Texas A&M Social Media Management Guidelines
Launching a Texas A&M Social Media Account
If you and your team are thinking about starting a social media channel for your department, office, etc., there are many things to first consider before activating an account.
Reach out to the Texas A&M central social media team for guidance/advice
If you are thinking about creating a social media account(s) or have questions about social media, reach out to the Texas A&M central social media team for advice and guidance. You can email the team at email@example.com.
In the team's initial discussion with you, we will answer questions, explain the framework for accounts on campus, and discuss how to best be effective on social media.
Determine where your audience is
Before launching an account, it is important to understand who the audience you are trying to reach is — and you must be more specific than "everyone!" to successfully share your message effectively on social media. Based on your audience, you can determine if social media is the best way to reach them and, if so, which platform(s) you should research further.
Understand the requirements of a recognized Texas A&M social media account
There are many requirements when managing a Texas A&M-affiliated social media account — they are listed in more detail in section 2.
Paying close attention to these will inform if you have the staff, time, and resources available to manage social media account(s) effectively.
Decide which platform(s) to be present on
Based on your staff, time, audience, as well as your current communication channels, you can determine which social media platforms would be most effective for your brand and team.
Remember to start slow and then grow! It's better to start off one platform at a time, becoming comfortable, and then adding on additional accounts once you have experience, additional resources, and are able to do so without feeling overwhelmed.
It's better to do one or two platforms very well than stretch your team too thin on more platforms.
Get your accounts listed in the Texas A&M social media directory
Once your accounts have been created, be sure to share their names and handles with the Texas A&M central social media team so your information can be added to the university social media directory on tamu.edu. View our Social Media Directory Recognition Guidelines here.
Recommendations and Requirements
All Texas A&M social media accounts are required to do the following to be recognized university accounts:
- All Texas A&M social media accounts representing colleges, schools, divisions, departments, offices, and the like are required to be managed by a staff member of the Division of Marketing & This does not include the social media accounts of labs or faculty members.
- All social media communicators must follow the account security measures laid out by the Texas A&M University System, the Division of Marketing & Communications, and the Texas A&M social media team. You can find the security policy here.
- All social media accounts must have a branded avatar/profile photo on every platform consistent with the Texas A&M Brand. Download the Social Media avatar template here.
- Social media posts must be accessible and use alt-text on all images and captions (.srt files or open/closed captions) on all See our provided accessibility best practices for more information.
- Social media accounts must meet the minimum requirements explained [here] to be a recognized account on campus and to be listed in the university social media directory.
Additional recommendations for Texas A&M social media accounts:
- Begin account handles with @TAMU to be consistent with other accounts on campus.
- Make a clear connection to Texas A&M University/@TAMU in your bio/about section to leverage Texas A&M's brand on your account.
Who Can and Should Manage Texas A&M Accounts?
All Texas A&M social media accounts representing colleges, schools, divisions, departments, offices, and the like are required to be managed by a staff member of the Division of Marketing & Communications.
Login information for your account(s) should be shared — preferably through a pass-word manager — with the communicator above you in your communication chain. For example, schools should have the login information of the departments within their school.
Per the Texas A&M University System rules:
- All university-affiliated social media channels will be overseen by a designated authority to monitor the channels for inappropriate content and ensure that all posts are consistent with the university's mission.
- The MarComm staff member must be provided with a list of all persons authorized as an administrator or editors of social media accounts.
- Content promoting or advertising by third party vendors or businesses is not allowed on university-affiliated social media channels without a formal partnership or contract with Texas A&M.
- Primary social media channels for the university will be monitored and run by the MarComm professional or This includes, but is not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn accounts.
- Other university social media channels for colleges, departments, academic programs, athletics, etc., will be monitored by the staff member given the administrator role for each account. The MarComm staff member will monitor content on all university-connected social media accounts.
- Embedded MarComm professionals must be assigned a page/account role with every university-affiliated social media account to assist with monitoring/managing these accounts.
- MarComm must approve all new university-affiliated accounts to ensure adherence to university branding guidelines.
What Resources are Available to Communicators?
Social media communicators can leverage multiple types of software to manage social media accounts. This software includes:
Sprout allows communicators to monitor online conversations, schedule posts, and create analytics reports across social media platforms. Texas A&M has a system contract with Sprout Social.
Hootsuite allows communicators to monitor online conversations, schedule posts, and create analytics reports across social media platforms. Texas A&M has a system contract with Hootsuite.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Many communicators across campus use Adobe to design, create reports, and more. Texas A&M staff have access to an Adobe license for free.
Canva is a quick and easy way to create graphics, reports, and templates. You can even schedule posts with Canva, with more simplicity and a lower cost than Sprout or Hootsuite.
LastPass, OnePass, or KeepPass
LastPass and KeepPass are password managers that allow you to securely and simply share logins to accounts across your team and with those on campus who should have access to it.
Social Media Best Practices
Whether you are managing one account on one platform or multiple across many, it's important to follow best practices and build a solid foundation for your social media. From accessibility to posting frequency and types of content, see our provided documents for tips and best practices.
Who Should a Texas A&M Social Media Account Follow?
Depending on the platform you're on, following accounts is an important tactic that can help you build your own following, engage with relevant accounts, and monitor conversation around your brand. Be judicious and selective when you follow an account after carefully vetting it.
Texas A&M-affiliated accounts should first look to the university's social media directory and follow all other Texas A&M-affiliated accounts. This will not only help all of our accounts build their followings across platforms, but it will encourage all communicators to engage with the content shared on each other's accounts.
On Twitter, following relevant accounts is a great way to build your following and transform your timeline into a useful tool to know what is happening on campus and in your community. Following faculty, researchers, former students, and current students within your area of campus is also a good way to stay up to date with things your representatives/brand ambassadors are doing in the classroom, on campus, in labs and even post-graduation. It also helps you stay informed about campus life and student events. Following accounts also builds trust in your brand, encourages engagement, and often leads to those accounts following your account in return.
It is not recommended to follow private accounts, especially those of students. Remember that the accounts you follow are more visible on Twitter than any other platform and the 'Top Tweets' timeline will often show your followers tweets from accounts that you follow, explicitly saying "*your account* follows this account."
The university recommends follow the accounts of elected state representatives and senators from Brazos County, as well as U.S. representatives and senators from Texas. Be certain to update each election cycle.
On Instagram, it's recommended to follow fewer people than on Twitter. Be sure to follow Texas A&M-affiliated accounts, relevant/related accounts, faculty, and former students.
Since most current students have multiple private Instagram accounts, it is not recommended to follow students on this platform.
On Facebook, it is recommended to follow/like Texas A&M-affiliated accounts and accounts that are relevant/related to yours.
Ending, Transferring, or Merging Accounts
Ending an Account
When deemed necessary, Texas A&M social media accounts can and will end. When this happens, the account data should be saved and stored, per government requirements.
Information on how to save account data:
You will have the option of leaving the account up or deleting it altogether. Depending on the circumstances, either option may be viable. If you have questions or would like guidance, talk to the person who works above the account in the communication chain or to the Texas A&M central social media team.
Transferring an Account
When a staff member at Texas A&M leaves the university, they should communicate their departure with other people who have access to the account/password.
Passwords for accounts that the departing staff member managed should be changed, and the staff member should be removed as an administrator on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, as outlined in the social media security policy.
Though less likely, you may have the need to merge your account with another account on campus. Rather than starting a new account for the two previous accounts, we recommend renaming/rebranding the account with more followers. Next, you should save the data of the smaller account and deactivate it or stop posting on it.
Make it clear on each account that the identity has changed and set an expectation for what the account will be going forward.