Platform-Specific Best Practices

If you intend to grow and maintain a presence on multiple social media platforms, keep in mind their unique characteristics. Consider these specific approaches and best practices for managing your social media presence across different channels. Also make sure to review the overall best practices and think about them when using any social media platform.

Consider these best practices when using Facebook. Also be sure to review the overall best practices, which apply when using any social media platform.

Posting

  • Aim to post a few times, but no less than once, per week. If you have enough quality content, daily posts may be well-received by your audience. If you want to post more than once per day, make sure your posts are spaced out by at least three hours (preferably longer).
  • Maintain a mix of content such as photos, videos, and articles. Text-only posts generally do not reach large audiences, so they should be used sparingly. Photos and videos, especially live videos, reach the largest audiences.
  • Try to keep text short, though longer text is acceptable as long as the information is compelling.
  • When posting a link, Facebook automatically recognizes it and turns it into a link with a thumbnail and headline. Add in a sentence or two of teaser text and make sure that a good thumbnail displays. If it doesn’t, you can click “Upload Image” to add a custom thumbnail.
  • Tag other Facebook users, especially other CC pages, whenever possible. (You can do this by typing “@Username,” and a drop-down menu of possible tags will pop up.)
  • Avoid using hashtags. Hashtags are most useful on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Monitor comments on your Facebook page daily and respond to those that warrant it. Encourage two-way communication. Delete comments that contain vulgar language, those that attack any one group or individual, and those that are obviously spam, but be prepared for critical comments. Do not delete comments simply because they are critical; rather, respond professionally with additional information that may help resolve the issue.
  • Reply promptly to direct messages or questions in the comments of your posts, and engage with others.
  • While cross posting between platforms can be efficient, be sure to check how your Facebook posts are appearing to your audience. For example, if you post the same message from Instagram to Facebook, your post will contain @ signs and hashtags, which won’t make sense to your Facebook audience. If you want to post the same information on both channels, craft each one separately so that it makes the most of the style and tools of each platform.
  • Facebook allows for you to preschedule posts in the ‘Publishing Tools’ section. Under ‘Scheduled Posts’, you can create a post and schedule it to post at a later date. After it is scheduled, you can also review and edit the post if needed.

Video

  • Upload video content natively rather than linking to a YouTube video. A video file uploaded directly will auto play in News Feed, increasing views. A YouTube link will not auto play.
  • Keep videos short. Most users only watch the first 10 seconds of a video. You are more likely to retain some of those users by keeping your videos shorter than a couple of minutes.
  • Facebook auto generates captions. Be sure to review and edit these as needed before posting.

Other Tips

  • Review your ‘About’ section and profile information periodically to make sure the information is accurate and up to date.
  • Pay attention to your Insights. Facebook Insights offer a lot of information on the people who like your page and what they are interested in. With Insights, you can see metrics, trends, and visual reports that can make it easier to understand which strategies work well and where to make improvements. You can then optimize the way you spend your time and resources.

Consider these best practices when using Instagram. Also be sure to review the overall best practices, which apply when using any social media platform.

