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 Office are available to help assist you assess your audience and goals.
Not all content is right or optimal for all social media platforms. Each platform has different nuances including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, and YouTube. The sizes for visual content vary by social media platform. Hootsuite annually shares the optimal social media image sizes for photos and graphics based on the platform.
If you need assistance creating an icon or choosing a photo for your social media pages, please submit a Marketing Request Form.
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.
Facebook is a news/feature platform with a focus on networking with graduates/alumni and audiences like parents of students. Facebook is also great for providing general information about a unit, including contact and location information. Generally, you shouldn’t post more than one a day or more than five times during a week.
Facebook’s primary audience is alumni and staff. A secondary audience is parents of current MSU students. These groups tend to engage most with photo galleries, MSU nostalgic content, and MSU pride points.
Overall posts with photos increase engagement. You can add a gallery and can also tag related organizations within photos. Remember to add alt text to any photos, graphics, or illustrations, and keep text to a minimum on graphics and illustrations.
- Use short, concise copy. Space to add more details or narrative text if needed.
- 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). When possible upload the video file to Facebook instead of linking to a video.
Meta for Business: Marketing on Facebook (Source: Facebook/Meta)
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 invite their friends to an event.
Instagram is a visual-based platform that appeals to creative audiences, as well as younger audiences. In addition to photos and graphics, Instagram also allows you to add video Reels and Stories. A focus on Instagram is building community and strengthening your brand.
Posting to Instagram can vary in frequency based on your goals, though posting at least weekly or biweekly shows an account is active. You’ll also want to make sure to post your strongest visual content on this platform. Remember to add alt text to any photos, graphics, or illustrations, and keep text to a minimum on graphics and illustrations.
A primary audience is current and prospective students. Instagram is also a platform that naturally appeals to artistic and creative people — including faculty and alumni — who want to share their projects and work.
Video Reels are also gaining in importance in terms of reach and engagement on Instagram. Authenticity is key.
- 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 and Reels, which can increase your reach across broader audiences on the platform.
Instagram for Business: Marketing on Instagram (Source: Instagram/Meta)
With Stories, you can share photos and videos that disappear from your profile, Feed and messages after 24 hours, unless you add them to your profile as Dtory Highlights.
Stories can be good for sharing time-sensitive event content and content from other MSU or organizational accounts that may not fit with your normal Instagram account aesthetic. (Learn more about Stories.)
Reels can be filmed natively on a phone or be video file uploads. Instagram features Reels more broadly across other Instagram feeds, not just your followers’ feeds, so they can expand your account reach.
Reels should be in a vertical 9:16 vertical orientation for optimal viewing and sharing. Reels can be up to 90 seconds long. (Learn more about Reels.)
Twitter/X is a social media platform for providing news updates, timely information, and communicating to your audience on a frequent basis. Posts are limited in characters, and can include text, links, photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and location information. You can post multiple times a day if the information is relevant to your audience.
There is an active academic audience on Twitter/X of faculty, graduate students, and higher education organizations. Media and reporters also remain active on the platform.
Overall posts with photos increase engagement. You can 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 to any photos, graphics, or illustrations, and keep text to a minimum on graphics and illustrations.
- Tag relevant users (other initiatives/colleges/departments/professors).
- Re-post or share related content from MSU, the College of Arts & Letters, or other departments/units/people.
- Use language that a public audience can understand. Avoid jargon.
Twitter/X for Business | Twitter/X Tips, Tools, and Best Practices (Source: Twitter/X)