Here are some best practices for managing a Facebook Page representing an ISU campus unit:
These horizontal “front door” photos (820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall) are important for your Page. If you need help finding campus beauty shots for your cover photo, you can download some on Illinois State's Flickr page or make special requests via SocialNetworks@IllinoisState.edu. Additionally, videos can be a cover photo as well. If you have a video you want in that space, upload it in a wider aspect ratio so you aren’t accidentally cutting off the top and bottom of your video!
These small, icon-like images appear next to all of your posts in a user’s News Feed. They need to be uploaded at least 180 pixels wide by 180 pixels tall. Your Profile Picture should not be changed regularly. Consistently using the same photo will allow your audience to develop familiarity with your image as it appears on posts and in their News Feed.
Consistent formatting of Profile Pictures aids in branding. UMC’s graphic standards for profile pictures apply:
Consult UMC's Graphics Standards for how official University logos can be used for marketing purposes.
This Redbird Head has been formatted for Facebook profiles and can be downloaded from this page.
You can also request a custom Profile Picture be created by the UMC design staff by emailing SocialNetworks@IllinoisState.edu. Your unit may incur a small design fee.
A Facebook Group is a type of Facebook page that allows users to post content about the group’s topic and discuss it with other individuals in the group. Many units on campus have found groups are a great way to engage their most knowledgeable audiences. Those power users can also educate other users about your office in a way that feels more authentic than posts to a traditional page does. A group can be set up as open to all users, as open to users requesting to join the page, or as open to only those invited to page.
Before creating a group, consider the following:
Here are some best practices for managing your unit's Twitter feed:
Whenever possible, “mention” other Twitter users in your tweets. That means you use their Twitter handle (if they have one), such as @ISUDepartment or @CommunityLeaderJane, when referring to them. That sends them a notification they’ve been mentioned, and increases the likelihood they’ll retweet you, which increases your audience size.
You can find other ISU Twitter accounts on the Social Media Directory. You can easily find non-ISU Twitter handles by searching Google, e.g., “American Airlines Twitter.”
When space allows, use unique hashtags to help social media users find and share your content. The official hashtags mentioned below are all great to use on Twitter.
Successfully branding a new hashtag can be a big win for your unit. However, search for the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook first to make sure the term is not already being used elsewhere. That could make it more difficult for ISU users to find your content.
Looking for guidance on which hashtag to choose? Email SocialNetworks@IllinoisState.edu.
Use your Twitter account to follow similar Twitter accounts, such as other ISU users or users in your industry, field, or profession. If you see something your users would find interesting, retweet it. That will help build your audience, gain you credibility from other users, and provide you regular new content.
Monitor all replies to your tweets (either on your phone or computer) and, if possible, reply to those replies. If someone retweets you, it doesn’t hurt to thank them via reply.
Include a link to your unit's official ISU website in your Twitter profile, as well as a full description of your unit in the "bio" section.
If possible, use the same profile photo for your Twitter profile that you do for your unit’s Facebook Page profile picture. Both are small circles.
This Redbird Head has been formatted for Twitter profiles and can be downloaded from this page.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. Here are some best practices for managing your unit’s Instagram feed.
Instagram is primarily a photo sharing website, and the highest quality videos and photos engage the best. Thankfully, modern smartphones have cameras that provide high quality as long as you follow some basic rules of composition. It is a good idea to use a photo editing software before posting images. If you aren’t comfortable using Adobe Photoshop, editing apps such as Afterlight and Canva are free and easy to use. Images appear in users’ feeds as 1080 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall.
A great image will get a nice batch of likes, but there are strategies that you can give your content a boost.
Stand-alone photos and videos are a great core for your content, but Instagram Stories is a great way to promote events as they are happening. This feature allows users to save posts to their story which users can watch in sequence. The posts are then deleted 24 hours after publishing. Stories is a great way to engage your audience and experiment while maintaining the strong imagery of your main feed.
The Stories feature is great for covering events and for allowing users to “takeover” the account. Using stories gets messaging out in a way that feels more personable and authentic.
One thing to be careful about is image size, which is 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall. If you are planning on using premade photos or graphics with this feature, make sure they are in that size ratio. It is easy to cut off the sides of your picture!
It can be daunting to launch a new social media account. Thankfully, Instagram has a lot of ways that users can maximize the amount of people that see your content. Here are some of the best methods.
This Redbird Head has been formatted for Instagram profiles and can be downloaded from this page.