Social media is an important part of how we communicate with students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders.
It gives us the opportunity to engage in conversations with these audiences about what is important to them, and we can share current initiatives, promote news and celebrate accomplishments.
General UND Social Media Policies
- Notify the Social Media Manager of all new UND social media accounts by emailing socialmedia@UND.edu.
- Your account's affiliation with UND must be clearly indicated. Use "UND" rather than spelling out University of North Dakota.
- Your account must use the UND flame logo (UND Athletics accounts excluded).
- Student organizations are not official entities of the University and may not represent themselves as such. All student organization logo requirements must be followed on social media accounts.
- #UNDproud is the official hashtag for University of North Dakota.
- You must post on your accounts regularly.
- Although the UND Web Team will not police your social media account, you're expected to refrain from disparaging, harassing or disrespectful comments. Keep it polite.
UND does not have access to your UND social media accounts. This means if your account credentials are lost, we can not help you. You will need to work with the platform directly to regain access.
Certain social media platforms provide the opportunity to share light-hearted content. Although a more informal approach can be very engaging for certain audiences, it should still be consistent with the appropriate areas of the UND brand. Remember, when you post from an account associated with UND, you are representing the entire university.
What brand standards should I use?
The following chart should help you decide what brand standards to follow based on your content and audience.
|UND Brand||Enhanced Social Brand Standard||Custom Content|
|Official Campus-wide Campaigns and Events||X|
|Official UND Announcements||X|
|Prospective Student Content (Take-overs)||X|
|Current Student Content||X|
|Student Involvement and Student Orgs||X|
Types of Social Brand Standards
Follow the messaging, design, photography and video standards listed in the UND Brand Book.
Enhanced Social Media
Follow brand standards related to UND colors, logos and our brand personality and voice. Enhanced standards include:
Different shapes and textures can be used but the final graphic should feel modern and clean. Brand graphic elements should not be mixed with enhanced graphics. Brand fonts can be used but are not required.
Only minimal editing is allowed when posting photos to social media (such as lightening, sharpening, or minor color adjustments). Do not increase saturation in photos or add any blur.
Acceptable Social Media Graphics and Photography
These examples show social media graphics that use different shapes, editing, effects, textures and unique fonts yet follow brand standards related to color, personality and tone.
Unacceptable Social Media Graphics and Photography
These examples show social media graphics that use different shapes, editing, effects, textures and unique fonts but include brand graphic elements. Mixing enhanced graphics and brand graphics is not permitted.
Does not need to follow UND brand standards. However, if an official UND logo or mark is used, all logo standards still apply.
A vertical unit logo can be used as your units Facebook profile photo. If you do not have a vertical unit logo, one can be requested using the Unit Logo Request Form (link to form).
Green Facebook Profile
White Facebook Profile
Social Media Best Practices
These industry standards and practices will help you do the best job in managing and maintaining your social media accounts.
Tips for Using Social Media
- Think before you post. The Internet is forever. Congress began archiving ALL tweets in 2010.
- Write in a conversational tone. Social media is not a press release.
- Choose quality over quantity and be platform-specific. Curate what you share specifically to your social network and audience. You don't have to be on every platform; you need to choose one based on your audience and messaging and use it well.
- Contact us at socialmedia@UND.edu to discuss options for social media management and monitoring.
Algorithms show the most relevant content from the accounts your users engage with most.
Because social media algorithms are primarily based on engagement, the more frequently people like, share and click your posts, the more likely your posts will appear in their feed.
Increase Engagement on Social Media
- Ask questions
- Tag users
- Ask people to turn on post notifications
- Ask for engagement
- Pay for ads
There are special rules from the NCAA concerning both current and prospective UND athletes. With regards to any use of UND athletes, names and likeness, please first check with UND's NCAA compliance officer.
Popular Social Media Sites
Try for at least 5 posts per week.
Content is King
Good content is:
- Strategically timed
- Concise and to the point in a friendly, conversational tone
- Supported by photos, videos or links when appropriate and available
- Original and relevant to your department or brand
Planning your content:
- Create a content calendar to plan messaging in advance. Most social media management software has a built-in content calendar.
- Ask questions or prompt conversations with your audience.
- Designate specific content creators in your department.
Facebook Page vs. Facebook Group
- Facebook Pages are what you're probably most familiar with for a company or business. Pages operate similarly to personal profiles and accessible by the public at all times.
- As you may have noticed from personal use of Facebook, not every post published by a Page will show up in people's news feeds, due to the algorithm.
