Facebook Page Guidelines

In April 2010, CSUSM launched its official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/csusm. Since that time, many staff and faculty on campus have asked about policies related to Facebook pages and usage, specifically rules and guidelines for creating additional Facebook pages for campus departments and organizations.

Here is a list of frequently-asked questions and answers related to Facebook page creation and usage:

1) Am I allowed to create my own Facebook page for my department or organization?

Yes. While the official / central CSUSM Facebook page will probably always be the most liked and visited page on campus, departments and orgs are absolutely welcome to create their own.

2) How do I create a Facebook page, and are there any special procedures I should know about?

When creating a Facebook page, it's important to make sure that you are creating a true Facebook Page and not a Facebook Profile. While Pages and Profiles look identical to visitors, behind the scenes, they are created and monitored differently by Facebook.

Short rule of thumb: Pages are for organizations, departments, companies, etc., whereas Profiles are for individual people. Orgs that create personal Profiles, even by accident, may be deleted by Facebook.

Problem is, the Facebook home page doesn't make this distinction obvious, nor do they provide a prominent link for Page creation. For your convenience, we've provided it here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

Once on the page linked above, choose "Company, Organization or Institution," then select the category "Education" from the menu. Finally, give your page a "company name" that contains CSUSM (eg: "CSUSM Student Life and Leadership," "CSUSM Department of Psychology," etc).

3) Now that I've created my page, are there any rules or guidelines I should follow?

  • Be respectful of CSUSM, its services, employees, students and constituents.
  • Understand that social media is public, permanent and retrievable.
    Your messages can be read by anyone, even those not on your friend/subscriber list. Similar to university email, there should be no expectation of privacy.
  • Protect confidential and proprietary information.
    Social computing blurs lines between internal and external communications. Sensitive information should never be posted. Mistakes happen and in the world of social media they spread rapidly and are impossible to take back. If something is considered sensitive in nature, err on the side of caution and use traditional methods of email to distribute to appropriate parties.
  • Don't censor negative comments.
    You may see students or community members post negative comments on your Facebook wall from time to time. It's best not to censor these comments as it violates the spirit of social media and the principles of free speech. Best case scenario, your other page fans may come to your defense and counter the negative comment with a positive response. If this doesn't happen, use your best judgement as to whether you want to try to reply officially and respectfully, or simply ignore the comment.
  • Report potentially illegal content.
    If you see anything posted by an outsider on your wall that is potentially threatening or criminal in nature, please let the Office of Communications know, and we will evaluate and forward to University Police if necessary.
  • "Like" the official CSUSM page, and we will do the same.
    We ask all campus Facebook pages to visit www.facebook.com/csusm and click "like" so that a link is created between the official campus page and your departmental page. In exchange, please send your Facebook page address to publicity@csusm.edu and we will also like it on the official CSUSM page.

4) How do I make my Facebook page and its content more effective?

  • Keep it brief.
    Facebook limits the length of posts by default, but try to be even more brief than they allow. People move through the Web very quickly and don't have much time for extraneous words.
  • Post at least once per week, up to a maximum of five posts per week.
    Simply having a Facebook page isn't enough — you need to populate that page with good content. We recommend a maximum of one post per day on weekdays (ie: up to five posts per week), with at least one post per week as a minimum.
  • Ask questions in your posts.
    Don't just talk at your readers — engage them. Ask questions in some of your posts and see what kind of response you get via comments from fans. 
  • Monitor your page, and keep up with the conversation.
    Regularly read all the posts on your page wall, including those posted by others. Sometimes, students will ask important questions via Facebook rather than phone or email. Make sure to find these questions and answer them directly on the page.

5) What if I need additional assistance?

Please email publicity@csusm.edu with any questions, we are happy to assist!