Social Media Standards
Davidson College’s reach extends far beyond davidson.edu to social media, video, audio, photos, and email communication. Each of these areas is an extension of the Davidson brand and the same graphic identity and brand standards that apply to davidson.edu, print projects, and other college communication and marketing materials also apply to these areas. Examples include social media sites managed by departments, department email communication (e.g., mass emails and enewsletters), video and audio produced for department marketing or promotion.
The posts, conversations, and interactions that happen through social media should reflect positively on the Davidson brand and uphold the college’s mission and values. Departments and programs should post regularly to the social media websites they manage. Regular updates occur one-to-two times per week. Posting once per month or once or twice a semester does not constitute regular updates.
It is better to manage fewer social media accounts that get updated on a frequent basis than to manage many accounts that receive infrequent updates.
The college has adopted the following graphic identity standards for social media websites. These include Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, SoundCloud, and similar social media sites.
Example of a Facebook header profile picture and cover photo. Contact a digital communications staff member if you need assistance in selecting or creating these images.
Departments should use the following naming convention when naming their Facebook pages: “Davidson College Department/Program Name” For example, Davidson College Music Department or Davidson College Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Facebook page names should incorporate Davidson College or Davidson in the name as well as the department name, e.g., DavidsonCollegeMusic, DavidsonMusic. The username/URL is limited to 50 characters. You should avoid using abbreviations or acronyms whenever possible.
The Facebook profile picture, sized at 180 pixels by 180 pixels, appears on every post or comment submitted by someone with rights to post to your department’s Facebook page. Facebook profile pictures should include the word “Davidson” in white (utilizing the top portion of the Davidson logo) on a red background (HEX#:ac1a2f) with a photo that represents the Davidson College campus, e.g., photo of Chambers building or other campus building, campus scene, or department-related image that works at a large and small size.
Departments can request to have a custom profile picture created for their Facebook page by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the profile image for your department will not include your specific department name, all Facebook posts from your account will have your Facebook page’s department name in text next to the profile picture.
The Facebook cover photo can be a Davidson campus image that represents the department or program, e.g., photo of Chambers building or other campus building, campus scene, or department-related image. The image, which is sized at 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high, should be professional and high quality in appearance. Photos that are blurry, pixelated, underexposed, overexposed, contain “red eye,” or subject matter that is questionable or inappropriate should be avoided.
Departments can request assistance with selecting a cover photo by sending an email to email@example.com.
Facebook pages allow you to create an “About” section where you can provide information about your department, including a URL to your department website.
Twitter provides space for posting a profile photo/avatar, which is seen on every tweet you post and atop your Twitter page. Twitter also provides space for posting a large header image that appears at the top of you Twitter homepage.
Usernames & Real Names
Your department’s Twitter username is limited to 15 characters. Usernames are used to login to your department Twitter account and will be seen by the public as @username.
Usernames should be short and not include abbreviations whenever possible. Examples of a good department username include @davidsonmusic, @davidsonprelaw
Your department’s “real name” is what will appear next to your username on your Twitter homepage. For example, @davidsonmusic, might use Davidson Music as a real name.
Twitter profile photos, which are sized at 400 pixels by 400 pixels, should include the word “Davidson” in white (utilizing the top portion of the Davidson logo) on a red background (HEX#:ac1a2f) and include a photo that represents the Davidson College campus, e.g., photo of Chambers building or other campus building, campus scene, or department-related image that works at a large and small size.
Departments can request that a profile image be created for their Twitter account by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the profile image for your department will not include your specific department name, all tweets from your account will have your Twitter department name appear in text next to the profile image.
Twitter provides space to include a large horizontal header image at the top of your Twitter homepage (1,500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high). The Twitter header image can be a Davidson campus photo or photo that represents the department or program. The image should be of high quality and professional in appearance. Photos that are blurry, pixelated, underexposed, overexposed, contain “red eye,” or subject matter that is questionable or inappropriate should be avoided.
Twitter provides accounts with 160 text characters to tell the world about your department, program, or initiative. An additional 30 characters is available for your location and you can also provide a backlink to your department website.
Links to Department Social Media Websites
Links to department social media websites from department webpages are conditional. Department social media sites must show a consistent history of regular updates over the course of a semester and must be in compliance with college graphic identity standards before the digital staff will link to such accounts or pull feeds into department websites.
A history of regular updates demonstrates a department’s ability to effectively manage and support their social media presence.
Compliance with Social Media Standards and Guidelines
Departments should be familiar with and adhere to Davidson College’s social media guidelines. When you post to department accounts follows may assume you are representing the views of the college and department. Uphold the college’s mission and values in your activities. Don’t include political or personal comments that might not represent the views of the college or department. If you have personal views you wish to express, a personal social media account is the proper place for expressing your views. This includes changes to the photo or avatar representing your department in relation to political or social issues.
Departments found out of compliance will be notified as such and recommendations provided to bring into compliance. If a social media site is still found out of compliance after an agreed to date, then all links and feeds to that social media site posted on Davidson.edu will be removed and departments risk not having their department social media content shared on the college’s main institutional accounts.
Departments who wish to pull any of their social media site content into the college’s content management system (CMS) must first provide digital communications staff administrative access to each social media site. The department social media site must also be in compliance with college graphic identity and brand standards.
Ask the digital communications staff for assistance in setting up social media sites by sending an email to email@example.com.