Maintaining an account
Now that you have created your social media profiles, it’s time to start publishing content, engaging with your audience, and measuring your success. In the following sections, we’ll provide the knowledge and tools you can use to maintain a consistent, strategic social media presence.
A social media content calendar gives you control of your content by providing a structure to plan, visualize, and collaborate. We built this custom – and customizable! – template with the following features:
- A brief how-to guide.
- An annual calendar to note key dates for your audience and your communications plan.
- A designated space to keep track of news articles and press releases you want to share.
- Monthly tabs for collaborative work on visuals, copywriting, and copy editing.
If this template doesn’t fit your needs, you can create your own or find one online. The goal is to plan ahead, saving yourself from undue stress, spelling mistakes, and an imbalanced content mix.
Each social media platform offers its own user interface and content preferences, and each demographic set has its own preferences on which platforms to use. When deciding which social media platforms are right for your unit, think of your audience first. If your account is already established, analyze the demographic makeup of your current followers and determine if you’re on track or if you need to adjust your strategy. For general information on best practices by platform, explore these resources:
- Social media demographics to inform your brand’s strategy in 2021
- Facebook for Business
- Instagram for Business
- LinkedIn Pages Best Practices
- The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Marketing
- Twitter Business
- YouTube’s Creator Playbook for Brands
For specific questions about the best use of any platform for your audience, contact Marketing Communications.
Manually posting content is stressful and time-consuming and increases the likelihood of making errors. We recommend scheduling content, but no more than a week in advance. Many social media platforms provide free tools to schedule content natively:
- Facebook Creator Studio for Facebook and Instagram.
- Tweet Composer for Twitter.
- YouTube Studio for YouTube.
Many third-party platforms allow you to use one tool to schedule content across multiple social platforms. Marketing Communications uses Sprout Social for scheduling, community management, and reporting. If you are interested in learning more about Sprout Social features and pricing, email us! We’d be happy to connect you with the right people.
Hashtags can be powerful strategic additions to social media copy. Generally, hashtags benefit social media creators by aggregating content. Use hashtags to aggregate content for a specific owned-media campaign, or use them to interject your content into a larger digital conversation or trend.
Always research hashtags before creating them or using them in your content. Before using any particular hashtag, look it up on the platforms on which you plan to publish. Be sure that the content aggregated under that hashtag aligns with KU brand values and your strategic messaging themes.
Here’s a list of the most commonly used hashtags at KU:
- #RockChalk – The most frequently used and easily understood Jayhawk call to greatness.
- #exploreKU – On or off the Hill, show your point of view to Jayhawks around the world
- #BeAJayhawk – We want you to be a Jayhawk. Follow this hashtag for information and updates relating to the admissions process and life on the Hill.
- #KUgrads – Celebrate Commencement and all the activities and recognition ceremonies surrounding this event.
- #KUalumni – Updates from our alumni near and far.
Creating content for social media
Copywriting: When writing copy for social media, it’s important to be engaging and relevant while adhering to KU’s voice and tone. It may take time to develop the right tone for your program or department. Don’t be reluctant to change course if you are not achieving your marketing goals.
Editing: Establish a checks and balances process for reviewing, editing, and approving content. Having multiple eyes review your content increases the effectiveness and accuracy of what you publish. Proofread for spelling and grammar. If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it quickly and transparently. We follow AP style and the University Style Guide.
Photo and video: Eye-catching visuals are a crucial component of a social content strategy. Visual elements shape the viewer’s first impressions of your content and they work with your copy to communicate stories to your audience. You can download KU-related photos and video from our online collection. You can also check out Hootsuite’s 12 Tips for Creating Engaging Visual Content on Social Media to learn more about creative basics, tools and resources, and more.
Design: Graphic design and motion graphics are great alternatives to photography when it comes to social content. Avoid publishing images that are recreations of flyers, posters, or other print material. When you create a social media site on behalf of the university, use simple graphics that represent the KU brand. The official marks page of this website provides information on logo permissions and standards.
Metadata: When someone shares content from your site to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, those platforms’ crawlers will scrape the HTML of the URL that is shared. On a regular HTML page, this content is basic and may be incorrect because the scraper has to guess which content is important and which is not. You can take control of what social crawlers pick up from your site by using meta tags.
- Learn how to update metadata using the Drupal 7 content management system
- Use the Facebook Crawler to see the information that is used when your URL is shared on Facebook.
- Use Twitter’s card validator to see the information that is used when your URL is shared on Twitter.
User-generated content: User-generated content is a great way to showcase life at KU straight from the source. Always get written permission from the original content creator. When sharing user-generated content, credit the original creator in your post captions. Be sure you have the correct social media handles, the correct spelling of their names, and that you identify them with the correct pronouns.
Engaging with your audience
Use good judgment: Remember, social media posts may be replicated quickly or be taken out of context, and may remain public indefinitely. Your actions and statements may affect your organization and even the reputation of the university as a whole.
Be transparent: If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of the university, use your unit name and link to your official KU website. Keep in mind that if you are posting with a university username, what you say directly reflects on the university. Be careful and be respectful. Use plural personal pronouns (“we” or “us”) rather than singular personal pronouns (“I” or “me”).
Maintain your presence: Cross-promote your social media presence in other channels/materials to drive traffic to your social media (and vice versa). Once you are established, your audience will find you and expect to engage with you via social media.
Share content with caution: Sharing and retweeting content is a great way to engage your audience and show candid, credible moments. Before sharing a piece of content, take a moment to look at the user’s profile and ensure that the content they publish generally aligns with KU’s brand positioning.
Understand the rules: Review our community guidelines to learn more about when and how to deal with negative/offensive comments and/or accounts.
Measuring success on social
Set aside time to report on your social media activity as a part of your process. Consider the objectives you defined for your strategy and campaigns, then identify the metrics that support those objectives. Evaluate the results and make changes based on the data you receive.
Deleting an Account
Whether you tried a new platform and found that the return wasn’t worth the effort, or if you inherited a defunct account that doesn’t meet your strategic objectives, you will sometimes need to close an account – and that’s OK! Before deleting or closing an account:
- Talk with your unit’s leadership about why you want to close the account.
- Export any data that is useful to your team.
- Contact Marketing Communications so that we can remove the profile from the directory.