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Please refer to the guidelines below when drafting social media content and strategies.

Have other questions? Visit the visit the University’s Social Media Hub or use our intake form.

Important Metrics to Know

  • Engagement = Likes, comments, reactions, shares, clicks, etc.
  • Reach = How many individuals see your post
  • Impressions = How many times your post was viewed
  • Engagement Rate = Engagement/Reach OR Engagement/Impressions, depending on circumstance


Building Your Social Post

Social media is a unique touchpoint for your audience to connect with your brand. Creativity is often rewarded by both followers and the platform you choose to post to. 

Look to how your audience engages with your posts to formulate decision-making. It’s okay to experiment and see what your audience likes best.

Visuals/Multimedia

We recommend always including media (photo, video, link, etc.) with your posts. Find University approved photos on MediaValet, or get permission for images sourced for a third-party. Be mindful of copyright on any multimedia sourced from a third-party. Get permission directly from users when reposting their content.

Templates

Download social media graphic templates here. Templates are available as .psdt files. Text and images may be modified using Adobe Photoshop. 

If the .psdt file does not open automatically into Photoshop when you double click on it, try the following:

  • Right click on the file, select “open with…”, and select Photoshop, OR
  • Drag and drop the downloaded file onto the Photoshop application icon

Size Guidelines

Syracuse University has resources and suggested guidelines for images in social media posts for a number of common networks. Please take note of these size guidelines for graphics, images, and videos.

Hashtags

Hashtags are a good way to increase the number of eyes on your post. Visit Syracuse University’s Hashtag Guide for more information.

 

Accessibility

It’s important that all social content is made accessible to a wide audience. Doing so includes providing Alt Text for images, using CamelCase hashtags and captioning all videos, among other best practices.

Visit the University’s Accessibility Best Practices for Social Media for guidance.


Posting to Social Media

Social Media Management Platforms

There are a variety of social media management platforms on the market today. Depending on the provider you select, these tools can allow you to create posts, schedule them ahead of time, and keep track of how they perform with your audience. Sprout Social, Later, and Buffer are just a few of the options available to choose from.

Scheduling

Scheduling your posts ahead of time can allow for more flexibility for you and your team. Some social media platforms allow you to do so through in-platform tools, like Facebook’s Meta Business Suite.

Pay attention to key days and times of the day that your posts perform well during. For example, if your posts receive more engagement and reach more people in the late afternoon, do not schedule them for the mornings.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Choose quality over quantity. It’s better to have meaningful content than numerous posts that do not provide value for your audience.
  • Double check the account you are posting to. Make sure a private post does not end up on your public account, or vice versa!
  • If you notice a typo or grammatical error in a post you’ve already published, don’t panic. On Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, you can go back and easily edit the post. Twitter is the only outlet in which you cannot go back and edit an already-published tweet. If needed, you can delete it and then post a corrected tweet.


Community Management

Fostering a community within your social media following is important for maintaining engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) on your posts. Be social and engage with your followers.  Due to the volatile nature of online communities and trending topics, it is best to check social platforms when at all possible to ensure they are generating positive and productive conversations.

For other best practices surrounding community management, please refer to Hubspot's guide to community management.  

Negative Comments

When responding to negative comments, be positive and understanding. Try to take the conversation offline, if possible, as every comment appears in the public eye.

Respect Privacy

Use direct messages when exchanging personal or contact info. Avoid personal opinion and endorsements.


Drafting Your Social Media Strategy

Consider these questions as you plan and evaluate:

  1. What are your unit’s goals? What does success look like?
    1. How will social media help to reach those goals?
    2. How will social media be integrated into your existing strategies?
    3. How will you track and measure your efforts?
  2. Who is your target audience?
    1. What do you want them to do or to know?
    2. What are their interests, demographics and relationship with your unit?
  3. What is your content plan?
    1. What types of content will you share? (articles, photos, graphics, videos, etc.)
    2. What information is most relevant to your audiences and the unit? Prioritize this content and eliminate superfluous information.
    3. How will you make the account social? How will you generate interaction?
    4. How often will you post?
    5. How much time will be spent on content and social media?
    6. Who will do the work?
  4. How will you monitor the account(s) and engage your audience(s)?
    1. How often will you monitor the account?
    2. When and how often will you engage with followers?
    3. Who will do the work?
  5. Which social media platform(s) are the best choice(s)?
    1. Which platform(s) do your audiences already use?
    2. Which platform(s) will best showcase your content?
    3. Which platform(s) align with your unit’s goals?
    4. Will the account(s) duplicate other efforts or segment audiences?
    5. Is there another unit or account with similar goals, audiences and/or content that you could partner with?
  6. Is your plan sustainable?
    1. Will your plan endure over the long-term? How?
    2. Will the plan be effective if the leader of this effort leaves the University?
    3. When and how often will you evaluate and measure your efforts?
    4. When and how often will you update the plan?


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