Social media is a beast, and for many institutions, it can take the backseat to other marketing efforts. If that sounds like your institution, it's time to change your strategy! image.works launched our social posting program in June of 2021, and we want to share some of the best practices that we’ve seen work for our clients and help you implement them into your social plan.
5 Best Practices:
1) Post eight or more times per month on your social channels. While consistently posting eight times or more on your channels a month can be challenging, you’ll see the needle move so much more than if you just post a few times a month. Algorithms for all of the social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) reward consistent posting by showing your content to more people who are following you. Unfortunately, just because you have a certain number of followers doesn’t mean that all of them (or even half of them) are seeing your posts. Posting more often equates to more eyes on your posts.
2) Engage with your audience (respond to comments, check DMs, etc.). Social media is the best way to constantly engage with your audience! While you certainly hope nobody has had a poor experience with you, you can salvage your reputation by responding to that negative feedback with thoughtfulness and a listening ear. When people see your response, it can change a sour experience into brand loyalty. Make sure to also respond to positive feedback by thanking the commenter for taking the time to leave their nice comment. Along with responding to those public comments, actively check the DMs being sent to you so no one turns to public commenting to complain that you don’t check those messages. It means a lot to your audience to have direct access to you for all of their questions!
3) Post about your community! Post about local events, your employees' personal achievements or milestones (marathon, new baby, etc.), student and faculty spotlights and any other news that would celebrate people in your community. These are high-engagement posts. People love to see and celebrate other people!
4) Reshare posts that you’re tagged in to your page. When people tag your institution in their posts, reshare them on your page! It’s even better than someone leaving a positive comment because it’s a public declaration of loyalty. Note: Make sure the posts are positive, appropriate and high-quality (i.e., free of typos, high-resolution images, etc.).
5) Stay up to date on new algorithm changes. Algorithms are changing constantly. It’s tough to keep up with every change, but you can implement the algorithms that stick around. For example, Carousels on Instagram perform better than one single image because of the algorithm. Posting three or more photos in a Carousel can help the post do better. Simple changes like that are really impactful. Depending on what platform(s) you’re posting to, you can research current trends and changes to the platform for the most up-to-date information.
3 Pitfalls to Avoid:
1) Only product and service-based posts. It can be tempting to fall into self-promotion and selling on social media, but that’s not always the best approach. While social media should be kept lighthearted and fun, we recognize that sometimes it’s hard to move away from promoting yourself. We recommend an 80/20 split, meaning that 80% of the posts should be spent on engaging and fun or educational posts, and 20% of your posts can be promotion based. Overselling on social can cause unfollows and lower engagement.
2) Sharing low-quality content. Stay away from low-resolution images, content with typos and grammatical errors, heavily biased information or anything else that would position your institution as less reliable. Make sure to thoroughly vet any information you’re sharing on your page and proofread everything before posting.
3) Burnout! It’s easy to burn out when coming up with new ideas, creating the content, proofing and scheduling all the posts, all while being busy with other tasks. Don’t let your social strategy slip out of your mind! With our social posting program, we work on implementing real-time best practices to help you see growth and engagement on your pages. We can lessen your social load significantly. If you’re interested in this service, reach out to your account representative today!