For an overview of digital governance policies and general philosophy, please see Winona State University Digital Governance

For social/Facebook/digital advertising, see Digital Governance for Digital Advertising.

University Social Media Accounts 

Social media can be a powerful tool to inform, engage, build community and elevate the WSU brand. It also has particular risks and responsibilities, and a less-than-optimally managed channel can harm the brand and create negative experiences with the University.

Departments are the experts when it comes to their content and audience, and will assume responsibility for managing their social communities, while Marketing and Communications is the campus expert for: 

  • strategy
  • branding
  • policy
  • standards and best practices
  • account setup

MarComm also serves as a liaison with IT and legal to support data security and legal issues and obligations related to social media accounts and content.

A partnership-based model for account management ensures we are together able to maximize the opportunities while minimizing the risks of social media as a marketing, communications and community engagement tool.

Though accounts are managed using a partnership model, departmental social media creators, managers and administrators do not have ownership rights. All social media accounts created on behalf of Winona State University are the sole property of the University, and ultimately under the purview of University Marketing and Communications.

Marketing & Communications Roles & Responsibilities

  • Creates all social media accounts, ensuring WSU brand standards and naming convention adherence, indexing, linked email protocol and other security and communications best practices.
    • Note: If your department has already created an account, please contact MarComm to bring your account into compliance. Either submit a OneStop “Connect with Social Media” ticket or email
  • Retains administration rights for all Winona State’s official online presences (Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), including login and password information associated with the account. 
    • Note: shall be the recovery email for all official University accounts.
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization) – naming accounts and digital properties, and creating best practices that support “being found” by search engines.
  • Accessibility - makes sure users of all abilities are able to access University information and content, and that all digital University properties are ADA compliant
  • User experience - ensures content is consistent and serves audience needs and expectations
  • Brand standards - Web Communications staff will keep in touch with best practices updates, and new channel functionality. Reach out to brainstorm any time!

MarComm + Department Shared Responsibility

We follow a partnership-based model. Before developing or launching a social media channel, we need a communications plan in order to have a successful social media outreach. (The tool is only as successful as its craftsperson.) 

We’ll work together to craft a strategy that is aligned with your audience and is mapped to your goals, then brainstorm how to put social to work in service of your goals, and your community.

  • Relevance & Value-add
  • Goals
  • Outcomes
  • Key messages
  • Which social platform is the best fit for your department’s objectives.
  • Engagement strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Evaluation metrics
  • Account promotion and integration with other digital and print communications

Department Roles & Responsibilities

Departments are responsible for managing their social channel content and online community. Social media channels are a long-term communication tool that once started must be maintained into the foreseeable future. 

Be aware of the commitment needed and be sure you have enough time and human resources allocated, and that your online community is a departmental priority with buy-in and support. Poorly managed or neglected channels can harm the your department’s reputation and create negative experiences among the public, and prospective and current members of the WSU community.

As an account/channel manager, departments are responsible for and expected to:

  • Designate a social media manager who 1) has adequate time allotted to maintain an active, responsive presence and to commit to the responsibilities and expectations, and 2) understands the social media tools, etiquette, behaviors and the content and engagement strategy for the channels they are responsible for managing. 
    • Departments are responsible for notifying MarComm of changes to social media manager roles, including students who have graduated or staff members no longer working in the department.
    • Tip: MarComm provides regular training workshops as well as individual consultations when appropriate. Contact for details.        
  • Monitor and respond to direct messages, tags, mentions, reviews, comments and questions about your department/group/initiative. Social media is a two-way communication tool. Making sure we are responsive is critical to maintaining a positive reputation and user experience.

  • Sustain and engage: A poorly managed or neglected social channel is harmful to your department and the University brand. Departments arevresponsible for and expected to regularly engage with and post content (at least once per week during the academic year) that is of value to its audience. Content should align with department goals and the University values and mission, per the Social Media Strategy co-created by MarComm + the department.
    • Tip: Creating an editorial calendar (template provided by MarComm) will help ensure you are posting regular, varied posts that serve your community, and your strategic goals.
    • Note: Marketing and Communications reserves the right to disable or temporarily unpublish official University social media accounts that are inactive or unresponsive (no posts, not responding to comments or direct messages) for more than six months, as such account mismanagment damages the University brand and creates negative experiences with the public, our community members and prospective students.
  • Report and consult with Marketing & Communications to address negative or threatening comments or content.
    •  Important note: Do not delete comments or content prior to consulting with MarComm. There are security and legal protocols that need to be followed to protect the institution as well as departmental social media managers.

Channel-Specific Policies


  • All Snapchat geofilters must be either created or approved by Marketing and Communications.


  • Facebook accounts should utilize Winona State's branded templates for profile and timeline photos
  • Marketing and Communications staff shall retain the Administrator role, and department page managers will be be assigned Editor role; Editors have all the needed permissions to manage their page content and community. For complete details on Facebook's role descriptions, visit Facebook's roles explanation chart.