Social Media Standards

Social media is a powerful vehicle through which UCSF connects with our audiences, listens, and disseminates relevant news to the community.

All social media accounts that represent a UCSF department or unit must abide by UCSF Social Media Policies and Best Practices. Please read them thoroughly before creating any UCSF social media account.

We are currently updating brand standards for social media. Before starting an account, contact [email protected] to (1) ensure another similar account doesn't exist and to (2) get guidance on the best brand expression for your group.

Naming Conventions

The recommendation for profile naming should reflect the name on the logo lock-up. For example, use UCSF Medical Center or UCSF School of Medicine. When character limitations prevent using the full name, abbreviate. Avoid using acronyms as these may be unfamiliar to new audiences.

It is important for all UCSF groups to use “UCSF” when naming social media accounts. Using UCSF in the profile name will improve rankings when people search UCSF in social media.


“Avatar” is another name for profile picture. These images appear in multiple small sizes and often share a standard square proportion. Social media avatars will consistently appear with the official page or profile name. The avatar should be the same graphic asset used across all social media platforms you own.

The use of the UCSF logo in social media avatars is reserved for a limited number of official UCSF groups including the master brand, primary clinical entities and schools. All other departments and groups should use iconic and identifiable photographs. The examples to the right illustrate the range of display sizes for avatars across social media sites.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social media samples



example of logo expression avatar on social media


example of photographic avatar on social media

Cover Photo Imagery

Each sub-brand can choose its own banner/cover photo images for its social media sites. Select a single image or a composite of no more than three images. Images chosen for the cover photo should follow the guidelines in the photography section and any layout considerations should conform to the visual framework section of this site.

The following are examples of how all elements (avatar, naming convention and banner imagery) come together to create a cohesive social media experience consistent across the enterprise.

sample social media banners

Incorrect Usage Examples

incorrect social media avatar using a portrait image

Do not use portraits.

incorrect social media avatar with overlay of logo on photography

Do not overlay logo on photography.

incorrect social media avatar using more than one photograph

Do not use more than one photograph.

incorrect social media avatar with shape on an image

Do not create shapes on images.

incorrect social media avatar with photo border

Do not create borders.

incorrect social media avatar changing logo color from white to red

Do not change the color of the logo.

incorrect social media avatar using purple to yellow gradient

Do not use gradients.

incorrect social media avatar using tinted color

Do not use tints.

incorrect social media avatar using signature logo

Do not use the UCSF signature.

incorrect social media avatar with added text to logo

Do not add to the logo.

incorrect social media avatar with logo in corner

Do not move the logo to one corner.

incorrect social media avatar with larger resized logo

Do not change the scale of the logo.