UT Dallas’ Social Media Guidelines are intended to provide support and guidance for schools, departments, programs and organizations in the creation and management of their social media channels.
- Social Media Development and Strategy
- Guidelines for Creating a Social Media Account
- Guidelines for Being a Facebook Page Administrator
- Moderating Facebook Comments and Posts
- Guidelines for Being a Twitter Administrator
Social Media Development and Strategy
For departments aiming to deepen their communication with current and potential students, social media can be effective. But it requires starting with a clear strategy and maintaining the channel to make it relevant.
The following questions will help you. Contact the Social Media team if you require additional assistance.
Do you have enough content to sustain a social media channel? Or, would it be better to collaborate on promotions with the primary UT Dallas accounts?
Successful UT Dallas accounts post on Facebook at least once a week, Twitter a few times each week and Instagram once a week. If you don’t think you can maintain a consistent social media presence, the Social Media team that oversees UT Dallas’ primary social media accounts will be happy to offer advice and assistance in promoting your message, event, school, etc.
What is the main goal of your page?
Are you trying to bring attention to your department, program or a service? Promote a campaign? Engage students or the UT Dallas community at large?
Who is your audience?
Defining your target audience will help you strike the right tone in your posts. Concentrate your efforts on one social media channel first. Learn from experience how to engage, educate and inform on one channel. Transparency and customer service are of the utmost importance.
Guidelines for Creating a Social Media Account
Choose your images thoughtfully
Don’t misuse any UT Dallas logo/monogram. Keep in mind how the image you select will look as a thumbnail. Refer to the University’s brand standards and/or collaborate with the Social Media team for help and ideas.
Include “UT Dallas” or “UTD” in the account name
The University of Texas at Dallas is a strong brand that people recognize. Including “UT Dallas” or “UTD” in your name helps prospective followers know that you are a part of the University. It gives you automatic legitimacy.
Maintain consistency with social media account naming across accounts
- instagram.com/jindal_utdallas and twitter.com/jindal_utdallas
- twitter.com/utdurec and facebook.com/utdurec
Biography and links
All social media channels have bio/about me sections. Fill. Them. Out. If your account has a blank bio, potential followers are less likely to follow you because they don’t know what you are. Also, include a link to your website or department/organization page.
Create a team for your channel(s)
It’s in your best interest to have at least two people handle your social media channels because employees take vacation time, get sick, leave the University, etc. Your team is responsible for creating and posting content, moderating comments, answering direct messages and looking at metrics. Monitoring your channels may require off-hours work.
Guidelines for Being a Facebook Page Administrator
Be prepared to answer questions and comments
Current and prospective students often post questions on any number of University-related topics. It’s best to answer questions privately (ask them to send you a private message about their question). Avoid answering questions of a personal nature publicly, as it could violate Federal privacy laws. FERPA and HIPAA policies apply.
If your social media channel doesn’t post at least once a month, it may be removed from the social media directory.
Don’t mix the personal and the professional
Don’t engage in UT Dallas-related communications on your department’s Facebook using your private persona. Similarly, don’t conduct personal affairs in any social media channel using your department’s persona.
What about my personal Facebook?
If you self-identify as a faculty or staff member of UT Dallas, you render yourself subject to disciplinary action if you share private information or make derogatory or offensive comments about the University, other faculty or staff, or students.
Moderating Facebook Comments and Posts
If any content and online activity created by a poster contains or leads to any of the following, it is strictly prohibited and should be removed:
- Private personal information.
- Potential FERPA and HIPAA violations.
- Third-party advertisement that violates UT System Policy 122.
- For-profit solicitations.
- Religious or political endorsements.
- Content of a sexual, lewd or indecent nature.
- Threat of physical harm, stalking, forgery or intentional disruption of University activities.
- Advocating or causing the damage or destruction of University property, illegal discrimination or harassment (including sexual harassment).
- Any intentionally malicious, defamatory, degrading or hateful material.
Particularly offensive or malicious posts can and should be captured in a screenshot and emailed to the Dean of Students for student conduct issues; to the UT Dallas Police Chief for comments of a threatening nature; and/or another UT Dallas official with the role and responsibility to respond to the issue.
Per the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedure, Chapter 46, prohibited expressions include obscenity, defamation, incitement to imminent violation of the law, and solicitation. Posts that violate these rules are subject to immediate removal.
Guidelines for Being a Twitter Administrator
Think before you tweet
Unlike other social media channels, you can’t edit once you press “tweet.” It’s always a good idea to double check your tweets for spelling errors and correct links before you send it.
Who to follow and what to like
It’s highly recommended that you follow other Twitter accounts affiliated with UT Dallas:
It’s also a good idea to follow media related to your field. Example: the School of Brain and Behavioral Sciences follows @PsychologyToday.