Social Media: Hit the Amplification Sweet Spot

June 18, 2021

The central U of M Twin Cities social media channels can be a great way to amplify a story to a large audience of University students, alumni, parents, staff, faculty, and other community members. We rely on the below submission process to review story submissions, and decide which stories fit our strategy for promotion.

To submit a story for consideration, visit z.umn.edu/socialmediarequests. Our social media team reviews these submissions regularly against our strategy, and decides which stories to move forward with on our channels. To help give you a better understanding of the types of stories we look for, see below for our best practices and suggestions.

In general, we feature stories on our social media channels that:

  • Relate to one of our 6 main content categories: (1) Campus Life, Pride and Spirit, (2) Health & Medical, (3) Research & Innovation, (4) Interactive or User Generated, (5) Student, Alumni, or Faculty Highlights, (6) Greater Minnesota Community.
  • Have an emotional appeal (examples: admiration, pride, trust, hope), and do not read like a headline.
  • Appeal to a broad audience, and not just a niche group that has a higher level of interest than the majority of our followers.

We typically don’t feature stories about:

  • Grants or funding
  • Faculty or staff appointments and promotions
  • School rankings
  • Events (unless broad, or especially student-based and tied to a central University effort)
  • Advocacy or political content (unless there’s a larger University priority).
  • Athletics (note: we do so occasionally, but our channels are more focused on the academic and student experience, while our Athletics channels focus more on athletics updates).

Each of our channels also has a specific audience that it reaches, and some stories may have a fit on just one of those channels. Please note, our audiences are broad and reach other audiences besides those listed below.

  • Twitter appeals to key stakeholders, including University leadership, journalists, legislators, and others.
  • Facebook has a high volume of parents subscribed to our channel.
  • Instagram is a heavy student audience.
  • LinkedIn caters to our alumni, as well as faculty and staff.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to Jacob Spaulding, UR social media manager, at spaul047@umn.edu. Links to our social media channels are below.