Social Media 101
Social media best practices, tips and tricks for faculty and staff in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University
Contact: Erin England, Multimedia Communications Coordinator
From Twitter to Snapchat, social media networking websites and apps connect individuals to their friends, colleagues and even their favorite celebrities, no matter where those people are located around the globe.
This worldwide means of communication, discovery and entertainment is definitely here to stay. So why not join us in the land of all things social?
When deciding whether you, as a representative of the university, your program or department would like to jump into social media, keep this in mind:
When posting on social media as a representative of the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, remember that your tweets, posts and Instagrams are shared on behalf of the organization, not by you as an individual.
Using language that will offend an individual or group of people based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, handicap or other form of diversity or difference is not tolerated by The Ohio State University.
Before you get started:
When diving into social media on behalf of the college and university, first ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- What's my reason for creating a social media account?
- Who is my target audience?
- How much time do I have to devote to this account?
Determine your reason for creating a social media account and your target audience
Common reasons to dive into social media include: to share research stories globally, to connect with current students and to spread information quickly in a fun way.
Depending on your reason for making an account and your target audience, you might find that one platform is better suited to your goals than another.
For instance, Twitter is great for sharing news with international faculty and organizations using #hashtags, and Instagram is easy for sharing images fast with young people, such as potential Buckeyes.
Find out which site might work best for you:
Facebook | Great for keeping in touch with friends and older alumni, not ideal if your audience is only students. Allows for longer text captions but 160 to 175 characters are preferred.
Twitter | Perfect for sharing short news items, to individuals and organizations all over the globe using a common denominator, i.e., the #hashtag. Allows 140 characters only. URL shorteners like Buffer and go.osu.edu can help you get the most out of your message.
Instagram | Want to reach potential and current students? This is where they live. Share images and 15-second videos, with short captions; no links because they're not clickable.
YouTube | Have a talent for making short (1-2 minute) videos? This might be the realm for you. Consider Vimeo, as well, if your audience or content is considered "alternative."
Pinterest | Want to market products, services or a really cool craft to women, ages 20-48? Create a board and start pinning.
Ideal time commitment for each social media website
Facebook | Try to post one time a day and no more than three times a day. Frequent posts from one account, especially about the same thing, can be annoying.
Twitter | Post as much as you want here. Also, post the same thing (like an event or research story) different times throughout the day over an entire week: Monday at 4 p.m., Tuesday at 8 a.m., and Sunday at 8:30 p.m. There's almost no such thing as too much. Almost.
Instagram | No posts immediately after each other; no one likes their newsfeed to be taken over by one account. Instead, try posting three times a week or a few times a day, if you can.
Pinterest | This takes some setup. Before promoting your account, create five to 10 boards and pin at least five items to each board. Pinners like to see variety before committing to following a board or account.
After having those questions answered, it's time to move on to posting.
Avatars for social media
The avatar, or profile photo, that you use on your social media platforms gives your audience their first impression of you. Using an avatar that contains a Block O will show your strong connection to The Ohio State University and to the College of Education and Human Ecology.
The scarlet Block O avatar is reserved for the university's main social accounts. Don't worry - there are tons of other options to choose from and templates are available on Ohio State’s branding page for social media accounts.
Determine what and how to share
- According to Kissmetrics, posts with images receive 104 percent more comments than posts with text alone.
- Include a 1600 x 900 pixel image or social media graphic.
- Save it as a PNG file (not a JPEG) so Facebook doesn't automatically compress it.
- When possible, tag individuals in your photo. This practice increases engagement.
- Scheduling posts through Facebook will allow you to schedule Facebook posts, with or without images, in advance on your Facebook Page, specifically for business, brands and organizations.
- Include a 1600 x 900 pixel image or social media graphic.
- Use #hashtags but not too many (maximum of three).
- Search hashtags first to ensure that you are using a popular one.
- Keep your tweet around 120 characters so others can retweet or share your tweet.
- Scheduling posts through Hootsuite or Buffer will allow you to schedule tweets in advance.
- Include a 900 x 900 pixel image or social media graphic
- Use #hashtags here too. Individuals can click on a #hashtag to find more Instagram posts that feature that tag.
- 15-second videos are easy to make and young people especially enjoy watching them.
Share your account so we can share your news!
Want your Facebook posts and tweets to reach a larger population? Send Erin England a link to your social media account (any platform) so your news, research and program updates can be shared through the college's official social media accounts.
Erin can also work with you to have your posts shared through the university's official accounts, which have more than 100,000 followers and fans.
Interested in jumping into more detail about specific social media issues or concerns?
Contact Erin England, Multimedia Communications Coordinator, 614-292-3580.