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Social Media Guidelines

Our social media presence plays an integral role in allowing our stakeholders to engage with our brand.

CSULB’s central social media channels include:



Creating Social Media Accounts

Before creating a new account, please secure the approval of your manager and read these guidelines. In addition, all university social-media channels must support CSULB editorial and visual standards.

Keep in mind that having one or more social accounts will require a daily investment of time in planning, monitoring, creating, and curating content. Using one of the university's centrally managed channels to share periodic information may meet your needs. If you have information you would like posted through CSULB's centrally managed social media channels, please contact us to request coverage.

Account Ownership

Appropriate protocols should be in place to ensure that account-management information does not live with only one person in the event that the employee leaves the university.

Naming Conventions For Social Accounts

When creating an account, it is important to name it as a University entity. Whenever possible, please adhere to these naming styles:

  • CSULB ‘Group Name’ for Facebook
  • CSULBGroupName or CSULBGroupName 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").

Profile Pictures, Avatars and Banners

If you feel your account needs assistance, please reach out to Strategic Communications for more information.

Hashtags

CSULB social media uses hashtags conservatively. 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 university's tagline.

#GoBeach Used generally to call out accomplishments or unique experiences at CSULB. Also often used to cheer on Long Beach State Athletics teams and athletes. 

#BeachGrad Used during commencement season.

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 can result in more activity and sharing.
  • Avoid using too many hashtags. Too many can dilute your message. Try to limit it to three hashtags per post, 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.

Responding to User Content

Try to respond to questions and both positive and negative feedback, when appropriate. Engaging in meaningful dialogue, offering up a solution or even just offering up the opportunity to discuss the concern can go a long way.

However, user conduct should be consistent with the platform's Terms of Service. Content inconsistent with Terms of Service (generally, content that is obscene, threatening, abusive, or illegal) may be removed. For example, on Facebook posted content inconsistent with the platform's Community Standards may be deleted. We may also delete unrelated business solicitations or other commercial advertising. 

If there is a social media post that causes heightened concern, alert Campus Police. You can choose to take a screen capture of the post(s).

Standards of Conduct

Content should be developed and curated with guidance from your manager, and reflect good professional judgment.

Any applicable employee policies and procedures should be followed in the managing University social media content.

If you use social media as an individual, it is likely a best practice to keep your personal and professional social-media accounts separate.

No Endorsements  

University social media sites must not be used to endorse third-party products, services and entities. Please refer to the California State University Contracts and Procurement Policy's Fair and Prohibited Competition, Prohibited Practices for more details. 

Copyright Issues 

State, federal and international copyright laws protect certain types of creative works that have been reduced to tangible form including, but not limited to, poems, literary works, motion pictures, videos, choreography, musical compositions, sound recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, computer software, radio and television broadcasts, newspaper and magazine articles and designs.

Such copyright laws protect the copyright holders from various forms of infringement, such as reproduction (even for educational use in the classroom), control over derivative works, distribution, public performance and "moral rights" such as attribution. Because of the high likelihood of copyright infringement claims, copyrighted works must not be used on the University’s social media without prior written permission from the copyright holder.

Although the concept of  “fair use” of copyrighted material permits in very limited situations minor copying and distribution without permission of the copyright holder, “fair use” is not subject to precise analysis and therefore must not be used as a justification for using copyrighted material on the University’s social media without prior assessment. Copyright issues and questions associated with instructional use of social media must be directed to the CSULB University Library

Site Security

All University social media sites must comply with the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) security practices. DoIT developed best practices specifically to strengthen social media site security. 

Confidential Information

All University social media posts are governed by applicable state and federal laws including, but not limited to, FERPAHIPAACalifornia medical privacy lawsNCAA regulations and University regulations and policies. 

Academic Senate Policy Governing Access To and Use of CSULB Computing Resources, as well as the University’s policy on Acceptable Use of CSULB Electronic Communications Systems and Services must be followed. 

Students’ education records must be protected as required by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). This is a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. Information pertaining to an applicant, current student or former student must not be placed on a social media site without the review and approval of the campus FERPA officer for compliance. 

Medical information is protected from public disclosure under both state and federal privacy laws and must not be disclosed on a social media site without the express prior written permission from the person about whom the medical information pertains, including disclosures pertaining to the medical condition or injuries of student athletes. 

Social media is also an area where common practices can impact an institution with respect to NCAA regulations, particularly regarding prospective student-athletes. The Long Beach State University Athletics Office of Compliance for our athletics program must be consulted in advance to ensure compliance with NCAA rules and regulations. For example, a post about a prospective student-athlete the University is recruiting for basketball or a post involving a current student-athlete endorsing a product or service outside of the University are not allowed under NCAA rules. Please refer to the Long Beach State University Athletics Office of Compliance for more information.