Units interested in having a social media presence must consult with and receive permission from the SIU Medicine Office of Marketing & Communication as well as the unit’s leader prior to creating an account. A member of the Office of Marketing and Communications must have administrative access to all social media accounts that represent SIU Medicine. By engaging in social media, units and account administrators accept the responsibility to become SIU Medicine brand standard bearers for both school and clinical communications.

Social Media Guidelines for Departments, Offices and Programs Representing SIU Medicine or SIU School of Medicine

See also: Graduate Medical Education Social Media Guidelines

See also: Social Media Use for Employees (PDF)


These definitions apply to terms as they are used in these guidelines.             

Account Administrator

An SIU Medicine faculty member, staff member or learner who administers or authors content for any SIU Medicine social media account.


Social Media

A website or application external to SIU Medicine that permits sharing of information between people. This includes web-based social networking applications, blogs, chat rooms, collaborative information and publishing systems, video- and photo-sharing websites, and other websites with user-generated content.



An institute, center, department, division, office or other operating unit.


University Social Media Account

Any registered account administered by an official SIU Medicine unit on any social network used in support of the business function or needs of that unit. Typically, these accounts include SIU Medicine and the unit’s name.



Any person who places postings, commentary, or other content on a university social media account or space.




All university social media accounts and administrators must abide by these terms or risk revocation of privileges or account termination. Every social media account must have the permission of the unit’s supervisor, chair or director, as well as the Office of Marketing and Communications.

Account Administrator

Before launching a social media account, consult with SIU Medicine’s Office of Marketing and Communications for guidance on compliance with this policy as well as SIU Medicine branding guidelines.

Correct or modify SIU Medicine social media accounts under the administrator’s control, as directed by the Office of Marketing and Communications.

Terminate any SIU Medicine social media accounts that do not or cannot comply with this policy. Deactivate obsolete accounts.

Always maintain patients’ confidentiality; do not violate HIPAA. Don’t post information about patient’s health – even with private information changed/deleted, people can still figure it out; do not risk violating patient confidentiality.

Create high quality, professional yet inviting content for your target audience. Avoid jargon and acronyms.

Encourage your readers to take a particular action or learn more; direct them to your landing page, urge them to make an appointment or read a related blog or news release.

Adhere to the SIU Medicine Brand Guidelines.

Engage with users: Respond to messages, posts, comments, tweets, reviews, etc., in a timely manner.

Refer critical or negative reviews, comments, or posts to the Office of Marketing and Communications immediately. Customers/patients expect a response within an hour.

Refrain from direct calls-to-action to contact legislators, sign petitions, endorse legislation, etc.

Refrain from using social media as a bulletin board or forum for internal audiences.



Is Social Media Right for your unit?

In general, the Office of Marketing & Communications does not recommend that divisions, departments or groups maintain their own social media networks. Instead, we strongly encourage you to help us continue to strengthen the official SIU Medicine social media networks by providing the Office of Marketing and Communications newsworthy information about your event, program or department and information that will benefit current or prospective patients, learners and team members.

Questions to consider:

  1. Will you have a minimum of four hours per week to devote to creating high quality, original content for your site?
  2. Who is your audience? What do you want them to do?
  3. What are your goals?
  4. Where will you obtain images/graphics? Remember, most images are copyrighted.
  5. Do you have a smart phone to monitor your account 24/7 in the event of a complaint or crisis?

Consider the advantages to using existing university social media accounts:

  1. Protects and unifies the SIU brand while preventing fragmented, silo-driven communications.
  2. Your unit will benefit from existing audiences (6,700+ Facebook fans) already affiliated with the SIU Medicine.
  3. Your info can be strategically posted for maximum benefit.
  4. Varied posts create a healthy, vibrant and diversified social media presence that best represents the depth of excellence of the SOM.
  5. The OMC consistently trains in and researches the best practices related to social media to ensure content reaches the right audiences at the right time.