Social Media Brand Standards

Social media is one of our most powerful tools at the University of Illinois to reach and connect with the Illinois community. 

In Public Affairs, we’re here to help you with your digital and social media strategy, branding, advertising—whatever you need. 

Below, we’ll outline a few of the resources to align your social and digital strategy with campus standards. These are available on the Public Affairs Social Media website

Brand guidelines   

If you manage a university-affiliated account, the social media brand guidelines are a great first stop. These guidelines provide you with comprehensive, step-by-step instruction on account strategy, set up and maintenance. 

Resources included in these guidelines: 

  1. Developing a strategic plan 
  1. Account naming conventions 
  1. Account bio recommendations 
  1. Profile and cover photos 
  1. Internal and external audiences 
  1. Post building 
  1. Holiday guide 

These guidelines are not required, but they will help align your accounts with the overall campus strategy. 

Verified accounts  

University accounts that adhere to a series of basic standards and guidelines can apply to become a verified Illinois social media account

Who it’s for: Verification is only available for long-term institutional accounts—departments, colleges, administrative offices, etc. 

What it means: These accounts are recognized as official accounts that represent the university and are a part of the Verified Accounts Directory. Content on verified accounts is also eligible to be shared through the official university social media platforms maintained by Public Affairs. 

Where to apply: If you’re interested in applying, you can do so here

Benefits: We’ll share your content, you’ll be permitted to use University branding in your cover and profile pictures, and your accounts will be listed in the Verified Accounts Directory. 

University policies and best practices 

Public Affairs has created a number of best practices, polices and resources to help you create, maintain and protect your university accounts. 

When creating accounts, explore these general social media best practices.  

When managing accounts, adopt these best practices for account access and security. Verified accounts are required to adhere to these best practices. 

When responding to crises and comments, utilize the university’s comment policy and trolling attack resources. Verified accounts are required to use our comment policy. 

We are here to help you. Resources are available, but when in doubt, always feel free to reach out. 


Social media is an excellent way to reach university audiences and connect with the Illinois family, but we know it can sometimes be challenging and time-consuming to manage. We hope these resources provide you with a starting point and the tools you need to approach all of your accounts with confidence. 

If you have any social media topic that you’d like to see added to this page, please email with the subject line: Suggestion for the social media FAQ

General questions on social media and digital advertising? Contact an expert: