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Social Media Style Guide

TXST sign at the Vaquero statue

Overview

These recommendations are meant to increase the maximum effectiveness of Texas State’s social media accounts and encourage a consistent, flexible style.

The university’s Editorial Style Guide will also be useful when writing for social media, as will our general social media guidelines.

General Recommendations

Expand or Collapse all.

Copyrights

Social media administrators are expected to follow all copyright and intellectual property laws when posting to any social network. Always get permission to use copyrighted material, and always give credit for the material. UPPS 01.04.27 contains a detailed description of this policy.

Don't spam

Don't post repetitive content frequently.

Emojis

Emojis may or may not be appropriate for your social media account depending on the account’s purpose and voice. For example, emojis would be more appropriate for a student-run organization than for an English Department account. Make sure your use of emojis matches the voice and tone you’ve chosen for your account, and be consistent with your use of emojis.

Exclamation points

Exclamation points have a different connotation on social media than they do in print. You may use exclamation points on social media to convey friendliness and excitement and soften the voice of your messages, but limit your exclamation points to one per sentence.

Examples:

  • We love everyone's #FirstDayOfSchool photos. Keep them coming!
  • Our username is txstateu!

Mobile posts

Be careful when posting from your phone in order to avoid typos. Always take an extra moment to look over your post again. If possible, get someone else to review your post before sending it.

QR codes

Do not post QR codes on social media. QR codes are not effective online. Please use links instead.

Scheduled posts

Be aware of major news and how events might affect your posts. This is especially important for any posts scheduled in advance. In the event of a major tragedy, you don’t want to accidentally post something that would seem insensitive or inappropriate. 


Twitter

You’re encouraged to follow the university’s Editorial Style Guide when possible, but Twitter’s character limit means some of these rules are flexible. Here are some Twitter-specific guides to style.

Ampersands

You may use the symbol “&” instead of the word “and” if necessary.

Contractions

Contractions are acceptable.

Dates and times

  • Abbreviate months according to AP Style: Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.
  • Never add “nd,” “st” or “th” to a date.
  • You do not have to use the day of the week with a date.
  • You may cut the year from the date if the event is happening in the current calendar year.
  • Abbreviate days of the week only if necessary: Mon., Tues., Wed., Thur., Fri., Sat., Sun. 
  • If an event is occurring within the next week, you may use just the day of the week without the date. 
  • You may leave the periods out of am/pm: 7 am, 8 pm

Examples:

Hashtags

Approved Hashtags

Please use approved hashtags. Using the correct hashtags will maximize the reach and effectiveness of your tweet.

Hashtag Purpose
#txst For general posts regarding Texas State University
#txst20, #txst21, etc. For posts intended to engage students of a particular graduating class
#EatEmUpCats For posts regarding athletics or student, faculty or staff achievements
#beabobcat For posts regarding admissions or student, faculty or staff achievements

Note: Use all-caps #TXST at the beginning of a sentence or before a proper noun; use lowercase #txst in other cases.

Event Hashtags

When creating a hashtag for an event, be sure that it contains a connection to the university.

Use: Don't use:
#TXSTgrad #Graduation
#TXSThomecoming #Homecoming
#TXSTmovein #MoveInDay
#BobcatSoccer #Soccer

 

Trending Hashtags

Before using a trending hashtag, make sure you understand how the hashtag is being used and if tweets using that hashtag are appropriate for your audience.

Try to use hashtags in an organic way whenever possible, but it is OK to tag them at the end of your tweet if you need to reach a certain audience.

 

Examples:

Links

Use URL shorteners such as bit.ly or those built into platforms such as Hootsuite to shorten links.

Mentions

Mention active user accounts whenever possible in place of the organization’s name, such as @KTSW_899 instead of KTSW 89.9.

Examples:

Replies

You can start a tweet with @username and your followers will see it, but replies are still semi-private.

Be familiar with how @replies work. Learn more here.

It is not necessary to put a period at the beginning of every @reply.

Retweets

  • You’re encouraged to retweet content from other official Texas State University accounts to share university news and events.
  • Be careful what you retweet. A retweet, especially from a university account, is seen as an endorsement.
  • Before retweeting, take a look at the user’s handle. If the handle is suggestive or otherwise inappropriate, do not retweet.

Instagram

There are no character limits on Instagram, but brevity is encouraged. Follow the Editorial Style Guide when writing posts.

Hashtags

Like Twitter, stick to approved hashtags and have a proper understanding of what trending hashtags are being used for before posting. See Twitter for more on hashtags.

Reposts

If you see a photo you’d like to share, contact the person who posted the photo and ask them for permission to use the photo. Always credit the original user. 


The San Marcos River flows through the center of #TXST, the most beautiful campus in #Texas!

A photo posted by Texas State University (@txst) on


Facebook

All Editorial Style Guide rules apply when posting on Facebook. There is no character limit, but you’re encouraged to keep posts short. Keep in mind that not everyone will see your posts in a timely manner.

Link Posts

When posting a link, delete the text of the URL from your post after the preview appears. Example:

Before

Facebook post before removing link text
Posts can get cluttered by long links.

After

Facebook post after removing link text
Removing the URL frees up space for your core message.

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