California State University, Fullerton


Social media have grown into a powerful communications tools to engage with mass and specific audiences, internal and external. Like any good tool, though, social media channels are most effective when used properly.

In an effort to provide direction when using social media, CSUF Strategic Communications, with guidance from the Social Media Working Group, has developed the following guidelines. These guidelines are offered to help those who administer social media channels at CSUF as a resource that is direct and clear about best practices. It is a living document that it is expected to evolve, just as social media is growing and evolving.

Each college, department and unit -- and individual faculty and staff members -- should evaluate what, if any, social media technologies are appropriate for their communication needs. Social media channels are encouraged if they are regularly administered and serve as tools that promote established goals and advance the University's mission.
If you are exploring the creation of your own office or administrative department presence on a social media site or have existing channels, please contact the Strategic Communications social media team at 657-278-5143 or email to discuss the process and register the channels so they can be included on the official online inventory of social media venues. Failure to keep site(s) updated regularly will result in de-listing from the University social media directory list.

What are Social Media?

We consider social media as any technology tools or online spaces for integrating and sharing user-generated content in order to engage constituencies in conversations and allow them to participate in content and community creation. These guidelines do not attempt to name every current and emerging platform, but some examples are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Planning Guide

Purpose/Goals: What is the purpose of the social media channel(s) you currently maintain or plan to start? In other words, do you currently have a set of objectives/goals guiding your work with social channels? If so, what are they? Pick at least 1-2 goals social media will support in your area, such as growing audiences, increasing engagement, enhancing customer service and fostering appreciation of university assets and strengths to support advocacy and development. Examples include promoting an academic department for recruitment/development purposes; increase event attendance by "x"; increase number of likes/followers by "x" on a monthly basis; provide timely information and answer students questions regarding "x" – thus reducing phone/email contacts.

Tracking: What tools do you intend to use to track your success? (e.g., Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Crowd Booster). These tools let you know what resonates with your audience so you can post more relevant content to your channels.

Frequency: How frequently do you post to your various channels? Do you have an editorial calendar in place? How often will you update your social media sites?

Management: A social media site requires frequent and regular updates (perhaps daily). Individuals/departments need to consider their workflow. Who will be managing your social media presence/who will be responsible for posting to your various channels? This must be a designated person with a backup so you can have a consistent voice and posting schedule. Failure to keep site(s) updated regularly will result in de-listing from the social media directory list.

Channels: What social media channels do you currently maintain? (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)