Social media platforms are an excellent way to build community, send messages, and engage with your target audience with branded content. Use social media to promote your department events and accolades, engage with students, prospective students and alumni. A polished social media presence also makes for a well-rounded, reputable institution and gives credibility.
The College of Arts & Letters has several college-level accounts that are managed by the Marketing Office and MSU Content Studio student interns.
- Instagram: @MSUCAL
- Facebook: @MSUCAL
- Twitter/X: @CALMSU
- LinkedIn: Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters
- YouTube: Michigan State University | College of Arts & Letters
Maintaining an active social media account takes time. You will need to plan content, post content, monitor accounts and messages, and interact with other accounts and messages. An active social media account will have an continuous flow of posts and interactions.
While photos, graphics, and videos are important on social media channels, so is accessibility.
- Photos, graphics, and illustrations need to include alternative text (alt text). Alt text should describe what is pictured, including any text that may be part of a graphic or illustration.
- Any text on a graphic or illustration should be minimal for clarity and readability on mobile screens. Text should also be a part of the alt text for that graphic or illustration.
- Make sure the color contrast is high between text and image or graphic backgrounds.
- Videos should have burned in captions, auto-captioning (that is reviewed/edited), or a caption file loaded with the video depending on the social platform capabilities.
Learn more from MSU about creating accessible digital content to improve everyone’s experience online, in email, and on social media.
Another resource recommended by the MSU Social Media Team is the site Accessible Social.
Different social media platforms will appeal to different audiences. Consider setting goals for your post content based on the social media platform and the different audiences you’re trying to reach.
- What are you trying to achieve and why (goals and impacts)?
- Who are you trying to reach (audience)?
- What do you want people to do (increase engagement, awareness, etc.)? Any specific calls to action (register, sign up, etc.)?
Goal Setting Example
MSU CAL Instagram: Goals and Impacts
- Promoting a sense of belonging and affinity to support MSU community success and welbeing.
- Showing different experiential learning opportunities to support awareness of professional experiences available to students.
- Highlighting faculty and their areas of scholarship, research, and creative works to support the reputation of the College of Arts & Letters.
MSU CAL Instagram: Audiences
- Primary: Current and Prospective Students
- Secondary: Alumni
- Secondary: Current and Prospective Faculty
MSU CAL Instagram: Engagement & Calls to Action
Over the Instagram account is used to increase awareness and affinity of the College of Arts & Letters that includes students, prospective students, alumni, faculty, and staff. It is also used to share stories and increase awareness of student learning experiences, academic programs, and faculty research.
- Encourage engagement through account interaction (comments, likes, DMs) on Instagram.
- Tag relevant accounts with posts and Reels to increase awareness and reach.
- Seek new followers and new people to follow from the Instagram account, especially students and prospective students.
- Provide giveaways and event information via Stories.
Each social media platform offers a set of analytics natively within your managed account. To start, we recommend tracking post reach and engagement/impressions to help gauge the effectiveness of your posts. Setting specific goals for your social media platforms and messages can also help you determine what makes sense to measure in terms of analytics..
If you are interested in a more in-depth look at your social media account analytics, there are separate social media management tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprinklr. With a social media management tool, you are also able to schedule content, manage all of your accounts, and track your engagement and interactions all in one place.
Michigan State University uses Sprinklr to help schedule and post content, as well as for social media reporting and analytics. The College of Arts & Letters pays for a seat in the institutional Sprinklr account and uses it mainly for college-level social account analytics.
Hashtag usage can help tap into existing conversations and audiences for monitoring and information discovery. They can also build brand recognition.
When using hashtags, capitalize the first letter of each work for easier readability and accessibility (e.g., #SpartansWill).
MSU has a set of hashtags they use with regularity that may make sense to use in some social media posts, including:
- #SpartansWill for MSU aspirational brand-aligned content
- #GoGreen for athletics and sustainability
- #SpartanGrad23 for commencement-related content
Others to consider that the College of Arts & Letters uses in some posts include:
- #GlobalSpartans connected with education/study abroad programs, especially photos
- #MSU to connect with conversations about Michigan State University
- #MSUCAL to represent the College of Arts & Letters (used less frequently because posts are already tied to the college-level accounts)
Engagement & Commenting
Social media platforms also allow for meaningful interaction with your audiences, and can help you build important connections. Engaging with your audience is also a way to build community.
Whether it is crediting the photographer for a post you published, mentioning a business directly in a post, or location tagging an organization that was involved in a story, take the time to find these accounts and include them in your posts. If an account directly mentions, tags, or shares your post, continue to engage and interact with the account.
Reposting User Generated Content (UGC) is another way to build community. UGC is content created by your audience members or followers that is reposted, after asking for permission, from your account. UGC often performs well and provides a way to be more authentic and inclusive.
When building connections through social media, sometimes negative feedback and comments can arise. If there is a post, comment, or message that brings criticism from another user, respond in a professional and appropriate manner that is solution-oriented and avoids accusatory and defensive language. To the best of your ability, your brand should respond with an explanation and a solution if possible.
For one-on-one consultations regarding questions about social media, please submit a Marketing Request Form with the College of Arts & Letters Marketing Office.
- MSU Social Media Guidelines
- MSU Community Guidelines: Handling Social Media Comments
- Social @ Michigan State Resources: University Communications
- Social @ Michigan State Newsletter: Subscription Form
- Social Media for Academics (Faculty, Researchers): University Communications
- The MSU Brand
- MSU: Creating Accessible Digital Content