Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Social Media Standards

Through strategic use of social media, we have the opportunity to engage with broad and targeted audiences and create top-of-mind awareness by sharing content that highlights the many faces of UTHealth.

By maintaining visual brand consistency across platforms and following best practices, we can be more effective in engaging with our communities and providing them relevant university news.

The university social media standards apply to all university-sponsored social media, defined as any use of social media by or on behalf of the university or one of its schools, programs, institutes, centers, departments, affiliates, or recognized student or employee organizations, or for activities conducted in the course of university business. These standards focus on the university’s most utilized social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Instagram.

Social-media-image


University Policy

All UTHealth students and employees must follow HOOP 219: Use of Social Media.

All students and patients featured in university-sponsored social media must fill out university media consent forms.

A notice of photography must be posted at any event or gathering where photography or video recording will take place. Here is recommended language:

  • Long version to be used in copy:
    Please be advised: Today’s event will be photographed and recorded for publicity purposes. If you do not want to be photographed or recorded, please alert the photographers and videographers before the event starts. Thank you.
  • Short version for on-site signage:
    Please be advised: Today’s event will be photographed and recorded for publicity purposes. Thank you.

Social media is one of the most popular online activities that users engage in.

Social Media Essentials

Platforms

View the full list of university-sponsored social media and connect with these accounts by following them and liking their content. Your participation helps create user interaction, which is what social media is all about. After your university-sponsored social media is set up, the designated administrators are responsible for posting content, regularly checking for comments, and responding to comments or questions in a timely manner. The administrator will become the “voice” of your university-sponsored social media. You also must have a manager-level or above in your area act as backup administrator for each account with access to all login information. Please contact the Office of Public Affairs for information and guidance.

Social media-specific standards

All university-sponsored social media accounts should use recognizable and consistent page names and handles. If possible, account names and handles should include UTHealth, but no other abbreviations of the shortened university name (e.g., no UTH or UT). This is consistent with the university’s main @UTHealth and @MyUTHealth accounts, and brings recognizable affiliation with UTHealth.

Longform

Use the following naming conventions for platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn that have longer character limits for page names.

  • [College/Office]-UTHealth
  • [Department]-Full School Name
Examples
  • McGovern Medical School-UTHealth
  • Cizik School of Nursing-UTHealth
  • Student Health Services-UTHealth
  • Careers-UTHealth
  • Department of Neurology-McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Department of Biostatistics and Data Science-UTHealth School of Public Health
Shortform

Some platforms like Twitter and Instagram have shorter character limits for page names. In that case, default to abbreviations.

Examples
  • McGovern Medical School-UTHealth or McGovern Med-UTHealth
  • UTHealth Dentistry
  • UTHealth Neurology
  • UTHealth Biostatistics
  • Careers-UTHealth
  • CLI-UTHealth
  • Page/account names

    All university-sponsored social media accounts should use recognizable and consistent page names and handles. If possible, account names and handles should include UTHealth, but no other abbreviations of the shortened university name (e.g., no UTH or UT). This is consistent with the university’s main @UTHealth and @MyUTHealth accounts, and brings recognizable affiliation with UTHealth.

    Longform

    Use the following naming conventions for platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn that have longer character limits for page names.

    • [College/Office]-UTHealth
    • [Department]-Full School Name
    Examples
    • McGovern Medical School-UTHealth
    • Cizik School of Nursing-UTHealth
    • Student Health Services-UTHealth
    • Careers-UTHealth
    • Department of Neurology-McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
    • Department of Biostatistics and Data Science-UTHealth School of Public Health
    Shortform

    Some platforms like Twitter and Instagram have shorter character limits for page names. In that case, default to abbreviations.

    Examples
    • McGovern Medical School-UTHealth or McGovern Med-UTHealth
    • UTHealth Dentistry
    • UTHealth Neurology
    • UTHealth Biostatistics
    • Careers-UTHealth
    • CLI-UTHealth
  • Handles

    Like page names, handles for university-sponsored social media should be as consistent as possible. However, handles are more limited by character count and naming will have some flexibility. Additionally, many users may have already memorized existing handles, so updating your handle may not be advisable. If you are creating a new one, please follow these examples.

