It’s not necessary to create a social media account of profile on every platform. Some may work better for your needs that others, and you will want to take into consideration the resources you have for maintaining social media accounts.

Assess the target audience you are trying to reach and the type of messages you want to share to determine which platform may work best to achieve your goals. Members of our Marketing and Communications office are available to help assist you assess your audience and goals.

Not all content is appropriate for all social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. In general, keep the most polished editorial content for Facebook. Share quick snippets of information and news on Twitter. Fun and engaging photos should be shared on Instagram. Keep longform video to YouTube.

If you need assistance creating an icon or choosing a photo for your social media pages, please submit a Marketing Request Form.


Twitter

Twitter is a great social media platform for providing news updates, timely information, and communicating to your audience on a frequent basis. Tweets are limited to 280 characters, and can include text, links, photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and location information. Twitter is fast-paced and you can post multiple times a day if the information is relevant to your audience.

Overall posts with photos increase engagement. Twitter also enables to you add a gallery of up to four photos in a post. You can also tag related people and organizations within photos. Remember to add alt text.

Twitter’s primary audience includes faculty, staff, graduates, and some current students (more geared toward graduate students).

  • Faculty, staff, and graduate students are most engaged with posts about grants, research, fellowships, and academic awards.
  • MSU graduates are most engaged with posts including questions, nostalgia, and pride posts
  • Students are most engaged with user-generated content, authentic conversations, humor, and visuals.

Twitter Tips

  • Tweet with engaging images (of people, with vibrant colors, and high resolution)​​​​​​​.
  • Tag relevant users (other initiatives/colleges/departments/professors).
  • Use hashtags (no more than two hashtags).
  • Write concise copy (there is a 280 character limit – but the shorter the better).
  • Retweet related content from MSU, the College of Arts & Letters, or other departments/units/people.
  • Use language that a general audience can understand. Avoid jargon.​​​​​​

Twitter for Business | Twitter Tips, Tools, and Best Practices (Source: Twitter)


Facebook

Facebook is also a news platform, with a focus on networking with graduates and older audiences, like parents of students. Facebook is also great for providing general information about a unit, including contact and location information. Facebook is not as fast-paced as Twitter, so you should generally not post more than once a day or five times during a week.

Facebook’s primary audience is alumni, faculty, and staff. These groups tend to engage most with questions, nostalgia, video, and pride points.

Facebook Tips

  • Use short, concise copy. Can add more details or narrative than with Twitter.
  • Always use images with a post. Upload a relevant image if the article does not auto-populate with one​.​​​​​​​​​​
  • Take advantage of video content – shorter content is more attention grabbing (less than 1 minute).

Meta for Business: Marketing on Facebook (Source: Facebook/Meta)

Facebook Events

Creating a Facebook Event can increase the reach and visibility of a post. A specific Event post also doubles as a promotional post and includes co-hosting/co-branding options with other people and organizations on Facebook.

If it’s a public even, anyone can search and find the Event post. It also allows followers, friends of followers, and anyone to post and share the event spreading the information more organically among people. Additionally, Facebook users can specifically invite their friends to an event.

What to consider:

  • Is this event public facing or internal?
  • Does the event have a limited capacity under 50 attendees?
  • Do you have at minimum seven days to promote this event?
  • Is registration or tickets required?

Additionally, when people check that they are “Interested,” “Going,” or “Not Attending” those actions can also show up on their friends Facebook feeds in different ways, expanding beyond the followers of your main Facebook account.


Instagram

Instagram is a visual and image-based platform that appeals to creative audiences, as well as younger audiences. In addition to photos and graphics, Instagram also allows you to add short videos, Reels, and Stories. Followers are more unlikely to “repost” on Instagram than they are on Twitter or Facebook. The focus for Instagram is building community and strengthening your brand.

Posting to Instagram can vary in frequency based on your goals, though in general weekly or more shows an account is active. You’ll also want to make sure to post your strongest visual content on this platform.

Instagram’s primary audience is current and prospective students. It’s also a platform that naturally appealed to artistic and creative people and communities who want to share their projects and work.

  • Prospective students engage most with content that includes videos, causes, and images sharing brand personality
  • Current students engage most with user-generated content, authentic conversations, humor, and visual graphics

Instagram Tips

  • Post regularly with content relevant to your audience.
  • Engage with your followers by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts, as well as tagging them in your posts.
  • Ask for a native image and permission before sharing user’s photos or work. Also credit them in your post.
  • Utilize features like Stories, Highlights, and Reels, which can increase your reach across broader audiences on the platform.

Instagram for Business: Marketing on Instagram (Source: Instagram/Meta)

Instagram Stories

Learn more about specific Instagram features by viewing the Instagram Stories 101 slides. (Log in with your MSU NetID and password.)

Story Examples