- Facebook Groups can be attached to a Facebook Page, and it is recommended that all UND-affiliated Facebook Groups be linked to a relevant UND-affiliated Page. The administrators can set up the group to have open membership, membership upon approval, or membership by invitation only. Once someone becomes a member of that group, they can start posting to the group.
- Facebook Groups are maintained by the group members. The creator of the group will have administrative privileges to add other members of the group as administrators. The administrators can set up the group to have open membership, membership upon approval, or membership by invitation only.
- Once someone becomes a member of that group, they can start posting to the group. Members will receive a notification every time another member posts in the group unless they modify their notification settings. The group administrators' role is to moderate the members' posts and to enforce rules as needed.
- Facebook groups are meant for niche audiences smaller groups or when you would like to provide a forum for your community to connect.
Which is right for you?
Whether to start a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group depends on what you're trying to achieve.
- Do you want to use Facebook to make updates and announcements about your organization?
- Do you want to primarily produce your own content and post updates?
- Do you want to establish an official, public presence for your organization?
If so, you may want to start a Facebook Page.
- Do you have a community who is looking for a place to connect with each other and have discussions?
- Do you want your Facebook to be mostly populated by member content?
- Do you want to increase the likelihood that your audience will be notified of your content?
If so, you may want to start a Facebook Group.
Pick Your Name Carefully
Use "UND" instead of "University of North Dakota" as part of your name. Make sure to pay attention to the naming of your page or group — names for pages cannot be changed easily once you reach more than 200 likes.
Register Your Page
For any new Facebook Pages or Groups needed for official UND purposes, submit a request to socialmedia@UND.edu. Don't forget to add the UND Web Team as an administrator on your page by sending an administrator invitation to socialmedia@UND.edu.
Post a comments policy for your Fan Page. See UND's Facebook Comments Policy for an example to copy and edit as needed. Need help? Contact us at socialmedia@UND.edu.
Profile and Cover Images
Profile pictures should include the UND flame logo.
Your Page's profile picture:
- Displays at 160x160 pixels on your Page on computers, 128x128 pixels on smartphones, 36x36 pixels on most feature phones and will appear throughout Facebook at 32 pixels x 32 pixels
- Will be cropped to fit a square
Cover images do not need to include the UND flame logo. If you are using text as part of your cover image, please take into consideration that portions of your image will be covered by the profile image when viewed on mobile devices.
Your Page's cover photo:
- Displays at 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones
- Doesn't display on feature phones
- Must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall
- For best results, upload an RGB file less than 100 KB
Your Page's cover video:
- You can now upload video as your cover on Facebook
- Videos can be 20-90 seconds and will loop on your Page
- Videos should be at least 820 pixels x 312 pixels
- Cover videos should avoid interviews
For profile pictures and cover photos with the UND logo or text, you may get a better result by using a PNG file.
Try for at least 10 tweets per week.
Choosing a Handle
Keep it short, unique and meaningful. Include UND in the handle for an official UND-affiliated account.
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. For example:
From @UofNorthDakota's Twitter account
The official Twitter account for UND, featuring updates, news and conversation about North Dakota's Flagship University. We are Leaders in Action. #UNDproud
From @UNDfootball's Twitter account
News, in-game scores, notes and other official information from the University of North Dakota football team.
If your College, Department or Program has a specific hashtag, it's a good idea to identify it in your bio.
Profile images must be 400×400 pixels in size with a maximum file size of 10 MB. Please include the UND flame logo in your design.
Header images should be 1500×500 pixels.
Keep your tweets short and whenever possible add a photo or video. Tweets with media attached are shown to have double to triple the engagement rate over tweets that are text only.
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, such as bit.ly
Unique photo and/or video content is a must if you have Instagram. Your Instagram account should not be used as a bulletin board with poster announcements, events, etc. For example:
When you post, use features like location tagging and hashtags to increase engagement. Tagging your location on posts adds them to the location's feed, boosting discovery and reach. Tagging other accounts on your posts will add your photo to the tagged section of their profile.
- Instagram Stories allow users to post ephemeral photo and video content that disappears after 24 hours. The temporary nature of Instagram Stories encourages users to post content as it's captured, rather than the traditionally curated content sometimes posted.
- Stories are a great option for behind-the-scenes content or coverage.
- Stories should be shot vertical and will display full screen at 1,125 pixels x 750 pixels. It's best to post your story within a small timeframe so viewers can consume it in its entirety rather than in bits and pieces throughout the day.
- To keep viewers engaged, post a variety of content from photos to boomerangs and add personality with text and stickers.
How to make an Instagram Story:
- Tap on your profile photo in the upper left corner of the Instagram homepage to access the camera.
