The majority of the content shared through your departmental social accounts should be original content related to your department’s area of expertise. You can, however, share occasional content from the following sources:
- Other UTMB Health-branded social media accounts
- Governmental social media accounts, such as the NIH, CDC and FDA.
- Quality, accurate news articles sharing information that is aligned with your site’s goals and is appropriate for UTMB Health and your audiences
- Affiliated community partners and organizations
Please use your best judgment and only share content where the messaging is consistent with that of your department and UTMB Health. Only sharing content from other sources and not generating original content is not appropriate.
Facebook account managers should post content on their page at least every 2-3 days, spacing out the timing of posts so that they are not sent out back-to-back. X/Twitter account managers should ideally post at least every other day, but should use their best judgment and post and retweet in moderation. X/Twitter managers should also space out the timing of their tweets and retweets, so that they are not all sent out back-to-back. Ideal post frequency on other platforms varies. No social accounts should go more than three to four calendar days without a post.
Accounts not monitored on the weekends should post the hours that they are monitored. We recommend setting up an auto response for direct messages (see more below).
Appropriate content sources and attribution:
Share content available from UTMB sources including iUTMB, utmb.edu or utmbhealth.com whenever possible. Share or retweet information from other UTMB pages. Share appropriate news and events from your own school, department or field of expertise.
Attribute the source of your content by tagging the account or page where you found the content. Attribution is required regardless of whether you share the content directly from another social media account or from a page on the UTMB Health website.
Use of Images:
Departmental social media accounts should not post copyrighted images in social networks without proper licensing/authorization.
Most social media platforms allow pages to like, follow, subscribe or otherwise connect to or associate with other pages within a given platform. Be cautious and aware when “liking” commercial entities, organizations, products, brands, political candidates/causes or any other page as the action might be construed as UTMB Health endorsement of a brand, product or person. Endorsements, whether overt or implied, are prohibited on UTMB-associated accounts, unless authorized by the UTMB president and outlined in a formal co-marketing agreement approved by Legal and Regulatory Affairs.
If you choose to like or follow other non-UTMB Health pages through your UTMB-branded social media site, include the following disclaimer in your page’s “About” section:
The likes, follows and links to websites and social media pages belonging to other people and organizations: 1) Do not constitute UTMB Health's endorsement of these individuals or organizations, nor of any products, services or publications offered by them; 2) do not signify UTMB Health’s comprehensive support of the information, views and opinions expressed via the pages; and 3) do not reflect UTMB Health’s official views or positions.
Messaging—including posts, tweets, descriptive text and ads—should always be professional, warm and easy to understand.
- Use appropriate variations of our name. UTMB, UTMB Health or The University of Texas Medical Branch are correct. Check our website for official names of departments, programs, clinics, etc. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Always be mindful of your audience when writing social media posts. If you’re trying to reach a lay audience (e.g., patients, family members), you should avoid jargon (scientific, medical or technical) as much as possible.
- Avoid slang and overly informal language.
- Social Media “Brand Voice”: The university’s social sites should strive to use a consistent character and tone on posts to its various pages. The UTMB tone is professional, warm, friendly and confident. Our language should be engaging, informed/scientific but not jargony, and community-minded and conversational. Read more about our voice and see examples.
- Social media accessibility: As a place of healing, health sciences education, scientific discovery and innovation, UTMB Health strives to provide digital content that is accessible to all. When developing your social media content:
- Write alt text or image descriptions to describe photos on all social media platforms. Do not rely on auto-generated alt text.
- Put important information in the text of your post, not in the image or only on a linked event flyer, as an example.
- Use “camel case” for hashtags: capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag so that screen reader software will read the hashtag correctly. (example: #SocialMediaGuidelines)
- Be sure to provide closed captioning for all video content. The platforms that autogenerate captions can do a decent job but do require manual review. Use open or “burned in” captions for videos on platforms where closed captioning is not an option.
- Use emojis sparingly. Screen-reader software will read each emoji symbol aloud. Make sure emojis you use aren’t replicated needlessly, and that they convey the intended meaning if represented verbally rather than visually.
Learn more about digital accessibility at UTMB.
Social media during a UTMB emergency:
Social media can be an effective tool to reach people quickly in an evolving crisis at any of our UTMB locations. It can also be a source of conflicting information and confusion. In a crisis, do not share or repost any information not coming directly from UTMB’s Alert site, home pages, or main institutional social accounts: Facebook @UTMBHealth and @IAMUTMB and X/Twitter @utmbhealth and @utmbnews.
Posting in external crisis situations and situations of mass suffering:
When disaster strikes, when there’s an incident of global strife, or major acts of violence make the national news, account managers should immediately cease posting “as usual” and postpone any scheduled posts or tweets. Never attempt to capitalize on misfortune or tragedy. Consider the objectives of your social channel before commenting or posting on topics outside your program goals.
- Do not use long URLs or links directly in your social media posts. Use the UTMB Mini URL tool to shorten the link, and then use the shortened link on your social post.
- It’s never appropriate to share only a URL (shortened or otherwise) Any social post with a link should also include text that tells readers what they can expect to find when they click on the link.
Hashtags are appropriate in posts. At times UTMB may provide a recommended hashtag for events such as commencement. Always review search results for any particular hashtag to make sure it pulls the content you intended, and not something that may be inappropriate.
Linking to products and apps:
UTMB Health-branded social networking accounts are not permitted to link to or recommend specific products or apps of any kind. Doing so may be misconstrued as an official UTMB Health endorsement of those brands and products. Exceptions may include partnerships or formally established programs (e.g. MyChart and Epic); any questions may be vetted at email@example.com.
Online promotions and giveaways:
Because UTMB Health is a state institution, giveaways and raffles are not permitted to be conducted through UTMB Health-branded social media accounts.
Paid Social Advertising:
All advertisements on social media channels must be reviewed by the Office of Strategy & Communications prior to launch to ensure they align with the institution’s brand advertising strategy and standards. This includes ads with copy, images and/or video, boosted posts, promoted tweets, and any other type of paid advertising on any social media platform. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss and review social advertising at least one week prior to the time you want your ads to launch.