Social media provide boundless opportunities to promote the brand of the University of Kansas through various online channels in an immediate and public way.
Branding social media
When possible, follow the university’s brand guidelines outlined on this site.
Emphasize the KU brand by capitalizing “KU” in all naming conventions (accounts, profiles, hashtags, etc.) and lowercasing all other words. For example, use #KUcommunities rather than #KUCommunities.
Incorporate the university’s main web colors in your profiles: #0051ba (Kansas Blue) and #e8000d (Crimson).
Using KU logos and marks
When you create a social media site on behalf of the university, use simple graphics that represent the KU brand. The Office of Marketing Communications digital strategy team can provide guidance with graphics and design. The Guidelines section of this website provides information on logo permissions and standards.
Creating social profiles
Incomplete social profiles misrepresent your organization and the University of Kansas brand. Make sure your accounts are on track:
Is your logo consistent with KU brand standards and style guidelines outlined on this site?
Do your social media accounts have profile images, header photos, backgrounds, and biographies?
Are the images on your social media accounts accurately sized according to proper dimensions for posting?
Does your biography or “about” section align with the information on your corresponding ku.edu website?
Choosing the right profile image:
It’s important to choose a profile image that works consistently across all major social platforms. We encourage you to use one of our branded social avatar templates, which come in a variety of designs and feature key brand elements. If you choose to include your unit’s name in your profile image, keep it short — ideally under 10 characters. Abbreviate or use acronyms when possible (you’ll have plenty of space in your platform’s display name to feature your full title). If you cannot fit your unit’s name in our branded social avatar templates, we recommend downloading one of our KU-themed avatars.
If you are maintaining a personal account:
Make sure your biography clearly states that your content is yours alone and does not reflect the university’s views.
Refrain from including the university’s name or your program area in your title or username.
Remember that replies to inquiries directed at official accounts should come only from official accounts.
For questions and consultation about social media, contact the Office of Marketing Communications digital strategy team at email@example.com.
Before creating a new account, consider whether it would be beneficial to your communications strategy. Establish a strategic content plan and review these questions with your communications director — creating a social media account requires approval of your leadership.
What do you want to accomplish through social media?
Outline your goals. Take every opportunity to elevate the perception of your program and the university. Track and analyze your results.
Who is your intended audience?
Concentrate on one channel before expanding your presence. Take the time to perfect engagement, collaboration, and execution. Social media should be about transparency and customer service.
How often will you post to or update the account?
KU accounts update Facebook once or twice a day and Twitter five to 10 times a day. If you can’t meet the content requirements, remember that you can always funnel your content to central accounts. We are here to help!
Have you designated someone responsible for posting to the account, monitoring the account daily, and responding to your followers?
Social media requires significant time and dedication. Although student interns can be tremendous collaborators on social media initiatives, they should never “own” official KU-branded social media accounts or profiles. Such profiles should be owned and maintained by staff or faculty members.
Next, identify a manager for the account. Once a manager is established, but before the account has been created, contact the Office of Marketing Communications digital strategy team at firstname.lastname@example.org to identify the individual’s role in managing the accounts and briefly explain the purpose of the account. Contacting the Marketing Communications team before creating a social media account is necessary for inclusion on the Connect to KU directory and recognition by Marketing Communications.
All official accounts must be registered to a shared or general email address accessible by more than one person; email addresses already established for customer service are preferred — for example, “email@example.com." To read about KU IT departmental accounts, visit: technology.ku.edu/departmental-accounts. Passwords and logins should be known and maintained by page administrators and direct leadership. For password security resources and guidance, visit policy.ku.edu/IT/Password.
If individuals will have access to official social accounts on mobile devices through applications like Facebook Pages, Instagram, and Twitter, it is imperative that you can clearly distinguish personal posts from posts to University of Kansas accounts. Marketing Communications recommends the use of different applications for each account. Individuals should always check which social media account they are actively logged into before posting.
Once you’ve created the social media account and it is active, email the Marketing Communications digital strategy team to add the account to the university’s social media directory.
Here’s a list of the most commonly used hashtags at KU:
#RockChalk – The most frequently used and easily understood Jayhawk call to greatness
#OurChantRises – The University of Kansas’ new brand platform, echoing the aspirational call of the Rock Chalk chant that inspires and infuses Jayhawk pride
#BeAJayhawk – We want you to be a Jayhawk. Follow this hashtag for information and updates relating to the admissions process and life on the Hill
#ImAJayhawk – Recently accepted? Say it loud, say it proud!
#KUleaders – Content describing how KU educates leaders
#KUcommunities – Content describing how KU builds healthy communities
#KUdiscoveries – Content describing how KU makes discoveries that change the world
#BestofKU – From awards to grants, new buildings to groundbreakings, this hashtag shows the very best of KU
#exploreKU – On or off the Hill, show your point of view to Jayhawks around the world
#KUfacts – This hashtag is used for stand-alone facts or “brag points” related to the university
#KUgrads – Celebrate Commencement and all the activities and recognition ceremonies surrounding this event
#TransformingKU – Celebrate the physical transformation of the university through new buildings and renovations, especially the new Central District
#KUlove – Where crimson and blue are the true colors of love birds
#KUalumni – Updates from our alumni near and far
Get off to the right start: Determine how you will use social media to achieve your department’s objectives. Develop a plan and process addressing issues like how frequently you will review and update content and monitor and respond to comments from users.
Take advantage of the university’s resources and expertise: You should coordinate internally with the Office of Marketing Communications digital strategy team to access tools to help you succeed.
Take a moment to think about what you are posting before you publish the content. Post news, events, and information that are relevant to your target audience. Is it relevant and topical? Are you reviewing and maintaining the content on a regular basis?
Establish a checks and balances process for reviewing, editing, and approving content: Having multiple eyes review your content increases the effectiveness and accuracy of what you publish. Proofread for spelling and grammar. If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it quickly and transparently.
Develop an online voice: It may take time to develop the right tone for your program or department. Don’t be reluctant to change course if you are not achieving your marketing goals.
Be transparent: If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of the university, clearly state your role and goals. Keep in mind that if you are posting with a university username, other users do not know you personally and view what you post as coming from the university. Be careful and be respectful. What you say directly reflects on the university. Do not use singular personal pronouns (e.g. “I,” “me”); rather, use plural personal pronouns (e.g. “we,” “us”).
Maintain your presence: Cross-promote your social media presence in other channels/materials to drive traffic to your social media (and vice versa). Once you are established, parents, students, and others will find you and expect to engage with you via social media.
Keep active: Update your accounts often and be sure that you are responsive and engaged with your followers. Inactive social media accounts appear clumsy and unprofessional and reflect poorly on your department and the university.
Don’t be ignored: Use visually appealing images and videos to engage with users. Contact Marketing Communications to get the resources for proper image sizes for all social networks.
Have a plan for responding to negative comments: If an online commenter posts an inaccurate, accusatory, or negative comment about the university, correct the inaccuracy in a positive and polite way. If the communications become antagonistic or deal with sensitive topics, ask Marketing Communications for advice before responding. Remember that sometimes private messaging is the most effective way to communicate with certain followers.
Track your post performance to analyze whether you are achieving your marketing goals: Set aside time to report on your social media activity as a part of your process. Evaluate the results and make changes based on the data you receive.