Policies + Guidelines

UGA faculty and staff are encouraged to engage in professional social media conversations that support UGA’s reputation and brand. The following policies and guidelines should be reviewed and kept in mind when using social media.

Be Transparent
Represent yourself accurately and be transparent about your role at UGA. Do not speak on behalf of the university. Instead, indicate that your posts represent your personal views and not the opinions of the university. Make it clear by adding “views expressed are my own” in your profile.
Be Thoughtful

Social media provides a place to foster community and conversation. Adding value is good when on-topic and in moderation. Positive and negative content are legitimate parts of any conversation. Admit when you make mistakes and correct inaccurate information. Think before you post. As UGA faculty/staff, be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online networks. By identifying yourself as a member of the university family, you are a reflection of other UGA faculty/staff, managers, donors, etc. There is no such thing as anonymous posts or comments. Be mindful of what is considered appropriate behavior. Anything considered inappropriate offline is likely inappropriate online too.

Be Aware of Liability.

You are responsible for what you post on your own social platforms and on UGA channels. Do not disclose financial or confidential student, faculty, staff, athletic, research or institutional information.

Do not share university‐related information that is not a matter of public record. Do not post or comment about legal matters or when the topic being discussed may be considered an emergency or crisis. Ask the UGA social team for assistance if you are in doubt about whether you should post on a questionable topic.

Follow Existing UGA Electronic Communications Policies

Social media usage at UGA is subject to the same policies that govern all electronic communications. Familiarize yourself with and abide by these policies when posting online.

Managing University Social Accounts

As UGA grows, so does its digital and social footprint. Creating a social account for a school, unit or department is a long-term commitment, and we want to make sure you’ve considered these important questions:

  • What audience you are trying to reach?
  • What are your goals?
  • Do you have a sustainable content plan?
Create a UGA Account

Once you’ve been approved and developed a management strategy, follow these guidelines in creating your account:

  • Name: Page and account names should include “UGA” or “University of Georgia” (ie. @uga[name] University of Georgia Department of [Name]).
  • Badge: UGA-affiliated accounts should have a branded badge as the profile image. Customizable branded badges can be downloaded here.
  • Register: Email the UGA social team to let us know you’ve created an account so we can add you to the list of campus social media managers. Plan to attend Social Media Users Group (SMUG) meetings every quarter.

Please contact the UGA social team with questions about creating new UGA-affiliated social media accounts.

Understand the Platforms
Learn as much as you can about the functionality of all of the platforms you intend on leveraging for social media communications. Stay informed of new and emerging features so you can use the platform to its full potential.
Stick to UGA Brand Standards
Remember that you represent UGA. Be familiar with our visual standards when creating your social media profiles and posting content. If you have questions about brand or editorial guidelines, contact the Division of Marketing and Communications.
Get Approval to Use Trademarks
Be sure you have permission to use third party images and other materials that you, your department or the university does not directly own. For example, if you step outside on campus and take photos of a building, you are allowed to use this photo on social media, provided people’s faces are not clearly depicted in them. If people are prominently featured and identifiable, you must obtain permission from them to use their image.
Engage Community Regularly

Social media is a means for UGA, its fans and followers to have authentic conversations. It’s important for you to establish a regular routine for monitoring your pages for comments and messages from followers. Engagement will be the most telling metric that your audience is excited about your content and wants to communicate with you about what you’re sharing. Before you engage, think through how engaging can be aligned with the goals of your organization and respond in the appropriate voice and tone.

Refer to Guidelines for Common Responses for more assistance.

Social Engagement and Moderation Guide

Amplify Emergency Communications
In times of an emergency, such as inclement weather or a campus crisis, information needs to reach all the members of the university community as quickly as possible. It is important for all of UGA’s social channels to work in unison to amplify the messages coming from official university communications. Make sure to regularly check the main UGA accounts for messages that need amplification and retweet or share those messages on your channel to ensure safety and awareness.
Example

Monitor and Moderate Comments

You are responsible for monitoring and moderating posts or comments on your page from other users. UGA accounts reserve the right to remove any posts for any reason and will delete posts that:

  • include violent, obscene, profane, hateful or racist comments;
  • use offensive or inappropriate language;
  • are offensive, denigrating or out of context;
  • threaten or defame any person or organization;
  • disclose personally identifiable information, such as addresses or phone numbers;
  • include copyrighted material;
  • would be considered spam;
  • suggest or encourage illegal activity;
  • solicit, advertise or endorse a third‐party business or service;
  • are multiple successive off‐topic posts by a single user; or
  • are repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users.
social engagement and moderation guide

When a post violates one or more of these, you have the responsibility and discretion to remove the offending posts. You may block visitors who repeatedly violate these guidelines. If you believe a post demonstrates a credible threat, immediately notify UGA Police at (706) 542‑5813. If a student, family member, alumnus or other person posts complaints about service or other issues, review and follow the Social Networking Response Guide. (See Reference Work.)

