Registration and approval are required before launching a social media account that includes university content. The standards apply to all employees and students of the university, as well as other people (such as volunteers and appointees) who use university computing resources, and they cover all forms of social media. Authorization to present a social media account as an official university activity must come from the vice president with jurisdiction over one’s unit as well as the vice president for University Relations or his/her designee. A departmental administrator should be provided log-in access in order to serve as a back-up when needed.
If you have questions, please contact University Relations for guidance. Also visit Social Media Standards for university guidelines and policy implications.
Register Your Account
You should receive approval or requests for corrections within two weeks.
Usage Guidelines for Senior Administrators
Social media is, like websites, official university communication. So standards have been established to provide for proper and secure usage. Since social media requires approval from the vice president or designee of the unit, the following guidelines have been developed to assist senior administrators in determining the appropriateness and value of social media usage.
- Will the site support a clear business objective that is consistent with the mission and goals of the unit? It is recommended that a written business plan be required for each social media site.
- Is the site manager trained in the proper use of social media? Experience with personal social media does not qualify a person to manage a site focused on accomplishing specific communications goals. Thoughtful, professional posts and responses are critical to protecting the image of your unit and the university.
- Is the site manager familiar with the UF social media standards, which include Web acceptable use policy and UF identity standards?
- Is there sufficient staff time available to manage the site? (Social media is essentially a conversation. It only works if there is regular interaction between posts and comments. The site manager should expect to devote at least an hour a day to keeping the site current, responding to comments and developing engaging content.)
- Could content on the site raise privacy concerns? FERPA, HIPAA and public information law should all be taken into account when posting on social media, and the site manager should be informed in applicable areas of information security.
- Shutting down a website can be difficult. To do so, the administrator must go through the platform company for review and abide by its decision.
Once you have evaluated/approved the request, University Relations will register the site and review it for identity compliance.
Posted in: Usage Guidelines for Senior Administrators
Usage Guidelines for Social Media Managers
Standards have been established to provide for proper and secure usage. Here a few questions every manager should ask:
- Will your site support an objective consistent with the mission and goals of your unit? Since approval is required by your unit VP, it is recommended that a written business plan be provided to assist in making the decision).
- Have you gotten training in the proper use of UF social media? Social media sites intended for unit communications purposes have very different requirements than personal sites. Thoughtful, professional posts and responses are critical to protecting the image of your unit and the university.
- Are you familiar with the UF social media standards, which include Web acceptable use policy and UF identity standards? Your site will need to be in compliance before receiving approval. Please note that your unit might have additional standards and requirements.
- Is there sufficient staff time available to manage the site? As you know, social media is essentially a conversation. Regular interaction between posts and comments is important to the success of the site, and you should expect to devote at least an hour a day to keeping the site current, responding to comments and developing engaging content.
- Could content on the site raise privacy concerns? FERPA, HIPAA and public information law should all be taken into account when posting on social media, and you should be informed in applicable areas of information security before launching a site.
Once your unit VP or designee has evaluated/approved your request, University Relations will register the site and review it for identity compliance.
Posted in: Usage Guidelines for Social Media Managers
When creating an account on a social platform, it is important to follow all suggested image dimensions for site assets to ensure proper display. Also, if available, include mention of the University of Florida in the bio, your location (eg. Gainesville, FL) and a link to your website. Fully populating your account profile allows others to easily discover your account and content. If the platform has title character limits, the letters “UF” should be used.
- https://www.facebook.com/UFPA1 – University of Florida Performing Arts
- https://www.facebook.com/ufalumni – University of Florida Alumni Association
- https://www.facebook.com/UFAdmissions – University of Florida Admissions
The University of Florida athletic logo, trademark, mascot and name are reserved for use by the University Athletic Association and its entities. Do not use without expressed permission from the UAA. This includes use of the word “Gators” as a trademark or as part of another logo.
Maintain consistency with social account naming conventions across accounts whenever possible. Examples:
Be aware that profile photos on social media are often resized. It’s better to upload a larger image so people can see a more discernible image when clicked.
Unlike other platforms, videos on YouTube can (and do) gain views well after their initial post date. Regularly monitor your videos and be aware of any escalations in views.
All accounts are encouraged to friend/fan/follow the major UF account on that platform. For instance, on Facebook, it is highly recommended that your account should become a fan of the main University of Florida Facebook account.
If you have questions about account naming requirements, please contact University Communications for guidance.
Posted in: General