Social Media Best Practices
Incorporate visuals in the majority of your content. These can be graphics, photos, videos that catch the eyes of your audience. Additionally, use good quality photos and photos with appropriate dimensions for links. Each social account will require different-sized photos for optimal viewing. Great resources for photo dimensions can be found below.
- Facebook Photos Size Guide by Have Camera Will Travel
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks by HubSpot
- Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet and Image Tricks by Constant Contact
Facebook and Twitter will incorporate a hyperlinked image so the link copy in the post is unnecessary. Remove the links from copy after an image has been created. Additionally, links in Instagram photos are not clickable. Use the link in account profile for shared links.
Each TTUHSC page represents a specific area of TTUHSC and the distinct purpose of each page should be demonstrated in the posts. Create a balance of original, personal content, organizational information and external content.
As TTUHSC social media administrators, we represent an academic institution and grammatical errors should not be a common occurrence.
Privacy does not exist, and should not be expected in social media. Act with a professional tone and in good taste on social media. One should consider what might happen if a post becomes widely known and how it may reflect both on the contributor and the university.
Provide captions on all videos–either closed captions (ability to turn them on and off) or open captions (where text is embedded into video and cannot be turned on/off). Set captions to be enabled as default when possible. Consider providing transcripts for video and audio productions.
Use alt text, or "alternative text," for all photos where possible. Alt text refers to invisible descriptions of images which are read aloud to vision-impaired users on a screen reader.
Alt text is a common feature on websites and in content management system like OmniUpdate. Social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all recently introduced features for adding alt text to photos uploaded with social media posts--as have social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite.
Put hashtags at the end of a post or where they fit conversationaly in sentences, not at the beginning. Always use camel case. Example: #RedRaiderNurse or #IAmARedRaider.
Text in Images
Do not post photos or graphics with heavy amounts of texts on them. This text is not recognized by screen readers or other accessibility tools. When important information is included in an image, that information should be included in the caption of the photo or on linked webpages.
Other Notes of Caution
When information cannot fit in a social media caption or alt text, consider linking back to a source, such as the TTUHSC website.
Avoid acronyms or abbreviations, unless already mentioned in full.
Use plain language and active voice.
Avoid using Graphics Interchange Formats (GIFs). This image format does not support alt text.
Confirm the websites you link to also contain accessible information.
Simply having social media accounts won’t advance department initiatives. Know your objectives, and use social media with purpose to reach them.
For pages fewer followers, post at least three times a week to maintain consistency and to keep your audience engaged. Avoid posting more than one time a day to prevent feeling spammy.
Using a weekly/monthly planner is the best way to keep track of your content. These do not have to be exact, but often give an idea as to what needs to be posted on any given day and will help avoid a page lag.
Websites like Bit.ly and Goo.gl make posting links easy and track-able. Create an account to see the success of each link for tacking performance.
Keep track of analytics and growth of account. The average organic growth rate for Facebook is 0.24 percent per month. Compare your page engagement, likes, etc. with similar pages.
Know your prime posting times. Keep tabs on when your audience is most active on social media and use that to your advantage.
Every company is fighting to be on your audience’s newsfeed. Consider allocating budget for social media advertising within your department to boost important posts that can create engagement.