Best Practices for Social Media

Consider the following recommendations as an educational resource for your social media content production at Drexel.

Understand Your Audience 

Social media is all about making connections online. Each social media platform is built to serve different audiences, and each social media account speaks to a different audience. It is essential to take the time to understand your target audience when creating content for social media. Consider who your content is intended for, their potential age, location, interests, and background. This information will inform your social media content strategy and help you create effective social media content. 

Create a Social Media Strategy 

Maintaining social media accounts takes time, planning, and dedication. For all social media accounts at Drexel University, we recommend creating a social media strategy document for your team. This strategy will serve as your guide when planning social media content. While social media strategies do not need to be elaborate, at minimum, they should outline your target audience, goals, and frequency of posts. 

Create a Content Calendar

Social media accounts rely on frequent, consistent posting to boost engagements and grow followers. We recommend creating a social media content calendar to determine a posting schedule, based on your team’s capacity to produce and publish content on a consistent basis. Calendars are a useful tool for strategic planning and identifying opportunities for content creation around a given time of year, holiday, day of recognition etc. Calendars can be as simple as a living document that is maintained by your team or as elaborate as a content management system, such as Sprout Social

Create Quality Content Across Platforms 

While there are similarities across social media platforms, it is important to become familiar with each platform and their unique requirements for posting, such as image size, text length, video length etc. We encourage your team to be knowledgeable about the specifications for each platform and to stay informed about platform updates or changes. 

In general, social media posts are created from a combination of photo or video and caption text. All photos/videos should be visually appealing and relevant to your post’s content. All caption text should adhere to the Drexel University Editorial Style Guide.  While tone/voice on social media may vary, remember that all content created under the Drexel University brand is representative of the University and should adhere to brand and style guidelines

Get Familiar With Analytics 

Measurement and analytics tools are essential when assessing the success of your social media content. Each social media platform offers data-driven insights into post and platform performance. Be sure to take time to access and become familiar with these tools on each platform. These data points can inform your social media strategy and lead to greater reward in social media performance.

However, remember that no single data point can serve as the whole measure of your social media accounts’ performance. Consider the many factors affecting your social media performance and how you can adjust your strategy over time.

Key terms and definitions for social media analytics:

  • Impressions – the number of times your content is displayed to users. Impressions measure brand awareness and serve as a baseline data point for health of social media profiles.
  • Reach – the number of individual users who have seen your content. Reach measures potential audience size and the number of people who are aware of your content. 
  • Engagement – actions taken by users to interact with your content, such as likes, comments, reports, shares etc. 
  • Engagement Rate – the measure of what percentage of your audience is engaging with your content. Engagement rates are calculated by a multitude of factors and serve as one of the major data points for assessing social media performance. While the ideal engagement rate varies by industry, many social media experts agree that an engagement rate of 1% to 5% qualifies as “good engagement,” though the more followers an account has, the more difficult it can be to maintain a high engagement rate. 
  • Follower/Audience Growth – measure of how many new followers an account gained over a certain period. While it is normal to lose followers while growing your social media accounts, keep an eye on your audience growth to track its progress over time.

Build Community 

Social media was built to connect us in online conversations. Features such as comments, tagging, and shares can connect your content to a wider community. Social media platforms encourage you to engage with content from other accounts and doing so can increase reach. Remember to engage thoughtfully when liking, commenting, or sharing content from other accounts, as your actions online represent the Drexel University brand as a whole. 

Stay Up to Date 

Social media is an ever-changing landscape. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest news, features, and trends on each platform. Resources such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social can provide more information on best practices, social media news and updates, and how to craft compelling content. 

In addition to resources available online, the UMAC Social Media team meets with all social media managers and communicators at Drexel quarterly as a working resource group. Reach out to us and get connected if you have not already been invited to join this resource group. 

Creating New Accounts

All new social media accounts must be approved by the Division of University Marketing and Communications. If you are interested in creating a new social media account for a Drexel school/college/office, please submit this Social Media Questionnaire to the UMAC Social Media team for review.