Quick Guide to Social Media Channels
On This Page
- Before You Begin
- Other Social Media and Content Sharing Sites to Consider
- Related Resources
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Other Social Media and Content Sharing Sites to Consider