Brand Guidelines: Social Media


With the increasing importance of social media in communication and community building, it is essential that USAO maintains a consistent and professional image across all platforms.

All accounts posting on behalf of a university derivative are required to uphold the standards of the USAO Brand Guidelines. All profile pictures should adhere to the university brand guidelines. Profile pictures and covers should stay the same across platforms to maintain your identity. Custom profile pictures are available through the Marketing & Communications office per request.
Below you will find USAO's official Digital Media Guidelines and other resources for social media managers. These guidelines are applicable to anyone who manages a social media account or posts content on behalf of the university or an administrative, athletic, or academic department or program. This new account registration process is required and will allow the university to maintain organization of ownership for official accounts and assemble our various social media managers into a working group to share resources and insight.

Social Media Resources

Digital Media Guidelines 

Guidelines for Social Media Contributors at the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma 

These guidelines are applicable to anyone who manages a social media account or posts content on behalf of the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma or an administrative, athletic, or academic department or program. These guidelines will help unify our presence in the digital space and provide structure and guidance in cases of conflict or concern. 

Anyone who formally communicates on behalf of any USAO entity on social media is responsible for understanding and implementing these guidelines as they relate to their professional usage of USAO social media accounts. Failure to do so can have impactful consequences, potentially damaging USAO’s image and impression amongst our audience, as well as those of your colleagues or organization.  

The best way to uphold this standard is to implement strategic plans with the goal of your organization in mind. Approaching your content on social media with detailed goals and standards can ensure we all are connecting with our target audiences efficiently and respectfully. In all efforts in the digital space, social media contributors should prioritize the task of representing USAO accurately, professionally and positively. 

Account Registration

Starting February 2024, all official USAO social media accounts (those representing an administrative, athletic or academic department or program) must register with the Marketing & Communications Office. You must register any new social media account prior to creating the account.   

Register Your Account

Transparency and Honesty

Be open about the purpose of your account and your connection with USAO. Admit when you might be wrong or have made a mistake. Your audience wants to know there is a real human behind your account.  

Protect Your Organization

Never share personal or protected university information. Never share information on behalf of someone else. All supervisors should ensure the safety of any passwords. There should always be more than one person with access to the account. 

Impact Your Space

While the vastness of social media can be scary, it is also a vital tool for our university. Use your space wisely and intentionally to start conversations and connect with your audience. Remind them that there are real people behind the account who care about who they engage with. If you run accounts across multiple platforms, give users a reason to follow you on all accounts. Cross-posting can help with time management, but it doesn’t create an intentional space for each audience. Post content that enables sharing and engagement.  

Respect and Represent

Always remember everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Respecting your audience will create an open relationship and encourage them to respect you and understand each other better. Always maintain respect for other viewpoints and identify ways that you can use varying viewpoints to start a conversation and further lean into the purpose of your account. USAO is known for its open-minded environment and encouraging everyone to think for themselves, so your identity on your accounts should be no different. You are, at all times, representing the university as a whole.  

Official Communications

Official communications include crisis situations, official university news announcements and other instances that cover communications representing the university. Never speak on behalf of the university without approval from the correct office. In moments of crisis or emergency, statements and content should only be shared from the university flagship accounts.  

Paid Advertising

All paid advertising efforts must be approved by the Marketing & Communications Office prior to implementation to ensure all advertising that represents USAO is in line with our brand and mission.  

Know Your Requirements

First and foremost, all communications made on behalf of USAO must respect federal copyright laws, intellectual property rights and all outlined university policies. All USAO accounts publicly and formally representing the university shall adhere to accessibility requirements through integrating closed captioning on videos (including videos on your stories) and alternative text on images. You are never permitted to share proprietary or confidential information through your accounts. You are never permitted to comment on any legal matters. All social media supervisors are responsible for familiarizing their team with university policies, brand guidelines and FERPA limitations. Additionally, official representatives are required to uphold the standards listed in the USAO Brand Guide. 


Your discretion should always uphold USAO’s mission to foster critical thinking and open-minded world views. When moderating your space and comment sections, USAO entities reserve the right to remove comments that use profanity or hate speech. Comments promoting spam or phishing should be removed as quickly as possible. Any comments that attack USAO students, staff or faculty personally shall be removed and reported to appropriate official entities. However, some communications may be manners of freedom of speech and are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Comments that might disagree or spark controversial conversations should be communicated to the Marketing & Communications Office and discussed before any action is taken.  

When in Doubt, Reach Out

If you are ever uncertain about a situation in the digital space, reach out to USAO’s Marketing & Communication’s Digital Media Manager to ensure that your efforts are in line with the university’s. Gut checks are always encouraged! We will always be better off when working together to accomplish the mission. 

Managing your Digital Media Impact

Developing a strategic approach to your social media is the best way to set your organization up for success.  

Know Your Audience

First and foremost, you must identify your target audience. Creating content is useless if you are not making conscious decisions to appeal to your specific audience. Knowing what content your audience wants, when they want it and how they want it are the first steps to strategizing your account.  

Know Yourself

Your audience needs to know what they are signing up for. Knowing your internal purpose and any baggage that comes along with your organization is vital for engaging with your audience successfully. Take time to sit down with your team, and other organizations whose efforts cross with yours, to identify focal points, messaging and goals. Once you have outlined your mission, take time to define your potential success. There are a variety of statistics and avenues in the digital space that you can align with your success targets.  

Identify Your Plans

Frequency. Design suite. Consistent messaging. Hashtags. These are all ways you can create a cohesive and intentional social media profile. Discuss these things with your team and outline your approach. By outlining these things ahead of time, you can better delegate responsibilities, manage your time and personnel, and ensure that your content is aligned with the university’s mission, brand and policies. When you’re strategizing, supervisors are responsible for familiarizing your team with the USAO Brand Guide and any applicable policies.  

Be Prepared to Pivot

Once you have outlined your plan, be prepared to pivot. Not all audiences are the same! Take time to see how your plan can be implemented in different spaces. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (X) all have varying ways to publish your content. While cross-posting has its perks and should be used when able, make sure you are giving your audience reasons to follow you on each platform. Curate your content intentionally. This also includes your space on the USAO website. Have you outlined new messaging or new information you want to prioritize? Contact the Marketing & Communications Office to make sure we are all working with the same set of information.  


Who is doing what? A large component to failure is often simple miscommunication. Voice your expectations openly and candidly and create space for your team to ask questions and confidently clarify the mission.