Avoid the temptation to remove posts that are merely critical, angry or represent a different opinion. Respond to negative comments professionally and provide any additional information that may help resolve the issue or correct the misinformation.

Strategy + Best Practices

Our approach to social media is comprehensive and built on best practices in the industry. We keep it straight-forward, and that’s effective.

  1. Tell the UGA Story: Deliver engaging, high-quality content to our followers to both entertain and inform about our commitment to our Bulldog family and the state of Georgia.
  2. Grow and Protect the Brand: Build awareness of the UGA brand through engagement efforts and visual and tone consistency while participating in the social conversation surrounding the University of Georgia.
  3. Manage Our Digital Footprint: Support social media managers across campus and advise on maintaining UGA-affiliated social account creation. Offer resources for best practices and cross-campus collaboration on our social channels.

We are happy to consult on social media strategy for units or campaigns; just email the UGA social team.

Best Practices

Know your audience

Identify your target audience and which platform is best to reach them. Consider the types of posts, best time of day, and tone and voice for sharing content with this audience.

Always Include a Visual

Posts with a visual element receive 2.3x more engagement. Photo. Video. GIF. Emoji. Make sure you’re including some sort of image in your social post.

Track your data

All social networks offer the ability to download data into an excel format. Review follower growth, post impressions and engagement data regularly to identify content trends and areas to improve. We suggest reviewing this data monthly or quarterly so you can make changes to your content strategy.

Contact Marketing and Communications for help developing a monthly dashboard to track your data.

Engage with followers regularly

Social media humanizes your brand when you have authentic conversations with your audience. Set aside time to answer messages and review comments daily. Review our guidelines for response flowchart.

Platform Guide

Platform Audience Best for
Facebook All Humanizing brands through storytelling. High-quality visuals and conversational engagement with audiences. Photo and video use is extremely important, especially live video and interactive panorama photography. Make sure photo/video is top quality. Hashtags are not often used. When possible, leverage tagging of followers or other pages in photos or posts.
Instagram 18-25yr olds High-quality visual storytelling, including campus scenery and nostalgic photos. Photo and video must be compelling. Hashtags and emojis are used frequently. Tag followers and locations in photos when possible.
Twitter All Showcasing influence and relevancy via real-time sharing of news and trending topics. Tweets should always include a photo. Hashtags and emojis are used frequently. Tag accounts in photos when possible.
LinkedIn 20-55yr old business professionals Business-oriented news and social and economic impact on the job force, such as job placement and business partnerships. Impact and relevance are important. Tag major businesses when possible. Leverage influential alumni and use of groups.
YouTube All Hosting and archiving videos. Leverage the description area for SEO perks.

Hashtags

Hashtags are used to bring together messages based on themes and topics. These are the hashtags supported by the main UGA brand accounts. Using these hashtags will increase the shareability of your post among other UGA accounts, as well as increase findability of the UGA brand.

Brand and Campus
#CommitTo #CommitToGeorgia #UGA #UGA[year] #UGAServes #VisitUGA #AlwaysADawg
Athletics
#CommitToTheG #GoDawgs #AttackTheDay #ATD #TheGeorgiaWay #DawgNation #DGD
Events
#UGAHomecoming #Bulldog100 #40under40 #WelcomeUGA #UGAThankU

Social Media Ambassadors

The University of Georgia has a team of around 30 student social media ambassadors, or Digital Dawgs. These students represent UGA and present a behind-the-scenes look at the student experience on campus and in Athens from official UGA-branded Instagram accounts. While their content is not dictated by the Division of Marketing and Communications, our team is in frequent communication with the students and offers suggestions of events on campus to cover or initiatives to highlight. If you ever feel there is an event you’d like shared with the Digital Dawgs, email that information to the UGA social team for consideration.

Campus communicators are encouraged to connect with the ambassador(s) from their area of campus and repurpose their content on the school/college/unit’s social media accounts. While we try to ensure every aspect of campus is represented among the students, it is possible there may not be a student from your area.

Social Media Account Directory

The Division of Marketing and Communications manages the official UGA brand accounts across these social networks:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
YouTube
Vimeo
Giphy

UGA schools, units, departments and athletic teams maintain their own social accounts. A complete list of UGA-affiliated accounts is available in our A-Z Index.

Downloads and Resources

Social Media Profile Badges

All UGA-affiliated social media pages should have branded icons. For assistance uploading your profile badge, call the UGA social team at (706) 542‑9731.

Social Media Icon Templates

UGA Giphy Channel

Giphy is an online database for short, looping videos—commonly known as ‘GIFs’—that can be used on Facebook and Twitter, as well as within Instagram stories and text messages.

We have a University of Georgia brand channel on Giphy to host UGA-themed GIFs. We are constantly developing new and timely GIFs that can be used by our social audiences to elevate recognition of the UGA brand.