University Marketing & Communications

Social media guidelines

These guidelines are intended to help steer you through the process of developing and maintaining a social media strategy. There are also social media guidelines for UW employees, developed and overseen by the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer.

Use of social media sites:

If you’re responsible for a social media strategy, you should not be restricted from accessing these sites during the work day from a work computer, with the following caveats.

You cannot use these sites:

  • For personal benefit or gain.
  • For the benefit or gain of any other individuals or outside organizations.
  • In a way that compromises the security or integrity of state property, information or software.

When representing the University of Washington:

  • Follow the University’s brand guidelines.
  • Incorporate the University’s Web colors: #4b2e83 for purple and  #e8e3d3 or #85754d for gold.
  • Adhere to the UW Privacy Policy.
  • Adhere to the terms of use of the social network you’re using. (For Facebook, those are here:
  • Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
  • Don’t pick fights.
  • Acknowledge your mistakes (unless they’re minor).
  • Verify information before you post it.
  • Make sure your links work.
  • Make sure you’re creating dialog, not just pushing content. Give your fans something to respond to or act on.
  • Thank people for input and feedback, including constructive negative feedback. (But don’t feel obligated to acknowledge every single comment.)
  • Be human, even when you’re interacting as an entity or brand rather than as an individual.
  • Be relevant and timely and add value! That means being aware of conversations that are already going on without you.