Social Media Best Practices

What’s your objective?
Consider your objective - what are you trying to accomplish? What audience(s) are you trying to reach? What are your audiences' interests?

What platforms should I use?

Knowing your objectives, the information you'll be sharing, and the audience you want to reach can help you determine which social networks may be the best fit for you and/or your message. The information below can provide insight into which platforms may be best suited for reaching certain audiences.

Building/maintaining a reputation

  • Branding: All official university accounts should be branded according to university standards.
  • Tone: When creating/sharing content, ensure that your messages take the appropriate "tone" for your department and audience.
  • Sharing correct info: Always verify that the content you are sharing is accurate, spelled correctly, uses proper punctuation, and presented in such a way that does not confuse those who see it.

Engagement (not one-way communication tool)
Remember: "Social" is in the term "social media". Don't use it as a one-way means of communication - social media is meant to engage audiences and create discussions. Share content that your audience is interested in. To encourage engagement, consider posing your content in a way that encourages feedback - whether that's "likes", comments, shares, or retweets.

Timing and frequency can vary, so consider the nature of your content and the habits of your audience. Use built-in analytics tools or third-party products such as Sprout Social to observe audience trends and determine what yields the best results.

Practices with a proven record for engagement:

  • Offering a variety of content types - Don't just offer the same type of content to your audience - vary things up with text-based updates, links to stories, photos, videos, and more!
  • Multimedia - A picture is worth a thousand words. Imagery and videos are known to perform better with audiences. Again though, make sure to offer a variety of content to followers.
  • Tags and collaborations - Social media provides a great opportunity to collaborate with others and forge connections. Tagging other entities/accounts in your posts or cross-promoting content can foster relationships and encourage them to return the favor in their own practices!

Etiquette & Monitoring
We encourage users to check their social media accounts at least once daily (even on weekends and holidays where possible as users are still active). Comments and/or messages posted to social networks should be responded to as soon as possible (no more than 24 hours).

  • Use good judgment, be professional - Posts on official accounts represent the entire university. When creating content or responding to inquiries, please remember to be polite and conduct yourself in a professional manner.
  • Responding to negative comments - Again, remember to be polite and conduct yourself in a professional manner. If necessary, invite the individual to contact you and/or your department off-line to work toward a resolution. If you need guidance in resolving an issue on your social media accounts, please contact Marketing and Communications for assistance. Notify the University Police Department and Marketing and Communications immediately if you have a situation you feel poses as a threat to someone or the university.

Crisis Management
In the event of a campus emergency, the university's Marketing and Communications department will disseminate approved messages via its top-tier social media networks. These messages can be shared directly from these accounts to your department/organization social media networks.