Branding Social Media Websites


Boston University has established social media brand guidelines for good reason, and it’s a mouthful: to avoid degradation, distortion, or improper treatment of the BU logo or seal, and to maintain a suite of social presences that are presentably cross-branded across the University without any confusion as to what’s official and what’s not. Fortunately, following the guidelines is easier than following that sentence and will ensure you’re representing the University on third-party social media platforms appropriately.

Have fun.

What social personality do you want to convey? Consider your avatars, profile, and background images to be extensions of your web presence. If you do not have a visual aesthetic, consider social media your opportunity to give yourself a consistent, recognizable look and feel. Be creative. Be unique. Be yourself.

Graphical Representation

When adding graphics in the form of avatars or background images to social websites:

Do use an iconic and identifiable photograph as your graphical representation. Consider using a portrait or a photo of your location.

Don’t use a BU logo as your graphical representation, unless it appears in a photo.

Twitter Guidelines

Use an iconic photograph cropped to 70 pixels x 70 pixels.
Use a textural image cropped to 1600 pixels x 1200 pixels. Avoid busy, repeating backgrounds.
Be as specific and descriptive as possible within the 20-character limit. Use the name of your department, school, or organization. Do
not use “Boston University” alone.
If you’re near BU’s Boston campus, use Boston University as your location.
Be as specific and descriptive as possible within the 160-character limit.
Link to your website on
Twitter URL
Matches your account name.

Facebook Guidelines

Profile Picture
Use an iconic photograph cropped to 200 pixels wide (no height constraint). Avoid using words or solid colors; they degrade when rendered by Facebook.
Vanity URL
This can never be changed, so choose carefully. Consider establishing a consistent naming convention, for example:,, and
Page name
No character limit.
Page Type
Under “Official Page,” select “Local Business” and then “Education.”
Timeline Cover Photo
The first thing visitors to your timeline see, the cover photo should be engaging, easy to read, and sized 851 x 315 pixels. Choose a pre-formatted image from our BU-themed timeline photos.


Here are a few examples of well-branded social media accounts at Boston University:

Alumni Relations: Twitter, Facebook

Boston University: Twitter, Facebook

Bostonia: Twitter, Facebook

BU Admissions: Twitter, Facebook


To make this easier, below are a series of themes for download. Each theme includes a Twitter avatar, Twitter background, and Facebook profile picture. It’s recommended that you download one to get a sense of visual identity consistency, and also image sizes, etc.


Social Media Sample Themes

The following archives each contain a matching Twitter background, Twitter avatar, and Facebook profile picture.

Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3

Theme 4

Theme 5

Theme 6

Theme 7

Theme 8

Theme 9

Theme 10

Theme 11

Keep active

Social media accounts require constant update. Inactive social media accounts appear clumsy and unprofessional. Please update your accounts often and be sure that you are responsive and engaged with your followers on a regular basis.