Know Your Audience
Take the time initially — and all the time — to scroll through your social media
feeds to see what your followers are talking about and engaging with. To break through
timeline and feed clutter, you can't be a branded megaphone. Your content should always
be geared toward your audience. Think about how you can add value to conversations
already happening and what conversations you can start and lead. Be helpful to your
audience, and watch your following grow.
Speak to Your Strengths
People will engage with your content at a higher rate if they see you as the expert
on whatever topic you post about. For example, during flu season, messaging around
the importance of getting your flu shot makes more sense coming from Student Health
Services than other units. Content related to health is more trusted from accounts
that are directly tied to campus health and wellness.
Curate Your Content
Studies show short posts, photos and videos drive higher post engagement. If you can convey content in fewer words or with a
compelling photo, do it. Even if your platform doesn't have character limits, be choosy
with words. Here are some length recommendations for major platforms:
- Twitter (140 character limit): 70-100 characters
- Facebook: 40-119 characters
- Instagram: 70-140 characters
Use links and URL shorteners. Let your link convey information, and make your social content just long enough
to whet your audience's appetite. Dozens of free link-shortening websites help you reduce the length (and ugliness) of URLs and make
them look more official. We recommend bitly.com if you don't already have a favorite.
Carolina is the state's flagship university, so proper spelling and grammar are beyond essential. A good rule of thumb? Write once and proof twice (or three
times) before publishing, tweeting, snapping or posting from your unit account. Also
be sure to follow accessibility guidelines to ensure your content is available to all users.
Hashtags should be very brief. Where appropriate, include “UofSC” — like #UofSCWelcome
and #UofSC — or promote annual events like #TigerBurn. To include a year in your hashtag,
just drop the first two digits of the year to save characters and make it easier to
remember — like #UofSC20.
YouTube Is Not All That
Managing multiple platforms takes time and effort. If you don't have a YouTube account,
you can upload any video you create native within most social media platforms. You'll
probably get side effects of higher views and engagement, too.
Keep it Clean
Assume that any content posted to a social media account will be redistributed by
the general public. Employees or representatives of the university should exercise
discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for colleagues, associates and the university’s
supporters, community and social media fans.
Take the High Road
Employees and representatives of the university should refrain from engaging in dialogue
that disparages colleagues, critics and other institutions of higher learning.
Comments directed at individual fans or page users should be respectful and never
written in a manner that can be interpreted as combative, demeaning or negative. Content
- show (or be perceived to show) someone getting hurt, attacked or humiliated
- be something that might be considered racist, bigoted or demeaning to a particular
group of individuals
- be something that depicts activity that is (or may be perceived to be) illegal, such
as drug use
- be something that could otherwise show the account holder or university in a negative
Content should not be posted that might be embarrassing to an individual or that could
be construed as placing an individual in a negative or false light.
Never, ever tell or ask followers to share or retweet a post. Create content that
is compelling enough for your followers to want to share it on their own.
Analytics are a key component to building a successful social media presence. Evaluate
what is working and what isn’t on a regular basis to create engaging content. You
can access free, native analytics on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Paid tools like SeenMoment and Sprout Social can provide deeper account insights.
Every post can't be a home run. You may not gain 100 new followers every week. Building
a strong social media presence takes time ... often more time than many are willing