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Social Media Guidelines

Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs and Instagram present an opportunity to enter into a conversation and manage key communications with the university's various constituents. University personnel may use social media tools as a secondary communication channel to supplement the primary communication channel for official University business. Social media requires thoughtful planning of content, goals and resources and should be entered into after appropriate planning.

To assist the campus in understanding best practices and guidelines, the university has established a subcommittee of the University Communicators Group comprised of representatives from a broad scope of campus. 

UNC provides the following guidelines to help departments, programs, groups, etc. participate within social media channels safely and effectively. These guidelines apply to all members of the university community who are using social media to represent a university department, program or other organization.

Recommended Communities

There are many choices of social media communities and it is important to limit involvement to a reasonable number to allow a high quality of attention. At this point, the university recommends the following communities:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn (one university account)

If you are interested in joining another community, please contact the Director of Web Communications.

Information about Snapchat takeovers is available on UNC’s main social media page.

Account Responsibility

By creating or contributing to any social media platform as an employee of the university, administrators agree to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,  U.S. and international copyright law and the published policies, regulations and guidelines of the University of Northern Colorado.  In addition, Terms of Agreement for each social media platform must be followed.

If a page does not meet its intended goal or cannot be properly maintained, it should be deleted. Administrators are responsible for notifying the Director of Web Communications when a social media page no longer exists so that the link can be removed from UNC's official site.

Because of the conversational nature of social media, pages should be checked daily and questions should be responded to in a timely manner. Questions involving another university area should be referred to the appropriate area. Any security or health concerns should be immediately referred to the appropriate UNC department.

Community Terms of Service

Each social media community has a specific rules of conduct and calls them something different, i.e., Facebook's Statement of  Rights and Responsibilities and Twitter's Terms of Service. Owners of an account, must be familiar with and enforce the terms.


A page password must be strong and confidential. Change it frequently, and always change it when staff members with access to the account leave your unit. The reputation of the university is at risk if your account is compromised.

There are also potential security risks with external applications for social media.  Before adding any additional functionality to a site, administrators  should refer to the UNC Social Media portal for references or contact Information Management and Technology.

University Consistency

Social media accounts reflect on your department, program or organization and the University in general and should present a professional look that is consistent with the university image.

All account names should clearly indicate affiliation with the University. Account name formatting differs between social media platforms but here are general guidelines for naming conventions:

  • UnivNorthernColo[department/organization/club name]
  • UNC[department/organization/club name]
  • The top level hashtag for UNC is #UNCBears, please use this hashtag in images and tweets.
  • The UNC logo is reserved as the profile image for the top level university accounts. Other choices could include an image of Northern Vision bear, the University of Northern Colorado entryway signs or a campus image.

Please refer to the University Graphic Standards for guidelines in logo usage.

Inappropriate Content

Inappropriate content includes advertising, endorsement of products, discussion of legal matters affecting the university or political endorsements. Likewise, spam, flaming, personal attacks, and off-topic comments are not permitted and these types of comments should be removed or screened out if comments are reviewed first.

Violation of Regulations

Individuals aware of content in violation of these procedures may contact the person responsible for the page or the university Director of Web Communications. Minor or accidental infractions may be resolved through informal communications.

Users who violate these regulations may be subject to University disciplinary action or referred to appropriate University officials or, when appropriate, law enforcement authorities.