Social Media Guidelines

Social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, are a personalized and efficient way to reach and interact with UC Davis students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Social media is a great way to encourage student participation, and to quickly spread news and information to followers and fans.

Content and posts are governed by:

Do you need a Facebook page?

Before reading up on social media guidelines, determine if your department or group needs a Facebook page. In general, campus departments can benefit from having a presence on Facebook but should consider the level of commitment required. Is a staff member or student available to designate as the social media person? A Facebook page will typically be effective for garnering interest in a program or department activities only if the account is posted to at least twice per week. Below that level, users won't see your Facebook page as interesting or interactive.

Joining Facebook means you become part of the campus's social media community and are able to cross-promote departments and programs.

Facebook

Wall Posts

Use posts to announce and promote individual programs and general news and events, and to encourage feedback, questions and comments. Anecdotal evidence indicates that statements, rather than questions generate more likes, comments and sharing.

Announcing new, interesting information about your program or items related to the program is also a good way to share more with the students and to remind them of what your program has to offer.

When referring to other campus programs or events, it's helpful to tag the other programs in the post to increase traffic and interest to all relevant pages. To do this, type “@” followed by the program name. (For instance “@Campus Recreation”). The department will show up in a drop-down menu below, and you can select it. This allows a hyperlink to show up on the post that will link viewers to the other program’s Facebook page instantly.

Status updates are good for posts containing less information. Providing a link is an efficient way to give people an option to learn more.

Announce something new about a program to keep people interested—anything from a new class to new furniture: whatever you think will get people involved or commenting and sharing on Facebook.

Guidelines to "Post" Structure

If you're posting more than once per day, try to space them out (i.e. an hour apart) so people don’t get annoyed at seeing too many posts on their newsfeed. People have the option to filter/hide pages in their newsfeed—too many unsubstantial posts could lead to the user filtering the posts or “unlike” the page.

It is usually best to make posts brief but interesting. Be short and concise. Again, respect is the key.

Links

When posting, you have the option to include a link. Click the “link” option at the top of the wall to do this. Copy and paste the link into the box then "attach" it. Under the link, there will be a sub-text box. Links usually generate their own sub-texts into the box automatically. However, the automatic sub-text is usually random, and can be deleted or edited (by clicking on it) to include more relevant information.

The subtext box under links can also be used to incorporate additional information related to the post (i.e. hours the program office is open for registration, contact information, class information, etc.)

Sometimes links are long and take up a lot of characters. You can use the website bit.ly to shorten links so they don't appear to go on forever, are easier to view, write down, and manage. For example, bit.ly can shorten a link from: "http://campusrecreation.ucdavis.edu/cms/internal.aspx?uid=1602088e-17e6-4ea0-b550-525c2851c431" to "http://bit.ly/hXnes7."

Shortening links is helpful when posts have character limits. Posting dates also takes up characters in the post, so shortened links allow for more characters to be used for other information.

Post Management

If someone posts on the wall about something unrelated to your program, you may delete it. Default settings allow all users to post on the wall, but this can be changed where users are not able to post on the wall, and only administrators can.

Proofread all posts before posting them to make sure they adhere to the campus style guide and Principles of Community.

Posting once a day or a few times a week is a good way to maintain active viewers and page interest.

Social Media Etiquette

Be cordial and polite in posting. Don't post about personal thoughts and issues. Keep posts professional and related to your program.

When someone gives feedback to posts or questions asked, or if someone posts their own questions or comments on the wall, respond in a timely manner, ideally within 48 hours, or followers may lose interest.

You have the right to remove a post immediately if it violates the Principles of Community or is deemed inappropriate, obscene, derogatory, unrelated to your department or spam. You may also remove a post that is phrased in a negative, unproductive way.

However, the goal is to be transparent—people want to know they are being. If possible, respond in a positive, productive way.

Events

Creating an event is helpful for providing more detailed information. It is also a good way to let fans know about events because it will show up on their home pages if they say they are attending. Events also create a sense of connection and commitment for people who are attending. You can also send message updates and new event information to all attending guests.

Notes

If you want to post a greater amount of information on a page for a longer period of time, you can create a note. A notification of a new note will appear on the wall so fans will know it is there, and it will stay active on Facebook until you delete it.

Pictures and Photo Albums

Posting pictures in albums is a way to get people to interact with the page, especially if you take pictures of an event and announce that they can tag themselves.

After an event, pictures should be uploaded/posted in a timely manner or people may lose interest in viewing them. After posting the pictures, you can refer to the event’s success and perhaps mention an upcoming event, encouraging people to attend.

Profile Pictures

You can use any profile picture that portrays your program.

Fan Page Naming

To make your page easily identifiable and found through search, your page name must begin with "UC Davis." For example "UC Davis Campus Recreation," "UC Davis ARC," or "UC Davis Craft Center." This is the most efficient way to ensure people will encounter your page when searching for it.

Vanity names. Once you have earned more than 100 fans (likes) you can create a custom name. University policy suggests using "ucdavis._____________." For example: http://www.facebook.com/ucdavis.campusrec.