holistic development

Social Media Guidelines «

Social Media Guidelines


Social media is an important component of Global Brigades’ brand, and is often a central tool for chapters’ abilities to raise awareness, communicate effectively, and interact with the Global Brigades brand at large. It is also often a forum for brigade volunteers to share memories from and reflect upon their experiences with Global Brigades. There are a number of considerations to take into account when posting to social media on behalf of a local chapter or when making posts from individual accounts about Global Brigades.


For all social media outlets, it is important to keep accounts well-maintained and updated. Maintain a consistent presence, rather than resorting to posting once or twice per year when application deadlines arrive. Focus on attempting to build and maintain a receptive audience in addition to communicating relevant and necessary information.



Social Media Guidelines

Photo Sharing Best Practices

Instructions for uploading your photos to SmugMug:
2. Log in with the following information:
3. Locate the “Upload” button on the top left and click “New Gallery”
4. For “Gallery name”, please enter information in the following format: [school], [brigade program], [community], [date] (example: UC San Diego, Public Health, Pajarillos, 3/2017)
5. For Category, choose “Programs”, and as for Subcategories, input your brigade program.
6. (OPTIONAL) Choose a different Theme
7. Leave Thumbnails to ‘Square’ and Privacy to ‘Public’
8. Now, upload your pictures! You should see a page that says “Drag your photos and videos… Drop ’em here” Fire away! Depending on your internet connection speed and the size of your photos, this may take a while to a long time. No worries, get a cup of tea or snack on a sandwich and come back later.
9. The last thing to do is add keywords to your newly created gallery. This will tremendously help the archiving and retrieval of photos in the future. To do so, when in album view, click on “Tools”, then “Gallery Settings”. In the section “Extras”, you will find the field named “Gallery keywords” – this is where you will enter the following keywords, all separated by commas:
  • Month & Year – if your brigade was in March 2017, separate month and year. ex: March, 2017
  • University Name – try to use your university's full name, to avoid potential confusion 
  • Brigade Program – no acronyms please, just program name – ex: Medical, Business, Water, etc.
  • Communityex: Flor Azul, Pajarillos, Kuna Yala, etc.
  • Action Item – “deliverables” – ex: digging, workshop, solar panel, pipe lines, pilas, latrines, medications, extraction, loan, blueprint, etc.


Please note that uploading your photos to Global Brigades' SmugMug account gives Global Brigades permission to use the photos for the website and other marketing purposes. 


Global Brigades understands that social media outlets are a crucial avenue through which college chapters interact with their student body and encourage participation in recruitment drives, fundraising efforts, and other chapter-related business. Therefore, Global Brigades does sanction the ability of chapters to set up chapter-branded accounts via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and other appropriate social media platforms. Establishing and operating a social media account connected to the Global Brigades brand—even at the chapter level—should be viewed and treated as a significant responsibility. Your chapter’s social media account activity will be perceived as reflective of the Global Brigades organization and brand, and thus must maintain and display the core values, principles, tone, and interests of Global Brigades at large.


Establishing Accounts

There should be one social media account on each platform for each university chapter. Rather than having a Johnson University Medical Brigade 2014 Twitter account, for example, there should be a “Johnson University Global Brigades” Twitter account that handles the Twitter activity for all of the university’s Global Brigades trips and publicity efforts. It is highly encouraged to have one person in charge of all of a university chapter’s social media accounts to ensure consistency and quality of communications. Specific guidelines and requirements for details of a number of key social media platforms are included below.



Content and Tone

Communications via social media should incorporate the positive, authentic, smart, and community-focused message of Global Brigades. Avoid overly-formal, businesslike content, emphasizing the organic and personalized feel of the organization, while also straying from posts that are too casual, unprofessional, or crass.


Beyond posts with clear and direct purposes (application deadlines, upcoming events, etc.), try to incorporate informational and meaningful content that engages the reader with Global Brigades on a regular basis. Share exciting developments in the communities your school has visited and personal stories that illustrate the work that Global Brigades is doing.


Post photos and videos from your brigade, utilizing media that emphasize genuine, candid interaction between brigade volunteers, GB staff and community members. In short, use these social media outlets meaningfully and effectively; allow them to become a platform for others to gain an insight into the vision and goals of the organization, attracting more people to participate in the Global Brigades mission.

Individual Posting

We encourage individuals to post about their experiences with Global Brigades. After returning from a brigade, it is exciting and meaningful to share photos and memories with friends and social media followers, and this genuine passion can draw others into learning more about Global Brigades and its purpose.


However, be wary of exoticizing your experiences or emphasizing your personal role in the work being done; instead, focus on the community-based nature of the work and the shared mutual learning experience between participants and community members. Also, be sure that the other posts on your account, surrounding Global Brigades-focused content, are appropriate and reflect well on your involvement with the organization.


Be sure to tag @globalbrigades and use the hashtags #globalbrigades and #gb365.


Blogging Best Practices

Keep layout clean and professional, with legible body text. Maintain high quality, well constructed posts, free of misspellings and grammatical errors. It is encouraged to write posts that give insight into your chapter’s progress throughout the year as well as reflections on the work in the communities, both before and after trips.

Facebook Best Practices

For a Facebook chapter account, construct a “Page” that is viewable publicly. Your profile picture should be your chapter’s official logo, and your cover photo can be a photograph from a recent trip or an advertisement for an upcoming event (such advertisements should be clean, effective, and well-designed, following the branding guidelines outlined on this website). The Page description section should read “The (university name) Chapter of Global Brigades. For more information, visit www.globalbrigades.org.” Encourage chapter members and participants to “like” the page.


Content should be relevant to a wide audience. Maintain a variety of posts on your Page, including information for upcoming events and deadlines, photographs and memories from trips, and even links to insightful external sources (articles, videos, etc.) with commentary that initiates meaningful and intelligent discussion about concepts affecting the Global Brigades mission and purpose. Posts that include photography are proven to acquire the most engagement among Facebook users, therefore post pictures along with your posts as often as possible.


Be sure to tag @globalbrigades and use the hashtags #globalbrigades and #gb365.



Twitter Best Practices

Your profile photo should be your chapter’s official logo. Your header photo can be a photograph from a recent trip. Your account should be viewable publicly. Your location should be the location of your university, your website should link to your chapter’s website or Facebook page, and your bio should read “The (university name) Chapter of Global Brigades.”


Tweets should be free of grammatical errors, misspellings, and excessive or unnecessary abbreviations. Post information, links to blog updates, and meaningful photos. Links to outside sources can be posted, provided that they are self-explanatory and in line with the Global Brigades mission. Avoid, for example, linking to a scholarly article with the intent of offering a sweeping criticism—Twitter does not allow enough space to eloquently and effectively address those concerns.


Video Best Practices

Your YouTube/Vimeo default photo should be your chapter’s official logo. Your header photo can be an image from a recent trip. You should link to your chapter’s website or Facebook page.



If posting video summaries of on-campus events or recent trips, focus on creating high-quality content with sharp visuals and editing. Avoid posting unedited videos and low-quality or shaky footage. If posting videos of lectures or discussions on YouTube or iTunesU, ensure video and audio quality are good and unobtrusive. Discussion content should align with the Global Brigades values and mission.