Social Media

Social media is an ever-evolving community and communications network, valuable to spreading our message, connecting with core audiences, and elevating our brand. These are just a few tips to maximize the impact of your communication strategies on social media. For information about social media policies, visit the social media policies section of this guide. If you have questions, please email the Communications social media manager at [email protected].

Language and Tone

  • Be clear and succinct.
  • When space is limited, some abbreviations are okay (e.g., ampersands, numerals instead of spelling out numbers, easily understood acronyms like “prof.,” “univ.,” etc.), but try to avoid text-speak (e.g. “where r u going 2 school?”). With Twitter, avoid using @ and # as abbreviations, because they will become hyperlinks.
  • Before using a hashtag (#), search for it on that social media platform to make sure it is not already in use.
  • Adapt an active and friendly voice, and freely use “you,” “we,” and “us” to promote inclusivity and personal connection.
  • Consider ending posts with questions to promote conversation.

Best Practices

  • Keep active. Inactive social media accounts look more out of touch than no social media presence at all. Update your accounts often and stay engaged with your followers and friends.
  • Be brief! Both Facebook and Twitter have limited number of characters, and they are meant to be quick bursts of information.
  • Avoid posting the same status updates on multiple platforms. Each medium has a different audience, so craft your messages accordingly.
  • Follow and keep an eye on other Northeastern social media accounts, to avoid duplicating content.
  • Use messaging that targets your key audiences.

Account Names and Identities

  • When naming an account, use the name of your department, school, or organization. Do not use “Northeastern University” alone.
  • No new Northeastern University-affiliated account is permitted to use “NEU” in the name, avatar, or description.
  • Use the following categorization on Facebook and anywhere else that page classification is required: Companies & Organizations > University
  • If you are near Northeastern’s Boston campus, use Northeastern University as your location. If you are at one of our other global locations, use that location.
  • Link to your own department or school’s website.
  • Note: Some usernames—such as a Facebook URL—cannot be changed, so choose carefully.
  • Even if you are publicizing the identity behind an account (e.g. John Doe in Marketing and Communications), consider using an impersonal name (e.g. @NUMarCom) in case of staff turnover or a change of direction or roles.
  • If you opt to use a personal identity and are selecting a photo as the avatar or icon, choose carefully. Remember that you are representing the university.

Use of NU

  • Although “NU” is not typically permitted for university use, it is acceptable for social media use (icons, names, and copy), where space is limited.
  • However, an “NU” icon must use Northeastern’s primary colors to differentiate from other “NU” schools, such as Northwestern.

Avatars, Cover Photos, and Background Images

  • How your page looks is an extension of its content, so be conscious of what personality you are projecting through colors and graphics.
  • Do not use the university logo or college logos—they will not present properly in these small applications.
  • The use of Northeastern’s seal is reserved for the official Northeastern University accounts run by the Communications Office, the Office of Alumni Relations, and top-level social media accounts for our locations in the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; and Vancouver.
  • Do not use the Athletics or Alumni Relations logos; they are reserved for those offices only and variations are not permitted.
  • Select iconic photos, such as images of your building or location. Use the university’s Digital Repository Service as a photo resource.