UH Hilo Social Media

Social Media Standards

The following are guidelines by which managers of “official” UH Hilo social media accounts should operate. This supplements UH BOR E2.210 Use and Management of Information Technology Resources and E2.213 System and Campus Wide Electronic Channels for Communicating with Students.

This is Attachment 1 for the UH Hilo Social Media Policy.

On this page:

General Standards

The keys to success in social media are being honest and thoughtful before you post and respecting the purpose of the community in which you are posting.


By posting content to any social network, you agree that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to that content, that your use of the content is protected fair use, that you will not knowingly provide misleading or false information, and that you hold UH Hilo harmless for any claims resulting from the content.

You may not post any content that is threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, or otherwise injurious or illegal. UH Hilo has the right to remove any content for any reason, including but not limited to, content described above.

Know the terms of service of your social media platform; be sure to understand and follow the terms of service of any social media platform you use.

Reposted content should always give clear credit to its original source, either by image or text, when reposting is not natively supported by the social media platform. One suggested Instagram app for reposts is “Repost.” Content should not be dramatically altered and the originating account should be tagged. When in doubt, ask permission to repost.

Be Accurate

Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It is better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.

Be Transparent

Never hide your identity for the purpose of promoting UH Hilo through social media. Include your name and title or affiliation to UH Hilo in the social media account profile, as well as the account’s purpose. It is important for people to be able to communicate with an individual rather than a faceless institution and by providing your information, you are making that personal connection. Doing this also lends credibility and authenticity to your social media presence.

Respect Others’ Privacy

Do not to post private information concerning others such as an email from a colleague or contact information. Exercise good netiquette.

In the untimely event of a student or employee death, Account Managers should consult with their faculty or staff Account Administrator before posting any statements on the organization or unit’s behalf.

Consider the intended audience when posting. UH Hilo sites are frequented by prospective students, alumni, friends, and other interested parties. UH Hilo encourages thoughtful social media interaction and does not seek to censor contributions to these sites. However, profanity, racist, sexist, or derogatory remarks, content that incites hate or encourages unethical or illegal activities, comments on litigation involving UH Hilo, spam and off-topic remarks may be removed and the user could be banned from further participation on the site.

Be Relevant and Authentic

Be thoughtful, accurate, relevant and respectful on UH Hilo sites. Social networks are successful when members contribute authentic content. You may exhibit opinions and personality in your social media presence, however it must abide by the standards stated in this policy.

Posts on UH Hilo sites should generally be brief and redirect a visitor to content that resides on the UH Hilo website when applicable. Doing so will maintain a certain level of authenticity as well as help prevent posted information from becoming outdated.

Think Before You Post

There is no such thing as a private social media site. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post.

Maintain Confidentiality

Use good judgment about content and respect privacy laws. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about UH Hilo, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Follow UH Hilo policies and federal requirements, such as FERPA and HIPAA. If you discuss a situation involving individuals on a social network, be sure that they cannot be identified. As a guideline, do not post anything that you would not print in a newspaper or present at a conference.

For minors in particular (less than 18 years old), do not post any recognizable faces without parental permission. Permission should be obtained through an official UH System media release form.

Use Correct Branding

Use either “UH Hilo” or “University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo”. Avoid alternative, incorrect spellings such as “UHH”, “UH-Hilo” and “University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo”. Proper logos and colors can be found at the UH Hilo Website Style Guide. Incorporate the use of UH Hilo’s official hashtag whenever possible - #UHHilo, and tag @uhhilo to utilize social media sharing features.

Keep it Professional (not Personal)

Political stances and personal opinions on current events, social issues, or other controversial topics, should be left strictly to personal accounts. While posting on a UH Hilo affiliated platform, you are considered an authorized representative of our University. Questions on appropriate post content should be directed towards the Marketing and Social Media Advisory Group Social Media Committee.

Respond Appropriately

Always treat individuals who comment or send direct messages with appropriate respect and due diligence. When addressing negative and/or controversial feedback, remain polite, non defensive, and neutral. Thank them for their concern, apologize if appropriate, and state the university's position and/or what steps are being taken to rectify the situation. If in doubt of the appropriateness of the language used or your plan of action, please consult the Marketing and Social Media Advisory Group Social Media Committee.