How to keep your social media platforms and activity on brand and consistent with other official USU accounts.
Getting Started in Social Media
Let us help. Before launching a new social media presence, consult with the social media team in Marketing and Communications. We can help ensure you are using your time and resources effectively, as well as include your accounts in USU's online social media directory.
Ask permission. Make sure you have support from your department head or manager before you launch a USU-affiliated social media account. There should always be at least two or three staff members with access to the social media account, especially for Facebook, which is often linked only to the administrators' Facebook page.
Be committed. Make sure you actually have the resources and buy-in to sustain a social media account for the long run. Often staff or student workers move on, and a social media account falls into disuse, reflecting poorly on you and the university.
Be active. Social media accounts must be regularly maintained and monitored. If a social media account has not been updated for an extended period of time, it should be deactivated. Accounts not updated for three months or monitored for comments on a regular basis will be asked to shut down.
Name it correctly from the start. Identify your account as part of USU or Utah State so users can search for you. You can also add “official page of …” in your description to help identify you.
Tie your social media to your brand. The official "U-State" social media avatar/profile photo should be used on all USU-related social media accounts. Please refer to USU’s visual identity guide to ensure that you meet the set requirements. Contact the social media team for help in creating your social media avatar/profile picture at email@example.com.
Have a strategy. What are your overall goals? Which social media platform can help you achieve those goals? Answer these questions before you jump in, and make sure you have the capacity to work your strategy. Contact the social media team if you need guidance.
Measure, evaluate, adjust. Pick a few social media analytics that will help you measure how well you’re accomplishing your overall goals. Make time to track progress and adjust your social media strategy. Contact the social media team if you need help with measurement.
Maintaining Your Social Media
Be yourself. You can help us give a human face to USU by using your own informal “voice” when posting. Social media content advertising USU services, units, and events must originally be posted by the USU unit’s officially recognized social media accounts. For example, a Facebook event for an official USU event should be linked to an officially recognized USU account, not a personal Facebook profile.
Be social. Social media is a conversation and requires listening to online conversations, consistent engagement (at least a few minutes a day), and ensuring content is fresh and timely.
Be respectful. Your audience is diverse and opinionated. Be careful not to alienate people.
Be prepared to respond to comments. Monitor comments, respond as needed, and provide information to resolve issues. Encourage conversation and be careful about deleting negative comments. See “Be respectful” above. Leave negative comments and posts unless they are obscene, violate student privacy, are solicitations by outside vendors, or are a true threat. Where possible, you can post a disclaimer on your social media site stating that you will remove inappropriate comments and posts. Feel free to post these community standards to your social media account:
Utah State University welcomes and encourages your participation through our social media channels. Our goal is to provide a place to express and honor the diverse voices of our university. In order to achieve that end, we reserve the right to delete off-topic posts which may include spam, solicitations, comments irrelevant to USU operations, commercial comments, as well as comments that contain Private Sensitive Information (PSI) or Institutional Data, as defined by USU policy. Any questions or concerns regarding this disclaimer, or about a specific post, should be directed to USU's director of social media.
Use hashtags appropriately. Avoid using more than two or three hashtags at most in a post or tweet. If you create a hashtag for a topic or event, make sure it has a clear tie to USU (i.e. #USUWOW for Weeks of Welcome). There are several universities that have an “Aggie” identity. We encourage you to use these established hashtags, though there are many others:
a. #USUAggies: Content about alumni or current students.
b. #USUAggieLife: Content about Aggie lifestyle.
c. #AggiesAllTheWay | #USUgameday: Relevant to Aggie athletics and games.
Add your location. Remember to tag your USU location. This is especially important for Instagram, where users often search an area by a specific location like “Utah State University.”
Be strategic. Make sure your social media efforts are helping you achieve your communications goals. Your social media strategy should include listening, influencing, engaging, converting, and measuring the success of your effort.
Be accurate. By providing timely and accurate information, you’ll enhance USU’s credibility. If you make a mistake, own it. Set the record straight and take responsibility quickly.
Be thoughtful. Everything you post will live forever and is never really private. It can and will be shared widely and stored for future use.
Be visual. Content that includes a good photo or short, simple video will increase your engagement dramatically. If you need content ideas or need help finding the right tools, email firstname.lastname@example.org.