15 Tips for All Social Media Administrators

1. Reason for social media. Are you trying to communicate a campaign, generally promote your department, and communicate with constituents? How will your social media presence be different than other communications with your audience?

2. Define your goals. Before jumping into social media for your department, program, or office, spend some time determining what you want to accomplish. Understanding this will help you choose the appropriate tools, create relevant content, and understand the best way to reach your target audience.

3. Post regularly and consistently. Posting too much can cause your audience to leave the community. So can posting too little. No platform should go more than two weeks without any activity.

4. Be accurate. Be sure that content is timely, relevant, and interesting, as well as credible and consistent with your professional role and with UWG’s standards. Make sure all of the details and facts are accurate and grammatically correct before posting or responding to inquiries. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to sources whenever possible.

5. Correct your mistakes. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly. Deleting inaccurate data is discouraged on social media because of the amount of emphasis put on transparency, so it is important to get things right on the first post.

6. Regularly monitor university social media sites. 

7. Be prepared to accept and respond to comments. Social media is, by design, a conversation and not a one-way broadcast.

8. Have a comment response plan. Both positive and negative comments require a response from the organization in a timely manner. Who will respond to these comments? What is your unit’s acceptable time frame?

9. Treat every post like it will make headline news. Remember that media professionals are monitoring social media for lead stories. Should the media contact you, please contact UCM before responding.

10. Be a valued member of the social media community. If you join a social network, make sure you are contributing valuable insights and posting quality content regularly.

11. Be responsible and judicious. Please keep in mind that comments may be made that aren’t favorable or may not coincide with your own personal views. Take the high ground and be civil in your postings and responses.

12. Avoid profanity and obscenity. Stay away from statements involving sensitive language, including but not limited to obscene language, profanity, or ethnic slurs.

13. Do not engage in a back-and-forth argument. We respect freedom of speech as long as it does not violate any guidelines, laws, etc.

14. Measure results. To evaluate post activity and interaction with a community, make use of analytics and tracking tools, which can help to refine your strategy and better understand your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

15. Adjust. Be prepared to realign your strategy in response to who is viewing your site and how they are doing so. If you realize that social media is not meeting your needs or the needs of your audience or public, it is best to close the account rather than leave it inactive.

Profile Recommendations

  • Facebook

    Page Name/Title:

    • Include UWG before name of department, program, or office (ex: UWG Honors College)
    • Be consistent with names by keeping it similar to other platforms

    Photo/Bio Information:

  • Twitter

    Page Name/Handle:

    • Include UWG before name of department, program, or office (ex: UWGCareerServices)
    • Be consistent with names by keeping it similar to other platforms
    • Keep it short and simple

    Photo/Bio Information:

    • Include URL to UWG website
    • UWG logo included in photo
    • Include link to disclaimer as listed in policy
    • Include hashtags relevant to university or department  
  • Instagram

    Account Name:

    • Include UWG before name of department, program, or office (ex: UWGNewnan)
    • Be consistent with names by keeping it similar to other platforms
    • Keep it short and simple

    Photo/Bio Information:

    • Include URL to UWG website
    • UWG logo as profile photo or included in photo
    • Include link to disclaimer as listed in policy
    • Include hashtags relevant to university or department 
    • Short description about photos and purpose of account

Content is Everything

  • Facebook

    Facebook Post 

    What to post:

    • Images supported by strong headlines to increase engagement
    • Original and fresh content that is relevant to the Go West brand
    • Clear, concise, and conversational messaging

    When creating a post:

    • Keep text short
    • Post content that is timely, relevant, and newsworthy
    • Create a calendar and use the scheduling feature on Facebook

    When to post:

    • Check Facebook insights to determine audience trends
    • Friday is a high peak day for engagement
    • Once a day
  • Twitter

    twitter post 2 twitter post 1

    What to post:

    • Images, infographics, and videos for higher engagement
    • Upcoming events and dates for students
    • Engaging stories of faculty, staff, and student success

    When creating a post:

    • Keep it at 280 characters or less
    • Post timely and newsworthy tweets
    • Create a calendar and use the scheduling feature on Twitter
    • Use proper #UWG, #GoWest hashtags

    When to post:

    • 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the best times for retweets and engagement
    • 5 p.m. yields the highest retweets
    • You can tweet several time per day, but do not overwhelm your followers 
  • Instagram

    Instagram Post

    What to post:

    • Images of events and campus
    • Graphics with limited text to promote events
    • Short videos from events or campus events
    • Regular posts: quotes, #tbt, fan Friday, holidays, etc.

