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Social media guidelines


What is social media?

Social media is media that encourages two-way and multiple-member conversations, as opposed to traditional one-way media.

In order to succeed, you need to have a clear social media strategy. Your social media strategy should be specific: You should include what your goals and objectives are for your social media presence and designate your key performance indicators: They will be your map to social media success.

For more information on how to create a social media strategy, check the “How to Create a Social Media Strategy” Marketing Academy session.

Parts of your strategy should include:

What business objectives would a social media presence help you meet? What user needs would you deliver on?

If you can’t map out exactly what your goals are, and how you plan to measure them, your activities won’t deliver results.

Also, if your goal is to create a one-way communication (such as promoting an event or news story without receiving audience feedback), you should consider other methods of engagement.

Who are you trying to reach?

Defining your target audience is another important step when deciding whether or not you need social media, and how to execute your strategy. Do you know where your audience “lives” online? Do you know how to "speak" to them? If your main audience will be students, the way that you communicate with them will be different than if you were to communicate with alumni and/or staff, for example.

Look at your options. Are there established channels, both traditional media and social media, that you can use?

ASU has many established channels to share information with students, faculty and staff. Don’t forget to explore what’s already in place, and see if other established channels would make more sense for your communication needs.

Furthermore, feel free to reach out to other established accounts to help amplify your message to their audience as well.

Being ready to listen. 

Effective use of social media involves not only a proactive strategy, but the reactive part as well. How will you handle complaints? Angry people? Happy people?

  • Transparency is not optional. Resist the urge to simply delete posts on Facebook from surly students/faculty/other. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and you WILL be called out.

  • Acknowledge frustrations. Letting the person know their complaint has been heard is sometimes the recognition they seek. For example: “I hear your frustration. How can I help?”

  • Work to resolve. In addition to acknowledging, you want to address the situation. If it involves sensitive data, let the individual know that the situation will be handled privately to avoid any security or privacy (FERPA, etc.) issues. Never address sensitive, personal information in an open forum like a social network.

  • Happy people want attention, too. Just because they’re not complaining doesn’t mean they don’t want a response or acknowledgment.

  • Tip: Create a social media “Terms of Use” document to explain to followers how you handle spam, offensive or threatening language, talk of illegal activity, etc. You may refer to this if a user questions why their post was removed.

Are you the best person to manage your department’s social media accounts?

Time to be honest with yourself. Do you enjoy social media? Are you willing to be responsive during “off-hours?” Do you personally use social media? Knowing who in your organization is best suited to manage your department’s “voice” will directly inform its success.

What does it take to maintain these efforts?

Is your plan sustainable? For example, if you plan to post at least once a day, can you do that every day, every week? Set your community’s expectations at a level you know you can maintain. If you leave, or happen to be on vacation, do you have a plan of succession laid out? This should all be part of your social media strategy. 

Analyzing your results.

Having a strategy is integral to the success of your social media efforts, but it is not enough. You should also constantly measure how your content and strategy are performing. Without a constant performance analysis, there is no way for you to know if your efforts are actually working in the way you intended. 

For more information on why you should measure your social strategy, check out the Marketing Academy session, “How (and Why) to Measure Your Social ROI.”

Tally what resources and tools you’ll need to accomplish your goals.

Where will your content come from? What kinds of resources will it take to create, edit, approve, post and respond on a regular basis? If it's original content, do you have the means to pay for its production? If it’s aggregated, by what metrics will you decide what’s appropriate?

How will you promote your efforts?

If you’ve decided to launch your own social media campaign/account, you’ll want to get the word out. Consider asking relevant cohorts to announce your efforts and “follow” you (or whatever the appropriate call to action is). Look to the other ASU communications channels  (listed below) to help market your presence. You can also consider paid acquisition and promotional campaigns to bolster your efforts.

Other ASU communications channels:

Because of the high volume of student visitors to my.asu.edu , consider this site as your first avenue of promotion for your events and campaigns.

Representatives from various units collaborate on an editorial calendar for the “ads” on my.asu.edu. These typically are major events or resources across the university.

Announcements are typically smaller news items or activities where more specific details are needed.

For posting either an announcement or an ad on my.asu.edu, visit promoting events and announcements.

ASU Now and ASU Events:

ASU Now is a multimedia news and information website exploring Arizona State University by telling the stories of the people who make up ASU. The audience for ASU Now is comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and other members of the Arizona State University community, so if you’re trying to reach these audiences, ASU Now is a great resource for you. 

ASU Events is the event calendar of record for the University. Similar to ASU Now, the audience for ASU Events is comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and other members of the ASU community. If you have an event that you are looking to promote, this is a great avenue where to do so.

To include an event in ASU Events or pitch a story to ASU Now, send an email to asunowpitches@asu.edu.

Official ASU social media account channels

Who can you look to for guidance?

Join our ASU Social Media Slack workspace!

To stay on top of the latest trends in social media and get additional information:


  • ASU Social Media workspace bots:

ASU’s social media guidelines for students are at students.asu.edu/srr/online.

What are the guidelines for photography?

ASU's brand guidelines for photography apply.

What are ASU’s guidelines for video?

ASU's brand guidelines for video apply.

What are ASU’s guidelines for graphic assets?

ASU's brand guidelines for design apply.