Social media has profound effects on the way we communicate, and technology has become essential to the way we serve the needs of our patients and communities. UCLA Health encourages the use of official social media accounts to tell the UCLA Health Sciences’ stories and participate in conversations around relevant topics. When UCLA Health presents a consistent voice and brand aesthetic, we can represent ourselves more effectively. It is also important that UCLA Health Workforce members who participate and actively engage online understand their responsibilities when using these tools to communicate.
This guide outlines some basics on how to manage social media on behalf of the health sciences.
Social media support on our Digital Marketing intranet >
Before launching a new social channel, it’s important to define your goals and determine if and how social media will help reach them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does a new social media channel have specific business objectives that also align with the organizations goals and strategic plan?
- Who is our audience, and is social media the appropriate channel to reach them?
- Do we have the resources for effective content development, execution and moderation on a daily basis?
- Have social media platforms already been established, and can these existing platforms promote your event or content?
- Have you designated a content owner and back-up moderator who are responsible for monitoring and maintaining accurate content?
- Have you read and understand the digital and social media policies as well as related policies?
- Have you created a posting content calendar of original content for two months?
- Do you have your supervisor’s approval to build time into your schedule to monitor the site numerous times throughout the day in order to address posted requests and comments?
Keep in mind that our goal is to have UCLA Health brand messages reach as many people as possible. Setting up numerous digital and social media accounts per entity fragments your potential audience. In most instances, messages touting individual departments or service lines are better served from the official brand channels.
Do’s and Don’ts of Engaging in Social Media at UCLA Health
What you need to know for engaging in social media at UCLA Health
- Think before posting, be respectful and take personal responsibility for your posts; consider YOUR reputation!
- Assume EVERYONE can read your posts, including patients and colleagues.
- Comply with workplace policies, particularly those governing communication and conduct.
- Disclose your affiliation with UCLA Health when commenting on UCLA Health products or services.
- Include a disclaimer in your profile or posts.
- Refer press inquiries, and report any missuse you come across, to your supervisor or leadership.
- When in doubt, ask UCLA Health Human Resources or Marketing and Communications.
- Ever share any patient health information OR confidential information.
- Speak on behalf of UCLA Health without express authorization
- Set up a University sponsored social media account or website without going through the proper channels
- Use the UCLA Health name, brand or logo in a manner that would violate trademark or copyright law.
Before writing and posting copy on social media, make sure to review the Copy and Editorial as well as Brand Information sections of Brand Guidelines.
UCLA Health’s brand voice remains the same in all contexts. However, tone can change and flex depending on audience, and this is especially true on social media.
This diagram illustrates how our tone can shift depending on audience.
Before posting images on official university social media channels, make sure to review the Imagery section of Brand Guidelines and have proper consent forms, if the imagery features patients. We also recommend reviewing the best practices and specs outlined by each social media platform’s own guidelines, keeping in mind requirements for both resolution and dimension.
When posting videos, follow imagery guidelines and add captions to ensure ADA compliance. For instructions on how to add captions for each social media platform, refer to the Video section of Brand Guidelines. If the video also features patients, make sure to have proper consent form documentation.
Respect Copyright Laws
Be sure to follow the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including UCLA and UCLA Health’s own copyrights and brands. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.
Code of Conduct
UCLA’s social media channels are an integral of the university brand and they call for a different approach than personal accounts. When you represent the university on social media platforms, it is important to adhere to UCLA’s values and follow UCLA’s principles of community, UC diversity statement, UC statement of ethical values and standards of ethical conduct and all other applicable policies.
In the case of an emergency that impacts or involves the campus community, hold off on posting and defer to the Bruins Safe Online for communication updates, reference materials, and instructions. You can follow UCLA BruinAlert Twitter here.
DO NOT POST any crisis-related communications outside of official messages from the UCLA Office of Emergency Management.
Social Media Quick Tips
Creating Social Media Content
Intranet Support: These Tips Are For Admin Users Creating Social Media Content in COD
Remember: Social media posts should be concise, show personality and encourage users to engage with your content. Include relevant hashtags to increase exposure to your audience.
- Post copy: (100 words or less) Be personal, entertaining and informative.
- Example: 47 blood transfusions in 21 days: That’s what it took to save 4-year-old Judah’s life. 1 year later, Judah & his family got to meet the #BloodDonors who saved his life.#DonateBlood #BloodDonation #GiveBlood
- Tweet copy: (ideally 71-100 characters of Twitter’s 280-character limit; ideally less than 6 characters per hashtag) Show personality; inform.
- Example: Watch 4-year-old Judah’s story — he needed 47 blood transfusions to survive a serious infection. #GiveBlood
- Caption copy: (150-character maximum, but ideally less than 125 (not including hashtags); 5-10 hashtags per post, 21-24 characters per hashtag). Focus on the visual and provide context.
- Example: “You feel like someone’s hero,” says 1 of the 100 #BloodDonors whose donations saved young Judah’s life. #GiveBlood #PowerofU #BloodDonation #DonateBlood #UCLAHealth #UCLACommunity #ItBeginsWithU
- Post copy: (140 characters or less;maximum of 5 hashtags) Be professional but avoid jargon.
- Example: Sara Smith, MD, combined a #cancer drug with #HormoneTherapy to help young women with #BreastCancer live longer, more fulfilling lives.