related to the work you do or subjects associated with the University, make it clear you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of NMSU. For example, "The comment is my own opinion and may not represent New Mexico State University’s position". If the content is not work-related, there is no need to mention your relationship with the University.

Maintain Confidentiality

Demonstrate Respect

  • Respect your peers. Refrain from publishing content that contains slurs, personal insults or attacks, and/or profanity or obscenity. Do not engage in any conduct on a social media site that would not be acceptable in the NMSU workplace.



Guidelines for Social Media Managers

The guidelines below pertain to any social media presence that represents NMSU in an official capacity, including departments, programs, student organizations, and entities working on behalf of NMSU. These guidelines are intended to serve as a basic outline for how to best use social media channels representing the university, but should not be viewed as a comprehensive list of policies. Ask your supervisor for further guidance, follow all local, state and federal laws, and comply with other university policies. 

Clear Identification  

Social media sites at the University should be clearly marked as being official should be easily identifiable as an official channel of the University. Including this identification in the “About” section, using the University logo when applicable, and including links to the University’s websites will help convey this image.

Connect With Your Audience

It’s essential to be available, helpful and friendly when managing a University-driven social media account. Make sure to answer questions and “like” or react to responses to ensure your audience knows you’re always there. While it’s not always necessary to publish every day, your audience should see that someone is consistently engaging with and attending the information on the social channel. Provide accurate information, keeping in mind that content should always fit in with brand standards, along with being relevant to your audience and the mission of the University. 

Receiving Feedback  

Not all feedback you receive will be positive. When you answer in a public setting, many people may read that answer. If the information you are providing is sensitive or valid only for the individual being addressed, you may need to make that clear in your response or provide them with a more direct way to contact you (direct message, email or phone). Take each negative situation case-by-case.

Clear Expectations

Establish clear expectations of community members, as well as NMSU owners/managers. You don’t want to constantly just talk about your own department! By paying attention to and following other University-driven accounts, you have the opportunity to add more variety to your content. It’s important to promote and share content from other University-driven accounts (as they’ll also be more likely to share yours!)

Meet University Standards

A strength of social media is you receive feedback from your audience, providing insight on how to improve your approach. Listen to that feedback, and use it to adjust as necessary. In addition to what your audience may tell you directly, we encourage you to listen to conversations people may be having about you. All NMSU-owned social media sites should meet the university's existing policies including Information Data Security (Policy 15.50).

Social Media Strategy and Plan

All entities should have a social media strategy and plan that has been approved by their unit leader prior to the debut of any social media. Entities that already have a social media presence should periodically review and update the plan to ensure that it is still relevant.

Contact Information

All official NMSU social media properties should provide contact information and email addresses so that visitors may report problems, etc.


Any advertising via social media not related to NMSU must be approved by the unit leader.

Monitoring Social Media Accounts

All NMSU social media sites should be monitored (and moderated, where appropriate) to ensure the community is following site guidelines. Social media sites that remain consistently inactive should be considered for deletion.




Posts and Comments


  • A post or comment may not be off topic from the original post or from the site’s topic for discussion.
  • A post or comment may not violate any law.
  • A post or comment may not be threatening or abusive.
  • A post or comment may not, in NMSU sole discretion, be libelous (30-11-1 NMSA 1978).
  • A post or comment may not contain commercial advertisements or endorsements.
  • A post or comment may not be repetitive of prior commentary by the same individual.
  • A post or comment may not contain links to other sites that violate NMSU’s Social Media Rules.
  • A post or comment may not condone or encourage illegal activity.
  • A post or comment may not contain profanity.
  • A post or comment may not be discriminatory in nature (on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, or veteran status).
  • A post or comment may not violate any NMSU policies or procedures including Rule 3.63 of NMSU’s Administrative Rules and Procedures, the Student Code of Conduct.

Responding to Comments

Comments can/should be responded to if, there is a sincere question being asked, there is misinformation that needs to be corrected, there is a positive point you want to draw attention to or there is a natural conversation response.

Comments should not be responded to if, the commenter is obviously trolling or trying to bait a response or you don’t want to draw unneeded attention to the comment.


A post or comment may be deleted for violation of NMSU’s social media rules (above).

Hiding vs. Deleting

If a user makes a questionable post or comment on University-driven accounts, care should be taken to respond appropriately and as soon as possible. NMSU recommends you do not hide or delete a comment or post just because it is negative, but only if it contains spam/links, profanity, hate speech, attacks on others, commercial advertisements, political endorsements or unlawful activity. In terms of Facebook, the platform gives page administrators the ability to hide or delete a comment. When hiding a comment, the user can still see their comment on the page, as can their friends. If you delete a comment, it is gone from the page. Strategic Communications utilizes both features, on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about a specific situation, please contact the Marketing and Communication’s social media team.


Repeated violators of NMSU’s Social Media Rules may be banned from posting on NMSU social media sites.  Any individual who has three or more posts or comments deleted for violation of NMSU’s Social Media Rules, in a six-month period, may be banned from posting or commenting on NMSU’s social media sites for six months.

NMSU will not automatically restore an individual’s privilege to post on NMSU’s social media after a ban.  Upon expiration of the six-month ban, the effected individual may request reinstatement of their privilege to post by sending a request to  A request for restoration of privileges must include the approximate date of the ban and the web address of the site where the ban was imposed. No request for restoration of the privilege to post on NMSU’s social media sites will be considered prior to the end of the ban.


The University Brand

Social media account managers should follow NMSU’s graphic standards manual to ensure the University maintains a strong, unified visual identity online. This includes logos, colors, typography and photos. Images for backgrounds, avatars and covers should be in good taste and representative of the University. Resources related to The University’s visual identity can be found on the Brand website:

Account Security

Social media accounts are powerful tools, by using these guidelines, you can minimize the risk of unwanted users and keep your account safe and secure.

Make sure to use strong passwords. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and get into the habit of changing your account passwords each school year or whenever staff member or student employee leaves the office. Passwords should also contain numbers, symbols and capital letters.

Limit account access. You should always know who and what applications have access to your accounts. Periodically sweep through third-party app permissions under your page settings and clear out any apps or devices your office no longer uses.


Helpful Tips


Avoid tagging an individual student, staff or faculty member’s personal account in your post. You may draw unwanted attention to the student or employee.

Memes and Gifs

Use caution when posting memes or gifs; their context and meanings are constantly changing.


Livestreaming can be done through the platforms themselves, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram live. If you are using a phone for livestreaming, it’s essential to use a tripod to keep the video steady and to make sure you have a strong signal connection (use Wi-Fi instead of a phone’s cellular data whenever possible for Livestreams). It’s also ideal to have somebody monitoring comments and answering questions on the video as they come in. If possible, tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcast so anticipation can be built. Comment moderator/s will be able to ensure that any negative comments are hidden in a timely fashion and repeat offenders are blocked when appropriate.


For more information contact the NMSU Social Media Team at