Posting

  • Good photography is key. Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing platform, so make sure you have lots of quality photos (and videos) to share consistently.
  • Keep in mind that Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes photos and videos over designed visuals. That’s not to say you shouldn’t post graphics you design, however, keep in mind that your reach and engagement will almost always be higher if you use a real photo or video.
  • Aim to post a few times, but no less than once, per week. If you have enough quality content, daily posts may be well-received by your audience. It’s not recommended to post more than once per day on your main Instagram feed.
  • Try to keep text short, though longer text is acceptable as long as the information is compelling.
  • Monitor comments on your Instagram profile daily and respond to those that warrant it. Encourage two-way communication. Delete comments that contain vulgar language, those that attack any one group or individual, and those that are obviously spam, but be prepared for critical comments. Do not delete comments simply because they are critical; rather, respond professionally with additional information that may help resolve the issue.
  • Reply promptly to direct messages or questions in the comments of your posts, and engage with others.
  • Keep a cohesive look, from the photography in your grid to the graphic and typographic elements of your stories.
  • Optimize your posts and maximize your exposure by tagging other CC accounts and your location, as well as incorporating hashtags (no more than two or three).
  • When tagging other accounts, tag them in the photo(s) instead of listing them in the caption. It’s easier to read and when you tag an account in the photo, your post will show up on their profile in their “tagged” content feed.
  • Never include website links in captions; links in captions are not clickable on Instagram. You can say “link in bio,” but make sure the appropriate link is included in your bio. If you have multiple links to share, consider using a third-party application such as Linktree. You can also ask users to DM you for the link; just copy and paste the link into a direct message to the person asking for it.
  • Share user-generated content. If you see a photo you’d like to share, contact the person who posted it and ask them for permission to use the photo. Always ask for permission and credit the original user.
  • Unfortunately, there is no way to preschedule posts in Instagram directly. However, there are third-party applications such as Later and Hootsuite that allow for this.

Stories

  • Instagram Stories allow you to share posts which your followers can watch in sequence. Stories are deleted 24 hours after publishing, so be mindful of what/when you post.
  • Stories are useful when you have multiple things to post about in one day. By using the Story feature, you don’t over-post your feed.
  • Using Stories gets messaging out in a way that feels more personable and authentic. The Stories feature is great for covering events and for allowing users to “take over” your account.
  • Stories is a great way to increase engagement with your audience. Include links in Stories using GIPHY stickers. Try using different tools to pose questions and gather answers, ask a poll, use fun animated gifs, and additional sticker options.
  • Use Stories Highlights if you have shared content to your Stories that you’d like your followers to be able reference in the future.
  • Be mindful that Stories are in a vertical format; if you are planning on using premade photos or graphics, make sure they are the correct size ratio.
  • If you ever want the main CC Instagram page to share your Stories, make sure to tag @coloradocollege (Stories are not shareable by others unless their account is specifically tagged in the Story).

Video

  • Instagram’s algorithm is prioritizing video more and more, so try adding video content to your strategy. Review this deep dive into video on Instagram.
  • Most people view Instagram videos on their mobile devices. This means that vertical videos will look better than horizontal ones.
  • If you are sharing a video that is wider or taller than the auto fit, press the "Expand" icon (two outward-facing arrows) in the bottom left-hand corner of the video once you've selected it.
  • People have short attention spans, so give them a reason to keep watching within the first three seconds of your video. Any longer than that, and they likely won’t keep watching.
  • Improve your chances of people noticing and engaging with your video by selecting a great cover photo (the still image that displays when you post your video). The more eye-catching and appealing the cover photo, the more likely people will stay to watch.
  • Don’t forget about sound and captions for your videos. Use sound to enhance and complement the visuals, and make sure all your videos include captions. 

Promoting Events

  • Post information about your event as a regular “feed” post at least several days beforehand so people have a better chance of seeing it. For last-minute reminders, post as a Story and your followers will see it at the top of their feed.
  • Event posters should be redesigned specifically as social media graphics with limited text and no QR codes or URL links; text embedded in graphics is not accessible and QR codes and URLs don’t work when in a graphic online. It’s best to capture people’s eye with a compelling and simple graphic or photo and include the detailed information in the caption.
  • Instagram varies when posts show up in people’s feeds; they are not shown chronologically to your followers. Always include the actual date in your post (for example, don’t just say, “tomorrow at 5 p.m.”, say “tomorrow, September 1, at 5 p.m.”).

Other Tips

  • Review the ‘Bio’ section of your profile periodically to make sure the information is accurate and up to date.
  • Pay attention to your Insights. Instagram Insights offer a lot of information on the people who like your page and what they are interested in. With Insights, you can see metrics, trends, and visual reports that can make it easier to understand which strategies work well and where to make improvements. You can then optimize the way you spend your time and resources.

Consider these best practices when using Twitter. Also be sure to review the overall best practices, which apply when using any social media platform.

