Quick Guide to Social Media Channels

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Before You Begin

Social media can be a valuable addition to a robust communication strategy, but be sure to consider a few questions before you launch a new social media account:

  • Who is your intended audience? Is this the right channel to reach them?
  • How much time can you dedicate to the management of this channel?
    • Social media is fast-paced and requires time for monitoring and engagement as well as outgoing messaging.
    • Set aside time to keep up with the ever-changing features and policies within social media channels as well.
  • What are your goals, and how will you measure success?

Below is a quick overview of the most common social media channels, and how they can be utilized in marketing and communications efforts:


Facebook is one of the largest social media channels, with an estimated 1.4 billion daily active users (Source: Facebook). Facebook business pages allow you to:

  • Share news and information
  • Share video content
  • Stream live video for Q&As, events, and tours
  • Share photos and photo albums to showcase events, facilities, and people
  • Answer questions and provide customer service via direct messages

Useful links:


Twitter is used to discover trending conversation topics and breaking news, share information instantly, and to connect with people and businesses across the globe. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans are using Twitter. (Source: Hootsuite Blog, 2018) You can use Twitter to:

  • Tap into trending topics relating to your college, department, or research area
  • Connect with influencers in your field, members of the media, and your intended audience
  • Listen to what is being said about you, what questions you can answer, and what is important to your intended audience

Useful links:


Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that is managed from a smart-phone app and is one of the fastest growing social networks, with 1 billion active monthly users. (Source: Search Engine Journal 2018) This channel is ideal for visual storytelling using striking images, video, and captions. Your Instagram account will allow you to:

  • Share images of campus, events, students, faculty, and staff
  • Utilize Instagram Apps like Boomerang, Layouts, and Hyperlapse to create unique and interesting posts
  • Tap into local and campus-specific communities using popular hashtags

Useful links:


Snapchat is a photo, video, and message-sharing platform used for real-time sharing of messages that disappear within a certain period of time. You can use Snapchat to:

  • Tell a visual story using the MyStories feature
  • Connect with nearby Snapchat users by creating geofilters

Useful links:


LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals to connect, engage, and gain industry information and inspiration. (Source: LinkedIn)

By creating a company page or LinkedIn group, you can:

  • Create targeted content for professionals in specific industries
  • Showcase research and industry expertise
  • Connect with students and alumni

Useful links:


Tumblr is a microblog social network, in which users create and share images, video, audio, links to web content, and short form writing.

You can use Tumblr to:

  • Tap into existing communities by tagging posts with specific content tags
  • Increase search engine optimization by amplifying content from your website

Useful links:


YouTube is currently the most popular video-oriented website, boasting more than 1 billion users. YouTube, on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. (Source: YouTube) By creating a YouTube channel, you can:

  • Host video content to embed within your website and share within communications such as social media and email marketing
  • Target users with specific interest areas by tagging your video content with related keywords
  • Create playlists with related content to showcase research or outreach efforts

Useful links:

Other Social Media and Content Sharing Sites to Consider

  • Flickr
  • Vimeo
  • Pinterest

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