Social media platforms are valuable tools for sharing information about Carolina and engaging with the University community. At the same time, social media can pose unanticipated problems for users and have unintended consequences.
The best practices described below are designed to assist staff and faculty who manage an official University account, such as for a professional school, department, office, center or institute. These best practices are not intended to address personal accounts of students, faculty or staff that are unrelated to official University business.
Consider the purpose of the social media account. Have a goal. It is better to use one social media site well than to stretch resources across multiple platforms. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in determining the best platform for a specific audience or goal.
At least two people should share access credentials to the social media account. A supervisor should give approval to start a social media account.
Clearly identify the department, center or institute’s relationship to Carolina. In the bio or about section of the account, link to the University website to further show the connection. Be mindful of the relationship; the social media account should not harm or disparage Carolina or any University department.
Do not post anything that is not appropriate to say in public. Be polite and constructive.
Ensure all posts are factual. Errors should be corrected promptly.
Be Timely and Engaging
Page administrators should post and monitor content regularly. Encourage comments on social media and be prepared to respond.
Provide the audience with useful, relevant information: news they can use, answers to their questions, insights that inform, photos that strike a chord, stories that inspire or items that will make them laugh.
Avoid Political Content
Do not post about politics, make political commentary or represent personal political opinions on an official University account.
Do Not Post Confidential and Proprietary Information
Students, faculty and staff should not post confidential or proprietary information about Carolina or University community members. Follow applicable campus policies, as well as state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws.
Know the Rules
Learn the terms of service and policies of the relevant social media sites and pay attention to updates.
Consult University Electronic Communication Policies
Be familiar with the University’s electronic communication policies, which cover issues that could have implications for the use of social media.
The Office of University Communications posts the following guidelines for comments on the UNC-Chapel Hill Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages. These guidelines also apply to Carolina’s Instagram, Pinterest and other social media channels and should be posted on all University-related social media channels whenever possible. For additional guidance about moderating comments and managing users on social media platforms, email questions to email@example.com.
UNC-Chapel Hill’s social media comments guidelines:
Thank you for liking the page of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This page highlights information about the people and programs at Carolina. Consistent with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, and the North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act, we encourage your comments and opinions as they relate to our posts.
This page is actively monitored for relevance. Carolina reserves the right to remove any comments that are not related to the particular post, make unsupported accusations, contain ad-hominem attacks, use obscene language or images, are blatant spam, contain advertisements, or contain inappropriate personal information or sensitive information. Repeated violation of these guidelines or behavior that substantially disrupts the maintenance of this page could result in a user being blocked from the page. Thanks for keeping the page enjoyable for everyone. Go Tar Heels!
To view and download official University social media assets, including profile and banner images, visit the Downloads page.
Social Media Directory
Visit the University’s Social Media Directory to explore the variety of accounts that represent Carolina in our online community.
If you have questions about using social media to represent the University, email firstname.lastname@example.org.