Brand Strategy and Marketing
Social media: 11 things to know.
Connect and engage with followers while spreading the infectious Bulldog spirit. While rules and best practices vary by platform, here are some guiding principles to keep your social media accounts effective and on brand.
Develop a Social Strategy
Developing a strategy for your college or division social media presence 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 (like emeriti or older alumni), Snapchat might not be the 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? If it’s a student, volunteer, or part-time employee, keep in mind that Fresno State is liable for everything it posts. That also means responding to questions and taking action in case there’s a crisis. All accounts should have at least three people with access to them. Also, as a government institution, we must abide by First Amendment and accessibility requirements. Contact University 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 coordinator.
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”. FS may be used in social media hashtags. Include a hashtag such as #FSDogDays.
Quality over quantity
Be mindful of oversharing, especially on Facebook and Instagram. Delivering focused, exciting content less often will yield better results than dozens of erroneous messages in an hour. Think about delivering messages that provide value and exemplify the University’s brand pillars.
Create a content calendar
Create a posting schedule and stick to it. Remember, consistency is key on social media. Make sure to proactively schedule in time to do social media monitoring and contribute to social conversations. Scheduling can include content you create as well as items that you share from other sources (both on and off campus). Connect with University Brand Strategy and Marketing to ensure your calendar syncs up with Fresno State’s marketing objectives.
Respond to feedback
Make sure to thank people for positive feedback and respond quickly to negative feedback. Do not delete negative comments — that reflects poorly on Fresno State and doesn’t communicate trust. Stay focused on constructive criticism and direct people to the appropriate resources to take the conversation offline.
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. Please check with University Communications about how to respond during a crisis situation or anytime you have questions.
Create a centralized dashboard
Use Excel or Google Sheets to aggregate social media analytics from all of your platforms in one place. This will help you gain a comprehensive view of your efforts. This should be updated once a week or at the minimum, once a month.
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.
For more information about Fresno State social media, please visit the social media page on the University Communications website.