- On the camera screen, there are five capturing modes to choose from:
- Live — Broadcast live video to your followers.
- Normal — Tap the 'record' button to take a photo or hold it down to take a video for up to 15 seconds.
- Boomerang — Record a burst of photos that loop forward and backward (similar to a GIF).
- Rewind — Record video that will play in reverse.
- Hands-free — Record a video without holding down the record button.
To post content from your Camera Roll, swipe down on the camera screen. Only content saved to your Camera Roll in the past 24 hours can be selected. You can screenshot older content to get around this restriction.
Enhance your post by using the additional features on Instagram Stories:
- Links — Only verified users are able to add links to their posts. Viewers can swipe up or tap "see more" to visit these links without leaving Instagram. It is not currently possible to request verification from Instagram.
- Filters — Swipe left or right to cycle through available filters.
- Stickers — Tap the sticky note in the upper right corner of your screen to add stickers.
- Text — Tap anywhere or tap "Aa" in the upper right corner of your screen to add text. You can tag other accounts in your story by typing "@" before their Instagram handle. Viewers will then be able to click on the tagged profile from your Story.
- Drawing — Tap the marker in the upper right corner to draw
To remove elements of your post, tap and drag them to the trashcan icon at the bottom of the screen. To delete your entire post, tap the "X" in the upper left corner. To post to your Story, tap the "+" button in the lower left corner.
Open your story and swipe up on the screen to see how many people have viewed each frame of your story.
To save your entire Instagram Story to your Camera, open it and tap the arrow in the upper right corner.
Video is a great way to showcase campus, your department or program. UND uses Youtube and Vimeo channels to host video content. If you have your own channel, try for at least 4 videos per month. Make sure you have good sound and good lighting. Avoid "talking heads" where the entire video consists of one person speaking to the camera.
Have video for UND's video channels? Contact marketing@UND.edu for more information.
Profile pictures should be 88×88 pixels. Please include the UND Flame Logo when appropriate.If your unit has a standalone brand image, this can be used instead.
Page titles should start with UND, followed by your department/unit title.
YouTube is the number one video hosting platform, the second largest search engine and the preferred social media platform for teenagers.
The pros of YouTube:
- Ability to target and serve our messages to large audience
- Searchable via Google and displays near top of search results
- Users can link to UND.edu within the video using cards and annotations
The cons of YouTube:
- May contain advertisements
- Auto-suggest allows for non-UND content to be suggested at the end of a video
When to use YouTube:
- Your target is prospective students
- Styled video snippet or landing pages, where video is in lightbox on UND.edu and user will likely close video before seeing recommendations
- For social media posts
Vimeo allows for an ad-free video experience.
The pros of Vimeo:
- Custom video player with UND green
- Ad free
The cons of Vimeo:
- Not likely to appear in search results
- No ability to track and retarget marketing
When to use Vimeo:
- Embedded on site using basic video snippet or HTML, where user may play video in background and scroll for additional content
- If Youtube version has an ad
- When target is general UND campus
Snapchat is used for entertainment. The UND Web Team advises against creating a Snapchat account for your individual department or unit. If you'd like to discuss taking over the University's official Snapchat account for a period of time, contact us at socialmedia@UND.edu.
Custom Snapchat filters are used on campus for various events. If you'd like to request a filter, please contact us at socialmedia@UND.edu.
TikTok is a destination for vertical, short-form videos that are authentic, entertaining and appeal to a young audience.
To start, you can either film something using the platform’s built-in camera or upload a pre-recorded video. On TikTok, the music or sound you pair with your video is just as valuable as the visuals. You can also add text, stickers, and even voice effects to enhance your content.
Keep it Real
Unlike Instagram and YouTube, TikTok users respond best to content that is not highly produced or perfectly curated. Your content should feel real, engaging, and creative. When creating content for TikTok, the primary goal should always be to entertain. Don’t educate, don’t inform, and certainly don’t be boring.
Follow the Trends
Keep up with the sounds, hashtags, dances or challenges that are trending in the app. With your brand and audience in mind, put your own spin on a popular theme to showcase your personality and maximize your chances of exposure.
Hashtags are imperative to gain an initial following and are also an important way users discover content.
- Use WordPress for your platform. Set up a new WordPress blog or request access to a blog by submitting a support ticket through UND Web Support.
- UND follows the University Website policy for the management of blogs. UND will deactivate blogs that haven't had activity in over a year.
- UND recommends moderating all blog comments prior to posting to prevent spam. If you enable comments on your website, you will have to deal with spammers.