Social media is key to UBalt’s image, reputation and outreach.
It serves not only as a critical recruitment tool but also as a means to build community and share information. The Office of Marketing and Creative Services manages the University’s main Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube accounts. If your school, department or office would like to create or maintain a social media presence, we can work with you to discuss goals and strategies.
- Strategize to ensure utmost impact. Instead of launching presences on every social network, determine which channel(s) best fit your messages and goals.
- Develop a maintenance plan to schedule content creation and publication. This will ensure you regularly update your account and, subsequently, keep your audience engaged.
- After your account goes live, please notify us so we can connect with you and share your content.
Want to promote your program/initiative/project without launching a social media channel? No problem; send us your materials (visuals are extremely helpful), and we’ll consider them for our main social media accounts. See our Topics for Consideration.
Add icons for your social media accounts to your website.Standard 35-pixel icons for more than 70 different social media platforms are available in the University photo gallery, which can be accessed through the Photo Gallery icon in the Tools section of MyUB. Upload them, place them on your page and link them to your social media accounts.
As a social media manager, you are one of the University’s most visible ambassadors. To be most effective in this important role, you should strive to:
be present and responsive: People who engage with you—who could include prospective and current students and alumni—will expect a response. Interacting will allow you to gain credibility and value while not responding or deserting a social media channel will reflect poorly on the University.
- If you find posts or comments about UBalt, respond positively and always offer to assist should someone be seeking information or indicating frustration with or criticism of a University area or function.
- Timeliness equals credibility, so respond immediately by letting the user know that you’ll look into the issue for them and that you’ll be back in touch when you have additional information or an accurate response.
- If you don’t know whom to contact or where to find the information in question, feel free to contact the Office of Marketing and Creative Services at 410.837.6190 for support.
- use our identity properly: To avoid confusion between your account and the main UBalt accounts, do not use our main logo or Eubie, our mascot, for your profile image. If you use a departmental logo, do not modify it in any way, i.e., changing the design or color.
- respect intellectual property: When posting text, images or video, ensure that proper permissions are obtained and that proper credit is given when required. Do not post images downloaded from the internet unless they offer Creative Commons licensing; even then, ensure you’ve included proper credit. Additionally, Flickr offers an option to filter search returns by “Creative Commons only”—a great tool to find helpful stock imagery.
- separate personal from professional: Balancing your professional and personal social media presences can be tricky, particularly if you are an avid user in both arenas. Keep content about your non-work life on your personal page. If you are using a personal account and represent yourself in association with UBalt, please make it clear that your opinions are your own and consider how your interactions in that capacity reflect on the University.
- remember that everything you do online can and will live forever: Think before you post, remembering that anything you post on social media is far from private. It can and will be shared, stored and spread among networks.
- Be respectful. Again, anything you post in your role as a UBalt employee reflects on the institution. Be professional and respectful at all times. Comments should be clean and constructive, so accept the good and the bad, but not the ugly. Negative comments should be addressed in a positive and honest manner. Avoid direct arguments with a liker or follower, and keep in mind that not every comment warrants a response. If you are unsure about whether or not to comment or how to respond in your comment, feel free to consult with the Office of Marketing and Creative Services at 410.837.6190.
- Be transparent. Make it clear that you are interacting on social media in your role as a University employee. One of the great benefits of social media is that we can make UBalt more personal and accessible. Always consider the University's voice.
- Be cognizant of your audience. Just as you should embrace our voice, consider the tone appropriate for your channel’s audience when posting and interacting (e.g., LinkedIn attracts more alumni and current students; Twitter is great for reaching prospective students).
- Be a good listener. Regularly using social media is essential to your ability to produce social media content successfully, so make sure you experience social networking before managing a social media channel for UBalt. If you haven’t already done so, create a personal account and spend some time learning how these platforms work. We also recommend you look at what other colleges or similar groups have done successfully. “Listen” to online conversations on your preferred tools—be they blogs, Twitter, Facebook or anything else—to maintain a clear and current understanding of what is relevant and of interest to the community.
General Guidelines for Frequency
a few times a week
Don’t post more than a few times a day or you’ll clutter your followers’ news feeds.
once a day
If you have several photos from one event, consider adding multiple photos to one post or creating a Story.
a few times a week
Be selective; only post things that are relevant to your group.
at least once a day
In this fast-paced platform, you can post as frequently as you’d like.
- Be timely. One of the great benefits of social media is the ability to share information almost instantly with a vast audience, but that audience also expects this timeliness and will not tolerate old news. Be prepared to move quickly in response to new developments, announcements or emergencies with relevant information on your social media platform. A short amount of accurate information delivered at the time of need can sometimes be more valuable than a full report delivered well after the issue has passed.
- Be a valued community member. Don’t just talk about your University area—share the best information you find from trusted sources outside of UBalt. This will increase the value of your presence and prevent you from simply tooting your own horn. Also consider sharing content from other University social media channels; this contributes to consistency in messaging and also reduces the need to create content from scratch all the time. Sharing relevant content from outside sources is beneficial as well; follow people or organizations in related industries and keep tabs on far-reaching conversations. Sharing content from respected sources brings you gravitas and reinforces your position as an expert. Just be sure that you’re continuing to tell the UBalt story and supporting the University’s voice in doing so. (And always, always read the content before sharing it.)
- Incorporate multiple media. Nothing attracts attention like photos and videos; in fact, text-only posts are often overlooked. You do not need a release or waiver to photograph people in a public space, and UBalt is considered public property. It’s courteous, however, to ask permission before photographing people. You can also share content that others have shared publicly on social media; avoid sharing content from personal friends on a public UBalt-related channel. Always be sure to provide proper credit.
These examples of effective social media posts provide clues to the types of content that encourage interaction: photos, calls to action and timeliness. Click the images for larger versions that are more readable.
Social media is about conversations, community and connecting with the audience. It is not just a broadcast channel or a sales and marketing tool—it’s a way to build relationships.
- Authenticity, honesty and open dialogue are key.
- Regular updates are essential to keeping an audience engaged.
- Having a personality and a voice will help you build your audience.
- Cross-promote in your various channels, both online and offline; drive people to your social media channels from your print materials or website (and vice versa).
- Don’t be afraid to try new things, but think through your efforts before you begin.
Success with building community via social media is not an end result; it is a process. You have to be present and engaged consistently over time, and you have to measure the effectiveness of that engagement over time.
- Facebook Insights offer a wealth of knowledge, and there are a multitude of free Twitter metrics tools available.
- Services like Sprout Social allow you to monitor multiple social media services at once.
- Software applications such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite can help you organize and monitor multiple social media channels, often for free.
- Use a service such as Bit.ly to create shortened, trackable URLs for Twitter. Shortened links are not encouraged on Facebook, since they are often associated with spam.
- achievements/initiatives by students, faculty and alumni
- success stories and awards
- upcoming campus events
- photos from campus happenings (timely, colorful, unusual)
- media coverage highlights
- UBalt site links
- old photos (#throwbackthursday, #tbt)
- anything that supports our mission, values and strategic goals