    Examples
    • @UTHealthDentistry
    • @UTHealthNeurology
    • @UTHealthCareers
    • @CLI_UTHealth
    Exceptions
    • The graduate school, due to its shared naming with MD Anderson, will keep its current page names and account handles.
    • All UTHealth clinics accounts – UT Physicians, UT Dentists, and UT Health Services – will also keep their current page names and handles.
    • Centers and institutes should use their full, official name. If UTHealth is part of the official name, it should be included, if possible.
  • Page description

    Page descriptions for all university-sponsored social media should include the following (as space allows):

    • Full university/school/department/institute/center/program/affiliate/organization name
    • Mission statement or official description
    • Facebook pages should include this text in the General Information section of the About page. See UTHealth’s Facebook page for an example: Third-party posts on this wall do not constitute or imply any endorsement of their content by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) or any affiliated person or entity.
    • Location – at least city and state
    • Website address: https://www.uth.edu
  • Hashtags/campaigns

    When space is available, hashtags can be used to group and find like-minded tweets or posts. UTHealth has two official hashtags.

    • #UTHealth – when talking about the university on social media
    • #ManyFacesOfUTHealth – posts with this hashtag represents the university’s Many Faces of UTHealth campaign and should showcase clinicians, faculty, staff, or students who are benefiting society through research, public service, education, and patient care.

Before you create a social media account

  • What are your goals for using university-sponsored social media?

    Every social media platform is different and one size does not fit all. By determining your goals and objectives before choosing a platform, you can decide on the one, if any, that best fits your needs.

  • What is a university-sponsored account vs. a non-university account?

    University-sponsored social media at UTHealth pertains to any use of social media by or on behalf of the university or one of its schools, programs, institutes, centers, departments, affiliates, employee organizations, or registered student organizations, or for activities conducted in the course of university business.

    If you are considering starting a personal, or non-university, social media account instead to discuss, for example, your own educational activities or research projects, remember you are a member of the UTHealth community who must adhere to Section C, Personal Use of Social Media, of the university social media policy.

  • Who is your intended audience, and is it large enough?

    When selecting the best social media platform(s) to use in a university-sponsored capacity, do your research. Each social media platform has its own strengths, drawbacks, unique usage, and demographics. What platforms does your audience use? In addition, is your audience large enough to warrant using social media? If your UTHealth program has a small, specific audience, using another communication tool, such as email, to send content and engage may be more effective than social media.

    Finding the best platform – whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another – will better assist you in connecting effectively with your audience. You might use multiple platforms, depending on your goals and resources. Also, consider researching how other parts of the university use social media before you decide which you will choose.

  • Do you have the resources?

    Most social media platforms offer quick and free setup, but require time and effort to effectively create, post, and manage content and engage with the audience. Consider when and how frequently you will be able to create content for, monitor, and respond to your university-sponsored social media. To make the most of your investment of time and effort, start with a plan for your online presence.

  • How will you or your staff manage social media?

    As the administrator of university-sponsored social media, your content should be consistent in communicating the mission of the university with the highest standards. Make sure you have a dedicated staff member or team who is comfortable in managing social media on a daily basis, including weekends. They will be responsible for posting content, regularly checking for comments, and responding to comments or questions in a timely manner.

  • Do you have protocols in place to handle feedback?

    Negative or positive feedback is expected with social media. For example, if you hear from an unhappy follower, how will you respond accurately and in a timely manner? How will you respond to a positive comment? The best way to handle different types of feedback is to have a protocol in place before you establish a social media presence.

  • Do you want to measure effectiveness?

    Using social media might help you achieve certain business goals, but how will you know if your efforts are successful? Certain social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have free, built-in reporting tools that allow for measurement of traffic and user interest to improve your channels. Make sure you have time to measure the effectiveness of your university-sponsored social media.

