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Social Media Guidelines

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CSULB continually explores how social media contributes to its no barriers approach to life and learning and how it supports inclusive excellence, entrepreneurship, innovation, the University’s mission and strategic planning. It is in CSULB’s interest to use social media as a platform for knowledge sharing, interaction and idea exchange.

The use of social media also introduces risks to the University, such as compliance with regulatory requirements, reputational damage, information leakage, malware attacks, copyright infringement and privacy breaches. Therefore, although it is vital as a communication and information sharing platform, we need to be cognizant of the benefits and challenges of social media.

While we might not be able to address all the challenges associated with social media usage, we hope these guidelines (PDF) will assist faculty, staff and students to plan, setup, manage and secure the campus’s social media sites.

Before creating a new account, please secure the approval of your manager and that you read the school’s guidelines. All official university social media sites must be approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications and added to the University’s social media directory.  In addition, all such sites must conform to the Office of Marketing and Communications’ CSULB editorial and brand style guidelines. This will allow the University to maintain a collective consistency with its official website and social media sites.

The University will list publicly all of its officially recognized social media sites in the near future.

Then notify the Marketing and Communications team that you plan to establish a page so that we can add it to our social media director

By creating your own presence, you should be prepared to maintain it and keep it updated, as you would with a department web page. CSULB presences in social media are considered to be an extension of the official website, and most guidelines that apply to the website will also apply to your social media accounts. 

Before deciding if your group, college, office or administrative department needs a separate social media platform, consider using CSULB's primary social media presence.

If you have information you would like posted through CSULB's social media, please contact us to request coverage. This includes posting messages about an upcoming event in Facebook or to Twitter or Instagram.

Account Ownership

Accounts created to promote any university campaign, club, organization, program, college, department or office are property of the university and must be passed over to the university in the event of separation.

Naming Conventions For Social Accounts

When creating an account it is important to brand it as a university entity. Whenever possible, please adhere to these naming styles when selecting social media identities.  

  • CSULB ‘Group Name’ for Facebook
  • CSULBGroupName or CSULBGroup_Name for Instagram and Twitter.
  • If that is not possible, please follow these guidelines:
    • If space constraints exist on a site, use "CSULB" as the first letters in the name (e.g., "CSULBASI," "CSULB_ASI").

CSULB Facebook profile icon

Profile Pictures, Avatars and Banners

If you feel your account needs assistance in branding your social media presence, our digital team is here to assist with imagery, banners and profile pictures that reflect you. Please reach out for more information.

Hashtags

CSULB social media uses hashtags considerately. Our adopted hashtags are used in an effort to provide unity and context in our posts. Please use these within their outlined parameters. Here, a sampling of some of the most common:

#CSULB General usage for identifying CSULB content if the tweet or post needs more CSULB identifiable branding.

#NoBarriers Used to promote the school’s brand

#gobeach Used generally to call out accomplishments or unique experiences at CSULB.

#backtolb Utilized during the 2-3 weeks of the semester to commemorate the start of Spring and Fall terms.

#gobeach18 Used to celebrate and tag the moments leading up to and through Commencement.

Additional hashtags are to be used sparingly. When used appropriately, hashtags can be a powerful and effective way to group activity and tell a story and make content searchable. Tips for using hashtags effectively:

  • Shorter is better. Create something that’s easy to remember, short to type, and will have a long shelf life.
  • Limit use of event-specific hashtags. As tempting as it might be to create a new hashtag for every event utilizing a hashtag that works over a long period of time will result in more activity and sharing.
  • Avoid using too many hashtags, too many dilutes your message. Try to limit yourself to three hashtags per tweet, less whenever possible.

Content & Goals

The goals of your social media efforts should be to connect with your intended audiences, start conversations, and build community and relationships. It is not just a tool to broadcast or publish.

Be authentic, transparent and honest.

Your content should always be prepared with your audience in mind. Make it easy for your audience to have a good experience.

Questionable Content

Try to reply to both pressing and constructive feedback and questions. You should also make a point to respond to disgruntled feedback when appropriate. Apologizing, offering up a solution, or even just offering up the opportunity to discuss the concern can go a long way. However, speech that is obscene, threatening, abusive or illegal in any manner, however, is unacceptable and must be immediately removed.

As administrator, it is your responsibility to identify the offending posts and report the user to the social media platform administrators. If the situation is serious enough, alert campus police. You can choose to take a screen capture of the offending materials for future reference.