Social Media Standards and Checklist

The University of Oregon encourages units to explore social media and to decide if it is right for them. Before you get started with any social media platform, we ask that you do the following:

  • Complete our social media checklist below, which will provide you with a strong foundation to build and maintain your presence or, equally important, help you decide not to develop a departmental presence.
  • Assign a faculty or staff member from your division, unit, or office to oversee all accounts. A UO faculty or staff member must have administrative privileges to all accounts and is responsible for controlling permissions and security to the accounts.

Social Media Checklist

Before launching a social media presence, make sure your time will be well spent. Create a social media plan by writing out answers to the following questions:

Responsible people: Who will be responsible for populating, maintaining, and monitoring your social media presence? Do they have skills and time? List the team members. Avoid relying only on students. A UO faculty or staff member must have administrative privileges to all accounts and is responsible for controlling permissions and security to the accounts.

Goals and strategies: What do you hope to do? Launch a campaign, promote your department, communicate externally? Who is your audience? Alumni, members of the media, the campus community, donors? Define your goal and list promotion tactics; for example, “We will list our Facebook url on all print materials.”

Defining and measuring success: What do you hope to gain? How will you know when you’ve achieved it? Do you want increased traffic to your website? More energetic give and take with prospective students? Do you want to reach out to new colleagues on campus or around the world? Define success, how you'll measure it, and the tools you need to measure it, such as Google Analytics.

Audience: Who do you want to come to your party? Targeting specific groups, like prospective students, English faculty members, or the class of ’95 will help you tailor your content and conversation. List your primary audiences. Do you have secondary ones, too? How will you reach out to them initially? Remember, simply setting up a Facebook page isn’t enough. You have to invite people there, and have a plan to keep them interested.

Engagement and conversations: Nobody likes it when you talk constantly about yourself. It shows bad social skills. In social media, you need to be a good conversationalist. Sometimes small talk is more valuable than messaging. How will you engage informally with your audience? For example, the most active conversations on the UO’s Facebook page often center on topics like the best things to do on a sunny spring day. Pepper your presence with questions. It is, after all, social media.

Before you talk, listen: What are people saying in similar spots? What are people saying about you? Who is talking? List who’s talking, about what, and where.

Content: What content will you share? Is it news or engagement based? Images? Video? List the content you will be sharing via social media and the kinds of things you think are successful. Remember, it’s social, so it shouldn’t always be about you. Sometimes, it should be about your users. Will you solicit input from them? How will you foster the loyalty required to keep them interested?

Evaluation: Schedule regular evaluations of your effort’s success based on the plan you outlined by answering these questions. Set out your timeline. Be ready to recast your content and strategy. It’s okay to fail on some things. This is not a project. It’s an ongoing effort.

How to Identify Your UO-related Social Media Presence

When naming your unit’s social media presence, clearly and concisely identify your specific unit. Do not name your page in such a way that it might be confused with a general page representing the entire UO, or with any other UO unit.

Add the institution name “University of Oregon” before your unit name; i.e.’ “University of Oregon Admissions,” not “Admissions at the University of Oregon,” “Admissions – University of Oregon,” or simply “Admissions.” If necessary, an emdash can separate the institution and unit names: “University of Oregon—Admissions.”

Correct names might include:

University of Oregon Department of Romance Languages
University of Oregon—Office of the Registrar
University of Oregon Admissions

Social Media Terms and Conditions

If you'd like to take your school, college, or unit into the realm of social media, the UO requires that you follow the terms of service and conditions of your chosen platform. Learn about the terms and conditions of the major social media platforms at the links below.

Using Social Media Brand Assets

Just as the UO works to promote its image through protection of its brand, so do social media brands. Respect the brand standards for the use of social media icons, badges, and logos. Altering them not only violates the intellectual property of these brands, it may also decrease the effectiveness of your efforts, which depend on your users' recognition of known icons and logos. For example, never change the color of the signature Facebook badge to green and yellow for use on a UO page, or replace the Twitter bird with a duck. Following are links to guidelines and asset downloads for some of the most popular social media brands.

Monitoring Feedback and Comments

When creating a social media page or enabling comments on your website or blog, be prepared to devote resources to monitor the feedback that will get posted. It's important to monitor and delete feedback that violates the terms of service of the platform you’re using. This can include commercial interests trying to drive traffic to their websites or abusive language. It's also important that you embrace a free and open communications platform, allowing members of your social media following to express their opinions.