Registering your social media account

If you have answered these questions and feel you have the capacity to create and administer university-sponsored social media, you may proceed. If you would like further guidance, please contact the Office of Public Affairs. Once your social media accounts have been created, you must fill out the Social Media Registration Form . This information allows the university to keep a record of all university-sponsored social media.


UTHealth Multimedia Library

Avatars and images can be accessed via the UTHealth Multimedia Library using your university-issued credentials. Users outside of the university may request access by contacting the Office of Public Affairs.

All university social media brand assets should be sized based on the standard dimensions provided by each social media platform. Cover images should be checked on a variety of screen sizes, to ensure they still look appealing after being cropped by the platform for different devices. Custom sizing of assets for each social media platform can be done using the Landscape tool by Sprout Social.

As a reminder please do not use third-party assets on university-sponsored communications projects for which you have not cleared the rights. If you have any questions about copyright or other intellectual property rights, as they relate to UTHealth communications, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.

Social media assets

Avatars

A social media avatar is a personalized graphical illustration or image that represents a user. UTHealth social media accounts use the tapestry as an avatar. These avatar options may be downloaded from the UTHealth Multimedia Library.

Examples

Black and White UTHealth Tapestry
Gray and White UTHealth Tapestry
Orange and White UTHealth Tapestry
Blue and White UTHealth Tapestry
Black UTHealth Tapestry
Gray UTHealth Tapestry
Orange UTHealth Tapestry
Blue UTHealth Tapestry

Cover images

Choose or capture an image in a landscape configuration that best represents your entity, such as buildings, students/faculty, research, patient care, or campaigns.

Images in a variety of subject areas can be accessed via the UTHealth Multimedia Library using your university-issued credentials. Users outside of the university may request access by contacting the Office of Public Affairs.

Examples

Cover Image Example 1
Cover Image Example 2
Cover Image Example 3

Social Media Best Practices

Representing UTHealth in any social media

  • Use good judgment about content. Always be fair, honest, accurate, and courteous to outside users and members of the UTHealth community, including students, faculty, staff, patients, vendors, donors, etc. If you decide to post complaints or criticism, it is best to avoid using statements, photographs, video, or audio that could reasonably be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, or intimidating, that disparage members of the UTHealth community, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. If you make a mistake when posting information or news, correct it quickly.
  • Keep your professional and personal online “voice” separate. It is a recommended practice for clinicians to identify their UTHealth affiliation when engaging in professional use. It is also a recommended practice to allow the audience to distinguish professional versus official use, so consider including a disclaimer such as While I work for UTHealth, the opinions and views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of UTHealth, or a similar statement when posting to non-university social media.

Additional guidelines for university-sponsored social media

  • Use a tone that is upbeat, optimistic, and positive. Clean and playful humor is allowed.
  • Keep social media fresh by updating at least several times a week. Be authentic and conversational in your posts.
  • Address all concerns and comments in a timely manner. Acknowledge the feedback received, just as though you are providing in-person customer service.
  • Facilitate online requests for information, referring to the appropriate person to solve a problem. When a private response to a public comment or inquiry is most appropriate, first reply publicly to thank the person for their input, and to let them know to expect further response through a private channel (phone call, email, or private/direct message). The administrator should check with the department’s designated contact person for necessary guidance when responding to questions and comments.
  • Discuss inappropriate content or online behavior you see with your manager. For guidance on actions to take, contact the Office of Public Affairs.
  • Use photographs, infographics, and videos where appropriate. Only post photos or videos of patients and students who have filled out university media consent forms. Photos and videos of faculty, staff, and the campus are allowed; however, you must remove any photos or videos if requested by that person.
  • Identify all images using correct names and affiliation with the university, per editorial standards.
  • Know your audience. Market appropriately to different audiences.
  • Share content from other UTHealth sources or sites as appropriate.
  • Be mindful of how to continue your university-sponsored social media in the event of staffing changes in your area. If a member of your social media team leaves, make sure a manager-level or higher in your area has the current login information. Remove the departing employee as an administrator on your page (if applicable) and change passwords for every social media account that exists in your area. Follow each social media platform’s suggestion on how to strengthen your passwords when making these changes.
  • Contact the Office of Public Affairs with any questions or if you need someone to review your university-sponsored social media in order to ensure compliance with university standards.

