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University Relations

East Tennessee State University

Social Media


ETSU Social Media Guidelines

(updated 6/20)

Departmental Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are a great way to reach followers who are interested in particular programs. Although departments can create Facebook pages and Twitter accounts without the need for approvals, there are guidelines to keep in mind.

Please for assistance for setting up accounts and for advertising with accounts. University Relations maintains a list of accounts across the campus community to promote engagement. University Relations must also be notified and approve all social media ads to maintain branding consistency and to prevent oversaturation of target audiences. 

  • Please notify University Relations if a new account needs to be created, and existing account needs a name change, if you find abandoned accounts, or if account administrators are updated.
  • Please update accounts regularly. Post content at least two times per week, even if the post is not original  (share or retweet).
  • Please use profile photos with an updated logo or other photo that represents the unit appropriately. Remove profile and cover photos that include any outdated logos. University Relations can create a custom social media profile or cover image if needed.
  • Respond to posts and tweets from followers. Check the communication daily and respond in a timely manner, even if the first piece of communication is simply “We will find out the answer to your question and respond soon.”
  • Delete all unused departmental social media profiles.
  • Respond in a timely manner (within 24 hours on week days, and the next business day if the message is received on a weekend or holiday).
  • ALL ETSU affiliated social media accounts MUST have at least two administrators. This is to safeguard the page in the case where an admin changes jobs, goes on vacation, or is otherwise unable to post content or respond to message. No fake profiles are permitted to administer accounts; fake profiles go against Facebook and Twitter Terms of Service.
  • Give appropriate credit to assets shared on social media and follow copyright law. Obtain permission before posting something that is not your own original content or original content from a campus organization or a professional organization. If you are unsure whether you are allowed to share something, contact University Relations.
  • Make sure that University Relations knows your organization’s social media handle so University Relations staff can interact with your page.

Posting Guidelines

  • Please consider that posts are reflective on the university as a whole and keep the tone engaging and conversational but always professional and polite. Keep personal opinions on your personal social media and maintain an inclusive, welcoming institutional page.
  • Institutional announcements (such as schedule changes) and statements about controversial issues should come from the main ETSU social accounts. Departments should share those rather than developing individual statements.
  • Make sure you post in a way that promoted community, such as using “we” rather than “I.” For example “We invite you to join us for (name of event).”
  • Accuracy: Our posts should be accurate and honest. Do not mislead or misinform audiences with unclear or inaccurate posts to social media.
  • Do not post confidential or private information on social media. Follow FERPA and HIPAA policies.  Discuss with a supervisor any questions that arise about what should be kept private and confidential. If there is still a questions, please call University Relations.
  • Social media accounts are a great way to keep students informed about events and opportunities within your department or division. However, effective use of social media goes beyond providing information. Use your account to enhance the ETSU experience for students. Often times, social media is the first thing potential students see. Make sure you show your Buccaneer Spirit and express your ETSU Pride. Your account is a reflection on ETSU as a whole.
  • Engage pages across campus and join the larger conversion. By tagging other accounts and using ETSU hashtags (see below), you can make sure your page is seen by users who may not know your page is available. This allows new pages to join the larger community conversation. For example, share an organization’s post, post a photo of a relevant event to their page, or congratulate the organization on an achievement via their social media accounts. All of those techniques can not only raise awareness, but they can help create an online community that reflects the values of the ETSU family.
  • Please be respectful and thoughtful in responses, even if your page receives criticisms.

Photos Guidelines

  • You may post photos that are taken by ETSU photographers.
  • You may post campus photos that you or your team members (including your students) take.
  • If you are visiting a high school for recruitment or other purpose, you must obtain written permission from the school’s administration in order to post photos. They will be able to tell you if the students have photo releases on file.
  • You may take photos of students at an event or in a public setting on campus for your social media accounts. If you are singling a student out for a photo, please ask them to sign a photo release form, which is available on the Identity website.
  • Do not take photos of events where minors are present.

Report Online Bullying and Abuse

  • Do not engage in negative commentary, insults, or attacks. Please contact University Relations, and we can help you decide how best to handle the situation.
  • Please contact Public Safety IMMEDIATELY if you receive any threats, dangerous, or otherwise troubling comments or posts on social media.

ETSU Hashtags

#ETSU – for general use when talking about the university on social media.

#ETSUFootprints – for use to highlight student, faculty, staff, or alumni impact or achievement.

#ETSUTough – for use to express ETSU Pride or support for Athletics.

#BackTheBucs – for use during Athletics games.

#NewBucs –  to refer to incoming students.

#ETSugraduation – for use during commencement ceremonies.

ETSU Accounts

ETSU has a presence on several social media platforms, and they are utilized in a strategic, specific way. Please follow these guidelines for your institutional social media accounts as well.


Facebook is where our most dedicated ETSU friends, family, and fans reside. There, we can share ETSU news, faculty and staff kudos, campus photography, and important announcements. We highlight our featured students and campus videos as well. Facebook allows for laid-back environment.


Twitter is a faster-paced platform, where we share quick news bites, live tweet specific events, and drum up ETSU Pride. It’s a high-energy platform and requires more consistent monitoring.


Instagram is where students go to see themselves on campus and to get a sense of the community. This is a great place to show off event photos as well as photos of your students engages in active learning and activities related to your department. Instagram allows users to get to know your department, so posts need to have a personal touch.


Snapchat is a student-centered platform that showcases opportunities for involvement and fun campus events. Snapchat is used for going behind the scenes, posting unedited, authentic content, and showcasing the Buccaneer Spirit on campus.

***University Relations does not recommend a departmental Snapchat is most cases. Before you start your own, please contact us. It is possible for departments to utilize the main account. Together, we can create stronger, more consistent, and varied content.

Training and Consultation

If you or any member of your team need help with creating content, implementing a social media calendar, or using scheduling software, such as Hootsuite, please contact University Relations. We will be happy to help and provide training free of charge.


Social media can be a great advertising tool to reach various audiences. They are simple to make and are cost effective. Advertising is available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you have never advertised via social media before, University Relations can help design the ad, set a budget, and place the ad.

Social media allows users to created targeted ads buy geographic location, age, or interest. When creating your ad, it is important to decide on your overall goal, who you want to reach, and your overall budget. It is important to then create an engaging, eye-catching as that meets ETSU brand standards.

Social media ads are paid via ProCard. In order to get the approval from ETSU Identity, please submit a screen shot or your proposed ad to . You should do this before you purchase the ad.


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