University Marketing and Communications
Social media: 11 things to know.
Social media is an important communication tool for sharing Bulldog spirit. While rules and best practices can evolve and vary by platform, here are some guiding principles to keep your social media accounts effective and on brand.
Develop a Social Strategy
Identify a need
Developing a strategy for your university-affiliated social media accounts starts with listening. Before you request a new account, go online and monitor what’s already out there — what Fresno State accounts already exist that you can utilize? Would your time best be spent creating content for your college account to post, or do you have enough content and time to invest in building an audience to warrant your own account? Also, what are people saying online about your area? This will allow you to learn about people’s social sentiment toward you.
Consider your audience and platform
If you’re trying to reach an older audience, Snapchat might not be the most effective platform where you’ll be most effective. Make sure you know the audience you’re trying to reach and utilize the most effective social media platform to reach that audience. Take a look at audience demographics by social platforms here.
Responsibility and crisis management
Who’s going to be ultimately responsible for the social media account you’re creating? Fresno State is liable for everything posted by your university-affiliated account. That means responding to questions and taking action in case there’s a crisis. Contact University Marketing and Communications (559.278.2795) for Fresno State’s crisis communications protocol.
Before you create a university social media account, it needs to be approved by the social media specialist. All accounts should have at least three people with access to them. As a government institution, we must also abide by First Amendment freedoms, accessibility requirements and copyright law. See the University-Affiliated Accounts Agreement for more responsibilities and requirements.
Engage Your Followers
Keep it on brand
The tone and voice you use on social media should stay on brand and always keep your audience in mind. Review the Editorial Style Guide and photography page to keep copy and imagery reflective of Fresno State. Our university name must always be correct — either the nickname, “Fresno State,” or the full name, “California State University, Fresno”. Please work with the social media specialist to determine appropriate abbreviations for account handles and display names.
Quality over quantity
Be mindful of oversharing. Delivering focused, exciting content less often will yield better results than more frequent posts of lower quality. Think about delivering messages that provide value and exemplify the university’s brand pillars.
Create a content calendar
Create a posting schedule and identify events, news or trends that align with your area of expertise and audience. Make sure to proactively schedule in time to do social media monitoring and contribute to social conversations.
Respond to feedback
Make sure to reward your audience for their positive feedback through engagement and respond quickly to negative feedback. Do not delete negative comments — that reflects poorly on Fresno State and doesn’t communicate trust while also violating free speech protections. Stay focused on constructive criticism and direct people to the appropriate resources to take the conversation offline. Please check with University Marketing and Communications about how to respond during a crisis situation or anytime you have questions.
Keep it short
Content should be short and easily digestible, linking to websites with more information when necessary. Never say in two sentences what you can say in one. Avoid overusing emojis which make content less accessible.
Create a centralized dashboard
Aggregate social media analytics from all of your platforms in one place and update it regularly. This will help you gain a comprehensive view of your efforts.
Set a goal
Set annual goals specific to your area that align with Fresno State’s marketing plan and strategic plan. Then, decide how you will measure the steps you’ve made toward this goal. Be as specific as possible (e.g. increase likes by 10% in six months through sharing student success stories).
Use tracking codes
When linking to content, use links that have a tracking code built into them. This is a great way to prove the effectiveness of your posts. You can shorten URLs and track the number of clicks through https://bitly.com. Or, you can use Google’s Campaign URL Builder to track more complex information, and see the data aggregated on Google Analytics.