Social Media Best Practices

  • Do’s

    Representing UTHealth in any social media

    • Use good judgment about content. Always be fair, honest, accurate, and courteous to outside users and members of the UTHealth community, including students, faculty, staff, patients, vendors, donors, etc. If you decide to post complaints or criticism, it is best to avoid using statements, photographs, video, or audio that could reasonably be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, or intimidating, that disparage members of the UTHealth community, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. If you make a mistake when posting information or news, correct it quickly.
    • Keep your professional and personal online “voice” separate. It is a recommended practice for clinicians to identify their UTHealth affiliation when engaging in professional use. It is also a recommended practice to allow the audience to distinguish professional versus official use, so consider including a disclaimer such as While I work for UTHealth, the opinions and views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of UTHealth, or a similar statement when posting to non-university social media.

    Additional guidelines for university-sponsored social media

    • Use a tone that is upbeat, optimistic, and positive. Clean and playful humor is allowed.
    • Keep social media fresh by updating at least several times a week. Be authentic and conversational in your posts.
    • Address all concerns and comments in a timely manner. Acknowledge the feedback received, just as though you are providing in-person customer service.
    • Facilitate online requests for information, referring to the appropriate person to solve a problem. When a private response to a public comment or inquiry is most appropriate, first reply publicly to thank the person for their input, and to let them know to expect further response through a private channel (phone call, email, or private/direct message). The administrator should check with the department’s designated contact person for necessary guidance when responding to questions and comments.
    • Discuss inappropriate content or online behavior you see with your manager. For guidance on actions to take, contact the Office of Public Affairs.
    • Use photographs, infographics, and videos where appropriate. Only post photos or videos of patients and students who have filled out university media consent forms. Photos and videos of faculty, staff, and the campus are allowed; however, you must remove any photos or videos if requested by that person.
    • Identify all images using correct names and affiliation with the university, per editorial standards.
    • Know your audience. Market appropriately to different audiences.
    • Share content from other UTHealth sources or sites as appropriate.
    • Be mindful of how to continue your university-sponsored social media in the event of staffing changes in your area. If a member of your social media team leaves, make sure a manager-level or higher in your area has the current login information. Remove the departing employee as an administrator on your page (if applicable) and change passwords for every social media account that exists in your area. Follow each social media platform’s suggestion on how to strengthen your passwords when making these changes.
    • Contact the Office of Public Affairs with any questions or if you need someone to review your university-sponsored social media in order to ensure compliance with university standards.
  • Don’ts

    Representing UTHealth in any social media

    • DON’T share student or patient personal information without their written consent. Read and familiarize yourself with both HOOP 206, Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information and HOOP 129, Educational Records.
    • DON’T speak with any journalist or media member regarding university business, even on social media, without first informing a UTHealth Media Relations representative. If approached by any media outlet or individual, contact the UTHealth Media Relations Team in the Office of Public Affairs immediately at 713-500-3030. See also HOOP 5, Communications with the Media.
    • DON’T use social media while on work time or on equipment UTHealth provides, unless it is work-related as authorized by your manager or consistent with HOOP 180, Acceptable Use of University Information Resources.
    • DON’T use UTHealth email addresses to register on non-university social media, blogs, or other online tools.
    • DON’T share information that is confidential and proprietary about the university. If you have any questions, speak with your manager and contact the Office of Public Affairs.
    • DON’T use the university logo or school logos without permission from the Office of Public Affairs. If using the logo with permission, ensure that you follow UTHealth logo standards. For approval of use and more information on the use of the logos and compliance with graphic standards, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.
    • DON’T use copyrighted materials without permission. Give credit where credit is due, and ask permission if you reproduce other people’s work. If you have any questions about copyright or other intellectual property rights, as they relate to UTHealth communications, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.

    Additional guidelines for university-sponsored social media

    • DON’T be sarcastic, offensive, or mock customers, followers, or other brands.
    • DON’T use any offensive imagery or language.
    • DON’T support a political party, religion, or cause.