The university’s official social media presence is managed by the Office of Communications.
This includes the university’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. The Office of Communications also follows social media trends and looks for new opportunities to grow UM-Dearborn's social media presence. If you would like information from your department or program published or shared on these channels, please contact Kathryn Bourlier.
No new university-affiliated social media accounts may be launched without written approval of the Office of Communications. If you are interested in setting up a social media presence for your specific department, college unit or program, please complete the strategy outline from and seek approval from the Office of Communications and the senior administrator of your department, college, unit or program.
We are eager to build a community of UM-Dearborn groups using social media and to promote these channels.
Implementing New Accounts
New social media accounts that plan to use the UM-Dearborn name or branding require preapproval from the Office of External Relations.
Before getting started, ask yourself:
What do I wish to accomplish by having a social media account? Develop your strategy and outline your goals. A suggested strategy outline is available for you.
Do I have enough content to maintain a consistent social media presence, or would I be more successful running my content through more established UM-Dearborn accounts that reach a wider audience at the college or university level? Successful accounts post engaging content frequently: at least three times a week for Facebook and Instagram and more often for Twitter.
Those wishing to proceed with the creation of a new social media account should have the approval and support of the director, dean or other senior administrator of your unit.
The primary administrator(s) of the new social media account should then reach out to Kathryn Boulier to set up a meeting to review university guidelines and discuss best practices and expectations.
The Office of Communications leads a working group of social media practitioners across the university. The goal of the group is to provide the practitioners with a forum to discuss social media tools and best practices, learn about new technologies, coordinate efforts and share information. The group meets regularly and also provides a resource for discussion and announcements.
Social Media Guidelines - Strategy, best practices and tools.
Every social media account associated with UM-Dearborn reflects on the university and impacts our reputation. This page contains the governing strategy, best practice guidelines, tools and resources to help ensure that all accounts follow university-wide standards for use, creation and management.
Each official account must have no fewer than two staff member administrators.
Note: an administrator has full access to an account, including the ability to add/remove users and post content. It may be the case that only one staff member is responsible for maintaining the page, but a second should always have the ability to access the same features.
All accounts must grant access to a communications administrator. The communications administrator will typically be the communications representative for your college or the Office of Communications. If you're not sure who the right representative is for your account, contact Kathryn Bourlier. For Facebook accounts, the account administrators should grant “Facebook access” to the communications administrator. For Twitter and Instagram accounts, the account administrators should supply the login information and provide timely updates of any changes.
Instagram and Twitter accounts must be registered to a shared or general “@umich” email address accessible by more than one person, such as the unit or department’s general email (e.g. email@example.com). Facebook and LinkedIn accounts must have a minimum of two administrators at all times with full access to the account.
Anyone with account access who is no longer employed by the university must be removed from the account–and promptly replaced–by another administrator or department leadership promptly.
Password and login information should be maintained by account administrators and their direct leadership. Account administrators should ensure passwords are secure and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
Account administrators are responsible for notifying and proactively communicating with UM-Dearborn External Relations regarding emerging issues, concerns or upcoming potential hot topics they become aware of through account monitoring.
Each unit should maintain an official account inventory with contact info for administrators. External Relations will use this information to maintain a university-wide inventory and will also share with Ann Arbor. Please notify Kathryn Bourlier in a timely manner of any changes.
Information will be reviewed annually, more often if staff changes occur.
External Relations will regularly review all university social media accounts. Accounts may be subject to review/removal if:
They become inactive
University branding requirements are not followed
Inappropriate content is posted
The account reflects negatively on UM-Dearborn in any way
Accounts that do not follow UM-Dearborn guidelines, no longer have a UM-Dearborn administrator, or otherwise do not officially represent the university are not entitled to utilize the university’s name or logos. These accounts should be reported to External Relations so that we may work to remove or report them.
Social media account managers from across campus are strongly encouraged to attend regular social media ambassador meetings. These meetings are led by the university’s digital media specialist and are intended to relay important information as well as offer professional development opportunities and create a community of practice to establish communication and share key messages across campus.
It is very important that users remember that they should not post confidential or proprietary information about the university or any members of its community. All applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPPA, as well as NCAA regulations, must be followed at all times. If content refers to a situation involving specific individuals on a social media site, it is helpful to ensure that the individuals cannot be identified.
It is important to have a plan for when/if negative comments or concerning behavior appears from followers of your social media accounts.
Negative comments should not be ignored and cannot be deleted simply because they are negative. You should assess each situation individually and always refer to External Relations for guidance. Administrators are prohibited from deleting or moderating content beyond the policy outlined below. This could be considered a violation of federally protected free speech rights.
