Here are 10 tips to help develop and implement your social media strategy. These are suggestions of what has worked for our main accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, etc. Since social media is constantly evolving, we'll modify these as necessary.
1. Who are you? (Purpose)
- What is your purpose, goal(s), mission?
- UC Irvine's mission: Inform, inspire and engage the UCI community.
- What do you want to achieve with social media?
- Build community/network
- Raise awareness of programs, events, etc.
- Share information
- Increase involvement
- Call to action
- All strategy, posts and interactions should be guided by the purpose.
- What tone, voice, style is best to get your message across?
- Serious, authoritative
- Light, casual, conversational
- Speak through a character/persona
- Example: Peter the Anteater
2. Why are you here? (Platform)
- What's the best platform for your organization's goals?
- You don't have to be everywhere. If you have limited resources, select the platform where most of your community is -- and that you feel most comfortable in maintaining.
- UCI's Top 3:
- Facebook (news & information, entertainment, connection to friends, family, acquaintances)
Links, photos, videos, live video (Facebook live), events, direct messages
- Twitter (news, information, current events, breaking news, conversations, etc.)
Links, photos, videos, direct messaging
- Instagram (visual only, highly engaged)
Photos and short videos (1 minute max), Instagram Stories - temporary 24-hour posts.
Can use profile link for hyperlink ("*Link in profile")
- LinkedIn (news, events of interest to professionals)
Links, videos, single photos.
- YouTube (highly shareable video)
- Snapchat: Temporary 24 hours (Can be screenshot, downloaded.)
Others: See the Social Media Directory
- Know your audience/community (demographic, interests, etc.)
- Who are you talking to/with? Where is the best place to connect with them?
- What do they want? Why would they follow you (amidst all the noise)?
- Analytics can help show who you're communicating with.
- UCI's largest demographic is 18-24 years old on Facebook and 25-34 years old on Twitter.
4. We, not Me (Representing the whole campus)
- Watch for biases, appropriate content/tone/etc.
- Image choices, word choices, timing
- Likes, retweets/shares.
- Be sure they're appropriate
- People will screenshot and post
- One bad post can ruin a career/organization/etc.
5. Content is King/Queen.
- Create unique content whenever you can. Become a source of what no one else can provide (Behind the scenes, profiles, sense of place, slice of life, etc.)
- You are uniquely qualified to tell your story.
- Types of content that work well for UCI:
- Campus beauty snapshots
- Pride points (ratings, positive student/faculty/staff/alumni stories, celebrities, etc.)
- Quirky culture (Anteaters)
- Create an emotional connection.
- Look at what kind of content catches your attention, connects to your favorite brands/organizations, etc. See how you might experiment with that.
- Also look at what doesn't work as cautionary tales.
- Guides frequency
- Only post if it's relevant/new. We don't try to create filler.
- "Less is more." Especially on Facebook, whose algorithm penalizes high volumes of posts.
- We post an item only once unless there's big news or if it ties into some current event, etc.
- Can use ICYMI (In case you missed it) to repost
- There are other approaches that post the same content multiple times. This hasn't worked for us, but it might work for you.
6. Be a good social citizen.
- Respect copyrights. Give credit where it's due.
- Include credit for photos, images, videos, music, posts, links, etc.
- Tag key accounts to raise awareness
- Use the @ sign, followed by exact account name/handle. If you're not sure, check the organization's website for the correct social media accounts.
- Join the conversation (#Hashtags, trending topics, etc.)
- Like / comment generously.
- Grows community/followers organically
- Increases awareness
- Builds reciprocity
- Be careful to read the full post and check the links to make sure it's appropriate.
7. Show, don't just tell. (Visuals)
- Focus. Touch the screen for autofocus.
- Consider what's in the foreground, etc.
- Use photo-editing apps (We use Snapseed, VSCO, Pic Play Post for collages with video, etc.)
- Post directly to Facebook as well as YouTube (recent change - Facebook direct videos receive exponentially higher views, engagement)
- 1 minute on Instagram
- Post individual photos to platforms, not just links to photos (e.g., Instagram to Twitter). It's worth the extra couple of steps to upload directly so the image shows instead of just a link.
- Also for Facebook to Twitter: Post directly to Twitter. It's more engaging and people are more likely to see your post instead of just a link or part of a message.
8. Quality counts.
- What will cut through the clutter of all that's flooding social feeds?
- What will make someone pause while scrolling through their feeds?
- Be authentic.
- Doesn't have to be overly produced. (UCI's includes a lot of mobile photos/videos)
- Should have a clear reason for creating & posting.
- Fine line between clever and cheesy
- Be judgmental: Think critically from another perspective.
- When in doubt, leave it out.
- Have another person review, if possible.
- One letter or unfortunate autocorrect can make all the difference. All eyes are on us.
- We all make mistakes:
- Apologize and correct.
- Can edit on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter.
- Twitter: Reply to original post with a correction to create a thread (**CORRECTION: XXXXXX)
- Have a sense of humor. (#NeedMoreCoffee #Mondays)
9. Don't feed the trolls. (Negativity)
- Only engage if you can offer correct information and the post appears reasonable. Link to correct information/official statements, etc.
- Otherwise, leave it alone to avoide giving it undue attention.
- Posts that violate a platform's Community Standards (imminent threats, graphic images, etc.) can be deleted/hidden.
- Be sure to screenshot/copy the original post for your records.
- If there's an imminent threat, report it to the UCI Police Department.
10. Just do you.
- Be true to your organization, brand, mission, voice.
- Be flexible
- Be creative.
- Be willing to let it go...
- (Use analytics, reviews, etc. to see what's working)
- Analytics/Numbers aren't everything. Highest "engagement" can be negative engagement.
Final word: Create/Curate good content & Have fun!
Questions? Contact us at UCISocialMedia@uci.edu.