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Best Practices: Social Media

Social media is a great way to connect with students.  It is important to use the tools responsibly and to follow a few basic best practices when starting an official WKU presence on a social media channel.

  • Always use an official WKU logo.  If you need to have an official logo signature created for your page, please contact University Publications.
  • Always identify your social media page as "official" and communicate officially through your page (no Candy Crush or Farmville with your page please!)

Types of information to share:

  • Photos, videos, links to program information, news and event listings, links to your website
  • Contact information & hours of operation

Before you get started, here are some questions to consider:

Every post should have a clearly identifiable goal or purpose.  As yourself what are you trying to accomplish by posting this item.  That will help you identify the best media to use.

Who is your audience and what are the chances they will see or engage with your message? Different audiences use different social media tools in unique ways. Consider the age and gender of your demographic when choosing which media will best suit your post/campaign.

Is your post regarding a date-specific event? Time of year, time of day, and frequency are important things to consider. If you are promoting an event, you don't want to put it out there too soon, too late, or post too often.  Again, different audiences consume social content in different ways, so you will want to be sure to put your message out there when they have the highest likelihood of seeing and engaging with your message.  This might mean scheduling posts late at night to reach students or in the evenings to reach the adult demographic.

Providing a link where viewers can go to get additional information is key to any successful social campaign. You can track click-thrus and visits to a webpage, helping you to determine if your campaign was successful.

What do you want people to do? Visit your website? Fill out an info request form? Watch a video? Your post copy should include a clear CTA (call-to-action) that tells the viewer exactly what you are wanting them to do.

Will you be posting this information over time as a campaign strategy, or would it be better served as a post from an institutional account? WKU Public Affairs is happy to help you spread the word about events and information.  Visit http://www.wku.edu/mediarelations/pr_guide.php to learn more, or email  webservices@wku.edu

Tips on social posts and engagement:

If you are not responding to comments by your users, then you have missed a great opportunity to connect with them.  Not every comment warrants a response, but users are usually pleased to hear from you, and if you establish a communicative style on your page/presence, visitors will return.

Posts that include photos or video content are 4x more likely to be clicked on and viewed.

If you need to take a more serious discussion offline, offer your visitor that option.

This is the single most important thing you should use your social presence for. Facebook and Twitter in particular are great places to offer customer service. Offer to help your viewers if they need it and be sure to take more serious discussions or any discussion that could violate FERPA offline.

This includes language you use and the way you put yourself out there. Will your visitors understand your insider jargon or be offended by posts you intended to be humorous? Remember, at WKU we have many audiences.  Students, alumni, parents, donors, news media, fans, even community leaders.  Is your message appropriate for all of those audiences?

The average college students follows between 300 - 500 accounts on Twitter, so if you do not post frequently, they will likely not see your post and miss your message.  Consider content, timing, and post multiple times per day.

Just because your post does not have many likes, favorites, retweets or comments does not mean people are not seeing it.  Consider altering your messaging, visual content, or timing to get more engagement, or reach out to WKU Web Services for help to reach a wider audience. 

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 2/19/18