    When creating a post:

    • Aim to visually tell a story
    • Post content that will encourage followers to tag others
    • Create a calendar and use the scheduling feature on Facebook
    • Post multiple photos/videos to tell a story

    When to post:

    • 8 p.m. shows the greatest engagement

Accessibility

As social media managers, it’s up to us to create accessibility content on the web and on social media. With that said, certain platforms now offer ways to create accessibility content for users who may have vision and hearing impairments. This is now best practices and should be implemented within an content strategy. Below are ways to create accessible content on social media.

  • Facebook

    Alternative text - Alt text can be imbedded within image(s) on Facebook. Now, when you load a photo in your post, whether to post immediately or schedule, you can click on the edit button in the post to add your alt text. Please see screenshots below.

    Facebook Alt Text Field
    Facebook Alt Text Field  2

    You can also edit an image that’s already posted and add the alternative text. Click on the image and go to the bottom right hand corner and select options then change Alt Text. See below.

    Facebook Video Captions

    Captions - All Facebook videos should have captions. This can be done usi­ng YouTube or captions within Facebook. Keep in mind, the auto-generated captions will need to be edited.

    Auto-generated Facebook captions

     

  • Twitter

    Alternative Text - make sure you go into settings, accessibility and the “compose image descriptions” is toggled on. Now, you’ll see a black bar under each photo and you can now type the alternative text before you tweet out the content.

    Twitter Alt Text Field

     

    Hashtags - Capitalize the beginning of each letter of a word in hashtags. For example, instead of “#gowest” use “#GoWest.” This allows screen readers to know when a word begins

    Links - Use a link shortener such as https://bitly.com/  when tweeting out links.

  • Instagram

    Alternative Texts - Instagram allows you to write alternative texts before you posts image(s). Once you add the photos, edit and write your caption, go to Advanced Settings at the bottom of the page, navigate to write alternative text. You can also edit photos after they are posted and add alt text.

    Instagram Advanced Settings

    Instagram Stories

    Keep color contrast in mind when you’re writing text on a story frame. Make sure if the background is lighter the text is darker.

  • Snapchat

    Use larger text for captions and make sure there is good contrast between background and text.

Analytics

  • Facebook
    • Log into your account
    • Go to “Home” tab of page
    • Select “insights”
      • See total page likes
      • Compare post reach totals from the week
      • See organic vs. paid reach and boosts posts where needed
      • Measure overall engagement of posts
      • Export data to your computer by using the “settings”
  • Twitter
    • Log into your account
    • Check on your account icon in top right corner
    • Select “analytics”
      • See general overview of your account
      • Review a 28-day summary of tweets/account activity
      • See impressions, profile visits, mentions, and followers
      • See top tweets and tweet highlights
  • Instagram
    • Log into your account
    • Check on your hamburger button in top right corner  
    • Select "Insights"
    • Review your activity, content and audience 
    • Analyze feed posts and Stories 

Disclaimer

Post a link (https://www.westga.edu/ucm/social-media-disclaimer) to this Disclaimer on your site.

“The University of West Georgia (UWG) welcomes the exchange of ideas about university programs, issues, events, and activities on social media websites. The material posted does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the university. The university reserves the right to remove pages, posts, comments, or other content from UWG social media sites that do not adhere to university standards. The university may remove content that is deemed a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, commercial or promotion of organizations or programs not related to or affiliated with the university, or otherwise in violation of applicable policy or law.  By submitting content to any UWG social media site, users understand and acknowledge that this information is available to the public and that UWG may use this information for internal and external promotional purposes. Links to content or other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the organizations, entities, views, or content contained therein. UWG is not responsible for the content of those external websites. Also be aware that other participants may use posted information beyond the control of UWG. Users who do not wish to have information they have made available via these sites used, published, copied, and/or reprinted, should not post on the social media sites.”

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