Social Media User’s Guide

Best practices, tips, and guidelines for social media managers and creators at the University of Rochester.

Why social media?

Social media tools can be fun, exciting channels to connect with the people you care about and who share common interests — current students, prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff. The University of Rochester supports your use of these tools, and is making these guidelines available to help you use them most effectively to meet your goals.

President Sarah Mangelsdorf

Getting started

Social media allows its audiences to create connections with each other, with those connections – that social network – becoming as important or more important than the actual content on the site. Social media is NOT about pushing out your content as you would in a printed piece like a brochure, or even on a traditional website. It is about allowing our users to have conversations with each other and with the University as an institution around content that if shareable, relevant, and engaging.

Get started creating social content for the University
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Know your social platforms

The number and variety of social networking platforms changes constantly. Here is an introduction to the most popular social sites. And while no one can really say what the future of Facebook or Twitter or TikTok will be in the next two or five or ten years, it does seem clear that the idea behind social media — that people will use the web not just to find information but to form and sustain relationships — is not going away.

Explore the most popular social media channels
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Best practices

When creating content on University social media accounts, be useful, be transparent, be responsive, be timely, be friendly, be strategic.

Follow social media best practices
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Planning your content

Any social media channel — a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel — is a content beast that must be fed. And being social can be hard work if you don’t have a plan.

Have a plan

Voice and tone

We’re certainly not in the business of policing the voice and tone of the University’s official and “official-ish” social media accounts. However, we ask you to consider having a designated voice and tone for social media, which can give your social media posts purpose, direction, and a point of view.

Think about voice and tone
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President Sarah Mangelsdorf

Measuring your success

There’s a relatively low barrier to entry when it comes to social media. Almost anyone can start an account for an organization, department, or group. But because social media requires time and resources, you want to make sure your efforts are worthwhile.

Basic steps for measuring and analytics
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Ensuring accessibility

Over 40 million Americans—or 12.7 percent of the population—lived with a disability in 2017, according to the US Census. In order live up to the University of Rochester’s values of diversity, inclusion, and access, our digital content—including social media posts—should be accessible to all users.

Make your social media content accessible
Rochester mascot Rocky with students

Facebook posting policy

The University Communications social media team has established guidelines for public posts on the official University of Rochester Facebook page, and encourages other social media managers to adopt policies they can monitor and enforce.

Find a sample posting policy


Have questions about how to get started managing social media accounts for the University, or suggestions and ideas to share? We would love to hear from you.

Contact the University social media team
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