Social Media best practices

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 problems for users and have unintended consequences. These best practices can help you run an official University account, such as for a professional school, the College of Arts & Sciences, departments, offices, centers and institutes, and other offices. These best practices are not intended to address personal accounts of students, faculty or staff that are not related to official University business.

Be strategic

Consider why and how you use the social media account. Have a goal. It is better to use one social media site well than to stretch yourself thin across multiple platforms. Contact socialmedia@unc.edu for assistance.

Be accountable

At least two people should share access credentials to the social media account. A supervisor should give approval to starting a social media account.

Be clear

Clearly identify your department’s relationship to Carolina. In the bio or about section of your accounts, link to the University website to further show the connection. Be mindful. The social media account should not harm or disparage Carolina or any University department.

Be respectful

Do not say anything you would not say in person to someone in public. Be polite and constructive.

Be accurate

Ensure your posts are factual. If you make an error, correct it promptly.

Be timely and engaging

Page administrators should post and monitor content regularly. Encourage comments on social media and be prepared to respond.

Add value

Provide your 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.

No political views

Do not post about politics, make political commentary or represent personal political opinions on an official university account.

No confidential or 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 social media sites in which you participate, and pay attention to updates.

Consult University electronic communications policies

UNIVERSITY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION POLICIES cover various aspects of electronic communication, including issues that could have implications for the use of social media. Following are several of those policies:

Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy
Information Classification Standard
Transmission of Sensitive Information Standard
Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct
Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment Under Title IX
Records Management Policy

Comments guidelines

The Office of University Communications posts the following guidelines for comments on the UNC-Chapel Hill Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages. We encourage you to post these guidelines on your own unit’s social media channels when possible. These guidelines also apply to Carolina’s Instagram, Pinterest and other social media channels. For additional guidance about moderating comments and managing users on your social media platforms, please contact socialmedia@unc.edu.

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!