Posting

  • Your activity on Twitter can easily fluctuate. Plan to tweet at least daily, if not multiple times per day.
  • Twitter limits tweets to 280 characters including links, so posts must be kept short.
  • Use URL shorteners such as ly or those in third-party applications such as Hootsuite to shorten links.
  • Use a photo or visual to have your posts stand out in the Twitter feed and grab a user’s attention.
  • Visuals that include minimal text are great for Twitter. Keep the text simple and be mindful that most users are viewing your tweets on a mobile phone.
  • Be an active member of Twitter by liking relevant tweets and responding to mentions when appropriate.
  • Hashtags are encouraged on Twitter, but use no more than two or three per tweet. Tapping into trending hashtags can be great for exposure, but before using one, make sure you understand how it is being used and if tweets using that hashtag are appropriate for your audience.
  • Whenever possible, mention other Twitter users in your tweets by tagging them. (You can do this by typing “@Twitterhandle,” and a drop-down menu of possible tags will pop up.) This sends them a notification they’ve been mentioned, which may prompt them to retweet or comment on your tweet.
  • Make sure to follow other CC accounts, accounts for people and programs in your field, and others who are tweeting about keywords that are relevant to your interests. Read, retweet, and respond to these tweets to build your online network.
  • You’re encouraged to retweet content from other official CC accounts to share campus news and events.
  • Use Twitter not only to share interesting news and information about your program, but also to retweet news from other sources, to respond to and ask questions, and to get to know your audiences better. However, be mindful of what you retweet. A retweet, especially from a college account, is seen as an endorsement. 

Other Tips

  • Review the ‘Bio’ section of your profile periodically to make sure the information is accurate and up to date.
  • Pay attention to your analytics. Twitter analytics offers information about what the people who follow you are interested in. With analytics, you can see metrics, trends, and visual reports that can make it easier to understand which strategies work well and where to make improvements. You can then optimize the way you spend your time and resources.

Consider these best practices when using LinkedIn. Also be sure to review the overall best practices, which apply when using any social media platform.

LinkedIn Pages

  • Post at least once per week. Focus on sharing content such as articles from your leaders, thoughts on news related to your area, or updates about CC faculty, staff, or students.
  • As opposed to some of the other social media platforms, LinkedIn’s tone is very professional. When crafting posts, it is best to keep your language as succinct as possible.
  • Monitor comments on your LinkedIn page daily and respond to those that warrant it. Encourage two-way communication. Delete comments that contain vulgar language, those that attack any one group or individual, and those that are obviously spam, but be prepared for critical comments. Do not delete comments simply because they are critical; rather, respond professionally with additional information that may help resolve the issue.

LinkedIn Groups

  • Check on the group every few days and make sure to have content to provide to group members periodically.
  • Don’t focus on “selling” your program, department, or office. Rather, put the focus on the group and members. Provide content that is appealing to them.
  • Carry on the conversation. Facilitate group discussions by posting useful information and prompts for future discussions.
  • Promote the group. Promote your group to your personal LinkedIn network or by posting the group URL on external websites and marketing materials.

Tutorials
Video tutorials for the Visual Identity Guidelines and Canva

Visual Identity Guidelines
Logo usage, typography, brand colors

Master Communications Plan
Tone of voice and writing style 

Editorial Style Guide
Standards for writing and punctuation 

Digital Asset Management
CC photo database 

Canva
Graphics creation; contact the Office of Communications to gain access to CC’s Canva account, including CC branded templates.

Copyright Policy

Campus Social Media Managers Group
Meetings and trainings for anyone who manages a social media presence at CC; contact Jessi Burns, content and social media manager to join this group.

Individual Consultation
Contact Jessi Burns, content and social media manager.

Make sure to register your social media accounts to be considered for inclusion in the college’s official Social Media Directory. Registering your account(s) not only gives you added exposure but also access to ongoing updates, assistance, and training opportunities. Once your accounts are registered, your content can be shared and your profiles can be tagged by the main CC social media accounts.

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Report an issue - Last updated: 03/09/2022