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.
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
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
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.
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.