Social Media Guidelines

The College of Design Office of Communications manages college social media accounts where we post official e-news, high-priority events, announcements, and items from external sources featuring College of Design activities, faculty, or students. Schools, departments and programs are responsible for posting their events to their own social media accounts. We will share key posts to College of Design social media that are pertinent to the broader College of Design audience.  

School/Department/Program Social Media Accounts* 

Academic units are responsible for managing their own unit-specific social media accounts, in accordance with UO guidelines 

The purpose of utilizing social media accounts is to be interactive with your audience while promoting your school, department, or program. Audiences typically include current students, prospective students, supporters, potential donors, and partners. Social media accounts are intended to be used for two-way communications, not just to publicize events or post news about your department or program.(1) The same content can be posted across multiple social media sites, but not in exactly the same way. Each platform has its own conventions to be respected, so posts should be adapted accordingly.(2)  

Social media allows participants to ask questions and share their opinions 24/7, and as such, social media accounts require consistent monitoring and timely responses. It is possible that some participant engagement will be negative or critical of the University, the school, the department, or program. However, free and open communication is expected, and participant comments should not be deleted unless they violate the terms of the social media platform itself.(3)  

* Please note these guidelines are subject to change per the university and broader social media policies and practices.

(1) Kivi Leroux Miller, Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming  a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money, Part V.
(2) ibid, and Pew Research Center, News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016
(3) University of Oregon, Department of Digital Communications

Establishing New Social Media Accounts 

It is important that schools, departments, and programs understand the time commitment required to manage social media and that a content strategy is developed before creating accounts. Articulating what it is you want your social media accounts to do for your department or program is essential. See the social media checklist (link below) for more on how to develop a strategy.  

Departmental social media accounts must follow UO standards for social media as described on the UO Digital Communications and brand webpagesPlease read these pages carefully before committing to managing a social media account: 

NOTE: The Office of Communications must review new departmental social media accounts and their accompanying strategy before they launch.  

Typically, what you’re looking to do is establish a Page that can be liked (as opposed to a Group that must be joined) for your account.  

Per the university’s social media standards, a UO faculty member must have administrative privileges to departmental accounts and be responsible for controlling permissions and security to the accounts. In addition, we are asking that a trained 12-month departmental staff member also be given administrative access for the account(s) to ensure coverage over the summer or when the faculty member is otherwise unable to monitor and access the account. Any GEs or student employees with access to the account must have training prior to posting, and the designated faculty member is ultimately responsible for oversight of the account.  

Units are welcome to contact Emma Oravecz, social media and digital marketing specialist, for assistance (  

Content is King 

Understanding your goals and audience(s) for your social media accounts is crucial, but figuring out what you’re going to deliver to them is essential. For example, Instagram posts are driven by images and hashtags, whereas Facebook posts can have more text. Regardless of the platform, imagery is eye-catching, so you need to think about who will take photos  for your posts. Mapping out in advance what kind of content you want to deliver on which platforms will help you stay on top of your posts. A common strategy is to develop an editorial calendar, where you designate days of the week on which to post certain kinds of content.  

For example:  

  • Mondays could focus on events (community engagement) 
  • Tuesdays could be tips for majors or reasons to become a major (recruiting/retention focus) 
  • Wednesdays could focus on engagement or accomplishments (images of students and/or faculty in action) 
  • Throwback Thursdays (alumni focus, where are they now, showing how grads are putting their knowledge to work) 
  • Fun Friday (could be quirky, silly, or more light-hearted items highlighting why it’s cool to be involved in your department, program, or classes) 

Inactive Social Media Accounts 

Leaving social media pages inactive may send the message that the department or program is no longer in operation and can leave the account vulnerable to spam and other unmonitored posts. If your department currently has an inactive social media account, we can work with you to transition your social media audience to the overarching College of Design social media account and close your inactive account. We can feature key messages about your department on the college social media page and assist in engaging the broader college audience. And we can certainly share any posts you’ve already done if you make us aware of them.  

Additional Resources 

Information regarding effective social media:  See Part V of: Content Marketing for Nonprofits, by Kivi Leroux Miller, available digitally through the UO Library:  

Pew Research Center also has a wealth of useful data regarding social media users: