Social Media Best Practices
These industry standards and practices will help you do the best job in managing and maintaining your social media accounts.
In General ...
- Think before you post. The Internet is forever.
- Write in a friendly tone; social media is not a press release.
- Go for quality over quantity.
- Consider using HootSuite or a similar service to manage multiple accounts.
Know the hot button issues for both your unit and for UND. Know who is tapped to offer official comments on those issues and be sure to clear statements you may want to make through them.
When in doubt:
- For your department or unit, contact the head of the unit or your dean’s office.
- For college or school questions, contact your respective communications department/person or your dean’s office.
- For general UND issues, contact Peter Johnson, Division of University & Public Affairs at 701.777.4317.
There are special rules from the NCAA concerning UND athletes and especially prospective athletes. With regards to any use of UND athletes, names, and likeness, please first check with UND’s NCAA compliance officer: Kara Helmig, Assistant Athletic Director, Compliance, 701.777.5585.
Try for at least
2 posts per week.
Pick Your Name Carefully
Make sure to pay attention to the naming of your page or group — this cannot be changed.
Register Your Page
For any new Facebook Fan Pages or Groups needed for official UND purposes, submit a request to identity@UND.edu . Don’t forget to add the UND Web Team as an administrator on your page by sending an administrator invitation to identity@UND.edu . (Learn why this helps you.)
Add a “Favorites” section to your Fan Page that links to all other Official UND Fan Pages. This creates a surfable network for anyone looking at any UND Fan Page. This section also can contain favorites which are not related to UND.
Post a comments policy for your Fan Page. This can be done by adding a Static FBML tab. See UND’s Facebook Comments Policy for an example to copy and edit as needed. Need help? Contact us at identity@UND.edu
Avatars (aka profile pictures) should be 200 pixels square with a title-safe area of 176 pixels square. It can be as tall as needed, but only a square section will show up on feed posts. Please include the UND Flame Logo in your Fan Page’s profile.
Try for at least
3 tweets per week.
Register Your UND Twitter Account
Don’t forget to share the login and password for your official UND Twitter account with the UND Web Team. (Learn why this helps you.)
Choosing a Handle
Keep it short, unique, and meaningful. The number of characters in your handle counts against the 140 character limit per tweet.
If you have a personal Twitter account that you use mainly as a UND persona, include “UND” in your Twitter handle. In this case, it is important to clearly disclose your relationship to UND in your bio.
Bios should reflect what people can expect from the account. If the account is used as more of a broadcast tool than a conversation tool, you should provide an alternate contact handle. For example:
From @myUND’s Twitter page
Updates & conversation about the University of North Dakota. For all the news, try @UNDnews. Behind the tweets: @hbushaw & @peterBjohnson
From the @UNDnews Twitter page
Press releases & news from the University of North Dakota. If you need to contact UND, please see our @myUND twitter account.
Avatars must be 73×73 pixels in size. Please include the UND Flame Logo in your design.
Design background images for the maximum resolution of 1900×1200 pixels, but be careful that your background looks good when viewed in different sizes. To check this, use the Twitter background template and enter your @ Twitter handle. If you would like some easy ideas on color combinations for your profile, check out Colourlovers.
For easy sharing, work out how many characters you have left after reserving space for a re-tweet ("RT") and your handle, and limit your tweets to that number of characters. For example, “RT @myUND ” is 10 characters long, counting the space at the end. So limiting tweets to 130 characters on this account would let other people re-tweet it without shortening the tweet.
Proofread your tweet before sending, even if you are retweeting.
Tips for Shortening Tweets
- Use “&” instead of “and.”
- Condense dates and times and drop any punctuation not needed for context/understanding: “February 9th” becomes “Feb 9”
- Reword with shorter words or abbreviations. Can you drop some text and link out for the details?
- Use Twitter handles to reference other entities. For example, “UND School of Law” would be “@UNDlawschool.” This also adds value to your tweet by giving exposure to the Law School’s Twitter handle and shows up in the Law School’s Twitter account as a mention.
- Use commonly understood, shorter names rather than the full formal name if no Twitter handle is available. For example, use “UND Med School” instead of “UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences.”
- Use a URL shortener for links.
If you have your own channel,
try for at least
3 videos per month.
Keep it short! People lose focus fast. Stick to videos of 2 minutes or less, unless you are posting some kind of instructional video.
Make sure you have good sound and good lighting. Avoid "talking heads" where the entire video consists of one person speaking to the camera.
See "Video Submission 5 Easy Steps" for more guidelines.
Avatars should be 88×88 pixels. Please include the UND Flame Logo when appropriate. A good example of this execution is UND Health and Wellness.
If your unit has a standalone brand image, this can be used instead.
Page titles should start with the main brand acronym, UND. Again, a good example is "UND Health & Wellness".
Want to broadcast video on UND's YouTube.com channel? You can either enlist the services of one of our many UND video providers or do it yourself.
If you're the industrious type, follow UND's 5 easy steps for successful video submission. The UND Video Uploader is open to all UND students, faculty, and staff. You will need your official NDUS User Account credentials in order to log into the application.