Social Media Best Practices

Questions to consider:

  • What does my school, program or organization hope to accomplish through social media?
    • Outline your goals to track your ROI.
    • Think strategically about creating new accounts; don’t jump in without a plan.
  • Who is my target audience and what channels are they using?
    • Depending on your audience and goals, not all channels may be necessary. Concentrate your efforts on building your audience before starting a new channel.
  • Do I have the resources available to regularly update and maintain this social media channel?
    • Running an account goes beyond posting. Do you have the time to engage and inform your audience? If not, consider a collaborative promotion with established accounts.
    • Some channels require more frequent updates.

Creating an Account 

  1. Consult marketing contact within school, program or organization.
    1. Make sure the account you're planning is in line with overall goals.
  2. Create a strategy
    1. Work through the following:
      1. Primary Goals
      2. Measuring success – How you plan to measure your Primary Goals; make sure you have the tools available to measure.
      3. Audience
      4. Current Conversation – See what people in your field are saying, what channels they are using and how often they are posting content.
      5. Content – Determine the type of content you plan to post based on platform and available content.
  3. Identify manager
    1. If a Grad Assistant or student is running the account, a permanent LSU faculty or staff member must also have access to the account.
  4. Name your account
    1. When possible, use LSU within your name to designate as an official account (ex: @financeLSU).
    2. Try to keep account names short, especially on Twitter where every character counts. If abbreviation is necessary, stick to only well-known ones.
      1. On Facebook, stick to official names only
  1. Overall branding of page
    1. The degree to which LSU is able to apply its brand identity varies greatly between each channel. To the extent possible, the following items should be included when customizing a department’s social media presence:
      1. The official LSU logo should be used when possible. This provides credibility to the account by making it recognizable as an official account.
      2. The LSU logo may only appear in the official LSU colors: Purple, Gold, Black, White and Gray. The logo should be used at 100 percent saturation; fading or tinting is not allowed. No drop shadows or gradients should be applied.
      3. Within the department’s social media profile, LSU should be referred to as “Louisiana State University” or “LSU.” The university should never be referred to as Louisiana State, LSU-Baton Rouge, L.S.U., or other aliases different from the acceptable references listed.
      4. When customizing the layout of the departments in a social media service, use the official LSU purple and gold whenever that level of customization is available, otherwise a neutral, gray color palette should be used.
  1. All accounts used for official LSU communications must be associated with an @lsu.edu address. Secondary or departmental email accounts that multiple users have access to are preferred over personal accounts.
    1. Facebook is an exception to this rule as user accounts are given access to a company page. On this channel, it’s advised to have at least two administrators. 
  1. Be sure to completely fill out account information, including website and any biography section.
    1. Complete your channel with profile images, it’s suggested to use an official LSU logo, and cover or background images.

 

Posting Content

  • Post content regularly
    • Keep in mind some channels, like Twitter, require more frequent updates than others
    • If you are unable to post regularly, reevaluate social media channel choice
  • A few things to keep in mind:
    • Keep posts short, relevant and engaging
    • Keep in mind audience when posting. Will they find this content interesting?
    • When is my audience likely to be online?
  • Regularly monitor posts for opportunities for engagement and questions from followers
    • Use available insights and analytics tools. Twitter and Facebook have free options available for measuring post success.
  • Establish a regular time, preferably weekly, to evaluate overall post performance and adapt posting schedule accordingly 

Keep in mind:

  • Posting on behalf of LSU
    • Please remember any post from an LSU username is a direct reflection on the university. These should not be treated as personal accounts.
    • Content should not reflect personal views
  • Events, fundraisers, giveaways, etc. not related to an LSU college, department or auxiliary should not be featured on affiliated LSU social media.

 

Social Media in a Crisis Situation

To ensure correct and unified messaging, social media managers are encouraged to share official, unaltered LSU Emergency Operations Center (EOC) messages with the exception of closures or specific department information. In the event of Internet connectivity issues, contact the EOC at 578-3231 for assistance in updating social media.