We encourage the use of the U-M Social Media Engagement Protocol to guide your response to situations that may arise on UM-Dearborn social media. If you believe there is a need to delete content or block a user, you should send any screenshots to Kathryn Bourlier. She will work with you to formulate a plan of action and elevate to the team in Ann Arbor as needed.
Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons, at any time:
- The use of obscene, threatening, discriminatory, or harassing language
- Disclosure of information that is confidential by law or regulation
- Comments advocating illegal activity
- Posts violating copyrights or trademarks
- Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals
- Endorsement or opposition of any person campaigning for election to a political office or promoting or opposing any ballot proposal
- Duplicative comments by the same user or multiple users. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be approved
Keep in mind that all users, including administrators, are subject to the Terms of Service (TOS) of the host site. Communications made through social technology in no way constitute a legal or official notice to the University of Michigan, its agencies, faculty, or staff. References to third-party content or websites do not indicate endorsement or responsibility on behalf of the university.
UM-Dearborn Social Media Accounts and Administrators are prohibited from:
- Posting content that violates city, state or federal laws and regulations.
- Commenting on or posting anything related to existing or potential legal matters or litigation without appropriate approval.
- Using the university brand or name to endorse any view, product, private business, cause or political candidate.
- Representing personal opinions as university-endorsed views or policies.
- Sharing content that is profane, off-topic, violates copyright, or does not properly credit the original content source.
- Deleting or moderating content beyond the best practices and policy outlined in these guidelines under “Handling Negative Feedback/Posts.
Before establishing a UM-Dearborn social media presence, it is essential that you take some time to think about the strategy and long-term sustainability of the site. Answering the questions below and creating a content map (including planned posts for the next month) will help ensure that your social media presence is a success.
Why are you establishing a social media presence?
- What do you plan to achieve with this social medium?
- Inform? Encourage dialogue? Share information? What kind of information?
- What platform(s) will you use to achieve this?
- What are the proposed account names?
- Who will be reading and commenting on your social media? Who are you trying to engage?
Execution and Maintenance
- Who will establish the social media site?
- Who will be the administrator and maintain the site?
- Do you have the support of senior leadership?
- How often do you plan to update it? (Successful accounts post engaging content frequently: at least 3 times a week for Facebook and Instagram and more often for Twitter.)
- How will you make connection to other UM-Dearborn social media sites?
- How will you measure the outcomes to know that you have met your goals?
Profile photo: Colleges and departments will use the approved Block M unit logo, sized to the correct dimensions (Profile pictures must be sized correctly so no part of the text or logo is cut off). External Relations can provide this if you do not have it, and can create a “social media” version of existing logos to fit square spaces. Do not use the Block M logo without your unit.
Name: use “University of Michigan-Dearborn” or “UM-Dearborn” followed by a dash or underscore, and the name of your department/unit. Do not use “UMD” in your account name, handle, URL, #hashtag or posts.
Due to limitations on certain social platforms, it is acceptable to use “UMDearborn” or “UM_Dearborn” when special characters such as hyphens are not allowed. Do not use “UMD.”
Following best practices on each platform can help grow your account and increase engagement with your audience. The following are suggested tactics to help your account reach its top potential.
Profiles should be complete with proper spelling, use of the university name, logo and should always follow our brand identity.
Use images and visual content that is sized correctly. Avoid using images that are too small and will pixelate. Images must be sized correctly for the platform where you are posting so they show up correctly in the user’s feed. Profile pictures must be sized correctly so no part of the text or logo is cut off.
Pictures are the new headline. Posts that include an intriguing visual will receive more engagement than posts that are text only. Try to incorporate images that are captivating and feature our students, faculty and staff. If you are sharing a link to a university web page or story, make sure your thumbnail preview is appearing as you would expect. You are competing with a variety of different content in a user’s newsfeed, so making your post stand out is key.
Develop and maintain a consistent plan for your social media page(s). You created a strategy and outlined goals before starting your account, but it’s always a good idea to revisit this as time passes and accounts evolve. Tracking key calendar dates and planning content out ahead of time will save you from wondering “what should I post?” when it’s been a while.
Make sure to monitor your account inbox or DMs and to actively review the comments after you’ve posted content. Your followers may have questions or something about your post may require correction or clarification. When appropriate, engage with comments you receive by liking or responding back.
Stay on topic. Your followers are here to learn more about your area of specialty. If you are sharing content from other university units, contextualize it as you share with your followers. If you are sharing content from other university units, contextualize it as you share with your followers. If you find you are sharing more from other university units than posting your own original content, it is time to revisit your strategy.
- See more best practices by social network