UCLA Social Media Guidelines
UCLA’s Social Media Guidelines are intended to provide support and guidance for UCLA departments and organizations in the management of their UCLA social media channels and activity online.
When you explore and engage in social media communities for University activities, it is important that you do so only at a level where you feel comfortable. The best advice is to approach online worlds in the same way you do the physical one — by using sound judgment and common sense, by adhering to UCLA’s values, and by following UCLA’s principles of community, UC diversity statement, UC statement of ethical values and standards of ethical conduct and all other applicable policies.
Be honest about who you are and fully disclose any affiliation you have with UCLA. It is never acceptable to deceive people. State your relationship with UCLA from the outset, e.g., “Hi, I’m Joe Bruin and I work for UCLA marketing….” Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and be cautious about disclosing personal information.
Be respectful of the diversity of our fans/enthusiasts — all individuals, races, religions and cultures. How you conduct yourself in the online social media space not only reflects on you — it is also a direct reflection on UCLA. The nature of social media often gravitates toward a more casual and relaxed tone, but it’s important to keep your communications professional, just as you would strive to do in emails or other business messages.
Follow recommended standards
All UCLA schools, divisions, departments, programs and members of the UCLA community should do their best to follow recommended standards when setting up new accounts for Facebook and Twitter, and should strive to adhere to UCLA’s brand guidelines.
Let the subject matter experts respond
It is important that any information you post or respond to has all the correct facts and information. There will be times when specific questions are asked that may be outside your area of knowledge or expertise. Unless you are the online spokesperson for a particular subject, avoid the temptation to respond yourself. Instead, try and direct these questions to the appropriate channels to which the question is referring.
For example, if you receive a question regarding admissions, an appropriate response would be, “Hi, XXXX. You can find more information for prospective students, including how UCLA selects its freshman class, on the Undergraduates Admissions website at http://ucla.in/aOrW8v.”
Handling inappropriate posts
It is important to remember that everyone has the right to share his/her opinions, whether positive or negative. However, there will be times when appropriate actions are needed in response to particular posts. Your first instinct should not be to delete a post because you disagree with it. If possible, use the opportunity to solve a problem or generate a productive discussion. UCLA has created a helpful response guide to help you determine how to handle posts.
While UCLA supports free speech activities, UCLA social media sites are for official University activities and must comply with University policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. For any post that involves the promotion of violence, or is are believed to be discriminatory, harassing, defamatory or obscene, do the following:
- Do not respond to the post.
- Print and save a copy of the post for your records. Include the date when it was originally posted and who posted it.
- Notify your immediate supervisor.
- Consult with the Office of the Campus Counsel as to appropriateness of removal of the post and taking further action.
Any advertising, promotion or overtly favorable acknowledgement or endorsement of third-party products and services is not permitted. For detailed information, please refer to Guidelines for Advertising & Other Forms of Acknowledgement on the Web. Many additional policies and legal requirements can apply if you will be using social media for purposes such as human subjects research, fundraising, political, whistleblower or volunteer activity. Please be sure to understand these requirements first.
When in doubt, do not post
Members of the UCLA community are personally responsible for their words and actions. As online spokespeople, you must ensure that your posts are completely accurate and not misleading, and that they do not reveal non-public information about UCLA. Exercise sound judgment and common sense, and if there is any doubt, DO NOT POST. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community, but it’s not okay to disclose anything that contains confidential, proprietary, personal or private information about UCLA, its employees, students, affiliates, vendors or suppliers.
Respect copyright laws
It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including UCLA’s own copyrights and brands. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.
Use a spell-checker. The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a great downfall of social media. The time to edit or reflect must be self-imposed. If you are uncertain about a post, take some time to identify any questions before publishing. You may wish to have someone else review it so that you have an outside opinion.
We encourage you to support each other’s social efforts and collaborate whenever possible to show solidarity among all UCLA schools, divisions, departments and programs and share content when it is appropriate across your social media channels.
As always please refer to our Brand Guidelines on all matters of voice, tone and appropriate use of graphics and logos.
Who to Contact
If you have any additional questions or need help, please contact Marketing & Special Events, Digital.