Social Media Profile Guidelines

a mobile device with social media applications on the homescreen.

Social media presents a myriad of challenges, including constrained and variable profile image sizes, naming structure limitations, differences between desktop and mobile viewing, accessibility requirements, etc. This is why it’s important to strictly adhere to the directions outlined below, which ensure consistency when presenting the UB brand across social media. These instructions also provide units flexibility to demonstrate the account’s uniqueness and content focus.

University Communications conducted extensive research and testing, looking at industry best practices, peer institutions and ever-evolving channel specifications to develop these guidelines for implementation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

Official University Accounts

UB social media accounts that abide by these guidelines and are in good standing will:

  1. Be part of University Communication’s social media governance team consisting of the unit’s social media lead, a designated social media account owner and manager, which collectively provides:
    • Social media tips and best practices.
    • Issues management guidance.
    • Content opportunities.
    • Updates on UB guidelines.
  2. Be eligible to have their content shared and amplified by UB’s institutional social media accounts.
  3. Be eligible for additional content collaboration opportunities as they arise.

Accounts that do not adhere to UB’s social media or brand guidelines will not be recognized as an official account and may be reported for trademark/copyright infringement.

Profile Icons

Please work with your unit’s senior communicator and/or social media manager to determine the best profile image for your channel.

Icon examples:

Mobile icons on Twitter.

From left to right: Primary university accounts, units with a brand extension lockup and units with a sub-brand lockup

Primary University Accounts

The stand-alone interlocking UB is strictly reserved for the main university accounts managed by University Communications.

Social media icon for official accounts.

Units With a Brand Extension Lockup

Units with brand extension lockups may use either a photograph to depict their channel’s purpose or the white stacked master brand mark on a blue background.

Options:

Social media icon for official accounts.

Standard icon

Social media icon for official accounts.

Photo icon

Units With a Sub-Brand Lockup

Units with a sub-brand lockup may also use a photograph or the blue stacked master brand mark on a white background.

Options:

Social media icon for sub-brand accounts.

Standard icon

Social media icon for sub-brand accounts.

Photo icon

Photographic Profile Images

A laptop with the School of Engineering Facebook page.

instructions:

  • Select an iconic UB photo to represent your page from the curated image gallery below.
  • If you do not wish to use an option from the gallery, you may choose an image of a brand mark, iconic UB landmark or idea/concept that depicts the purpose or function of the account by exploring options below.
  • When choosing an image that is not from the curated gallery, make sure that the image is simple with minimal detail so that it reads well on a mobile device. Please work with your senior communicator and/or unit’s social media manager to identify an appropriate image that is sized correctly.

    Example:
    Solar Strand representing UB Sustainability
  • Profile images cannot be a new graphic that combines an entity’s name with the university’s name or any official trademarks.
  • Social media managers and/or senior communicators should monitor usage of their unit’s profile image selection.

Photo Icon Gallery:

Please note: This gallery will be updated periodically.

Profile Name

Facebook example of a profile name.
  • Use the full “University at Buffalo” name as space allows. Including the full name in the profile name distinguishes the account from other colleges/universities that also have UB as initials. It also helps when users are searching for official UB accounts.
  • Avoid acronyms for entities whenever possible. While you may be familiar with what these acronyms stand for, new audiences may not be. When a channel’s character limitations prevent using the full department or unit name as well as the full university name, abbreviate as necessary. In this case, UBuffalo is an acceptable abbreviation for the university name in social media only.
  • To save characters, do not use “School of” or “Department of.”
  • The university name can appear before or after the entity name.
  • Use a | (pipe) or - (dash) to separate the university from the entity name when the entity name is presented first (character use depends on channel). Doing so provides clear separation between UB accounts when searching within a channel.
  • Reference the school or division name that the entity is part of in the bio or about section.
  • Using full names improves SEO through Google as well as the social network’s native search function.

Long-Form Versus Short-Form Examples

LONG-FORM EXAMPLES (PREFERRED) SHORT-FORM EXAMPLES

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | University at Buffalo

 

University at Buffalo Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmacy | UBuffalo

 

UBuffalo Pharmacy

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences - University at Buffalo

 

University at Buffalo Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences - UBuffalo

 

UBuffalo Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Student Experience | University at Buffalo

 

University at Buffalo Student Experience

Student Experience | UBuffalo

 

UBuffalo Student Experience

Engineering and Applied Sciences - University at Buffalo

 

University at Buffalo Engineering and Applied Sciences

Engineering - UBuffalo

 

UBuffalo Engineering

Research and Economic Development | University at Buffalo

 

University at Buffalo Research and Economic Development

Economic Development | UBuffalo 

 

UBuffalo Research

Libraries - University at Buffalo

 

University at Buffalo Libraries

Libraries - UBuffalo

 

UBuffalo Libraries

Please note: Whether you can use a pipe or dash is channel dependent.

  • TikTok, YouTube and Facebook: dash
  • TikTok, Twitter and Instagram: pipe
  • LinkedIn: depends on page type

Supporting Elements

Facebook example of a profile handle.

Username/Handle

  • Acronyms and abbreviations are acceptable but should always be clear.
  • Always include UB or UBuffalo. Examples: @UBSchoolofMgt @UBdeptART @UBstudentexp
  • If your username/handle contains multiple words, make sure it is easily scannable and cannot be misinterpreted with unintentional double meanings.

About Section/Bio

  • Reflect the full university name in the first sentence of the account’s about section or bio if unable to include in the profile name to accurately identify the account as being part of the university.
  • #UBuffalo can be used here but not to replace the full name.

Cover Images

  • Demonstrate uniqueness of account through photograph(s) or type.
  • Do not pair university trademarks with the unit’s identity, phrases or graphics to create a new mark.
  • Always follow identity and brand standards as outlined on the brand site.

Services or Shared Accounts

If your account represents a service at UB rather than a specific unit or department, or you share a social media account with other UB departments or units, use your profile name, username and bio to reflect the purpose of your account instead of listing departmental names. Shared accounts or service-related accounts should follow the brand extension profile image guidelines, as detailed above.