University of Southern California

USC Identity Guidelines

Social Media Profiles

Profile Photos

When setting up a social media account, you will need to upload a profile photo. Depending on the social channel you are using, this will require an image of a minimum resolution.

Current web standards are as follows:

These sizes may seem generous for a profile photo, but because of the variable display rate of devices it is best to upload at the larger size. Profile photos will show up at 50 pixels or less, so images should be kept simple. This means USC logos and identity graphics won’t reproduce well because of their level of detail.

Recommendations to avoid an illegible profile photo are:

Cover Photos

One of the biggest pieces of real estate on any social media profile is the cover photo. Each social channel has different specifications for these, as with Profile photos.

Current web standards are:

While Profile photos are a fairly static part of a social media profile, the cover photo is something that can change at the discretion of the account. This is a good place to advertise a specific event that is coming up at your school or center, or to make creative content that is seasonally appropriate. As always, these photos should fall into compliance with the USC branding system, but can be a good place to exercise some creativity and personality for your account.


Your username is limited to 15 characters, with no spaces or special characters, and appears alongside all your tweets and in your Twitter URL. In most cases, you should include “USC” so your account will be identified with the university quickly. You may need to shorten the name of your school, department, or organization for your username, but try to make it readable and recognizable (avoid abbreviations or acronyms that aren’t already familiar).

Your account also has a name, which can be up to 20 characters including spaces. Make sure to include “USC” (or “Trojan” for certain clubs and sports teams), along with your school, department, or organization name, written out as completely as possible.

Your bio allows up to 160 characters to describe who you are. Be as descriptive as possible, providing the full name of your department or organization if it didn’t fit into your account name. Avoid boilerplate intro text or the abbreviated history of your school or department, which are unlikely to be read in this space. You may want to identify the person who maintains the account, mention if your account is only actively monitored during certain hours, and provide your organization’s contact email or phone number.

Don’t forget to include a link to your website on

Many official USC school, department, and organization Twitter accounts are aggregated together at USC on Twitter. To join, follow uscweb so your Twitter page can be reviewed and added.

To be added to the public USC Twitter lists maintained by the main USC Twitter account, send a message to @USC.

The themes below are available for USC Twitter accounts, or as examples to create your own. Themes include a background photo and a matching profile photo. To download a theme, click the download link below the thumbnails.


When selecting a page or profile photo, use a photograph that represents your school, department, or organization.

If you are using Facebook’s timeline layout, the first thing visitors see is your cover photo. Make sure you select a photo that is engaging, recognizable, and works well in horizontal orientation. The current sizing for Facebook cover photos is: 820 px by 312 px.

Facebook offers the option of establishing a vanity URL (e.g. Your page name has no character limit, but should be concise; it should include “USC” so visitors can easily identify your university affiliation. Remember, your vanity URL and page name can never be changed, so choose carefully.

For page category, under “Basic Information,” select the categories “Companies & Organizations,” then “University.”

If you would like to have your Facebook page listed as a “Like” on the Official Facebook page for USC, contact University Communications at

The themes below are available for USC Facebook accounts, or as examples to create your own. Themes include a cover photo and a matching profile photo. To download a theme, click the download link below the thumbnails.


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