Social Media Content

Content frequency and focuses per channel

With so many audiences and channel types making up the social media landscape, tactics to engage and connect with audiences may differ between which audience you’re targeting and which platform you’re on. 

With the volume of social media sharing at an all time high, audiences can be disinterested if messaging isn’t engaging, targeted, and custom. Given this, it’s important to know that brands don’t have to be everywhere — or on every platform — to make an impact. Focusing time, resources, and energy into the platform(s) where your discipline can provide the most value is recommended over being present on every social media platform. 

Facebook

Since Facebook is one of the oldest flagship social media platforms, you may see a wide variance of audiences here, but can expect the largest concentration of families, faculty and staff. This platform is optimized for video content and human interest articles, and it is best practice to post 3-5 times a week. 

  • Unlike Twitter, sharing content from other accounts on Facebook does not always yield high reach or engagement. Instead, try repurposing the content into an organic post. 
    • Note: Sharing from the main UNC Charlotte account may be requested in certain instances, including emergency messaging, messages from the Chancellor, and other instances. 
  • Facebook algorithms reward content that generates activity by showing the post to more people. To increase reach, try asking questions of your audience. This encourages authentic engagement from your audience and helps your content perform better. 
    • Note: Refrain from using language like “comment below, tag a friend, like this post, etc.,” as Facebook devalues this content that overtly asks for engagement. 

Twitter 

You may also see a wide variance of audiences here spanning all members of the university community, but most users come here for news and timely content. Real-time updates, announcements, features, news articles, and engagement based content performs well here and it’s best practice to post at least once a day. 

  • Tweets do not live in the feed for very long, so repurposing a single piece of content (news story, feature, etc.) more than once is a good way to maximize your reach. 
  • Refrain from starting tweets with handles (ex: @unccharlotte), as this will turn the tweet into a reply to the account mentioned and will not appear as a regular tweet. 
    • If it’s necessary to begin with a mention, add a period (.) before the @ symbol to make it a regular tweet. 
  • Refrain from using the “quote tweet” feature on content that has already been quote tweeted, as this causes the original tweet to no longer be seen. As an alternative, either quote tweet the original tweet or retweet the quote tweet without adding commentary. 

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn at its core is a professional platform, and you are most likely to be reaching working professionals, alumni, faculty and staff here. Content lives in the LinkedIn feed for much longer, sometimes 2 to 3 weeks, so it is best to share university profiles or evergreen content that is not too timely here. It is best practice to post 1-2 times a week. 

  • LinkedIn truncates social media copy that is long by cutting it off and adding a “see more” button that prompts users to have to take an extra step to access your content. Consider using shorter copy and linking out to content to avoid this for the best presentation possible.

Instagram 

This is the most popular platform among prospective students, current students, and young alumni. Since this platform is extremely visual, use it to showcase campus beauty and campus life. Consider using a variety of formats--feed posts, IGTV videos, stories, or reels, to provide an authentic experience. It is best practice to post 2-4 times a week.

  • Refrain from including links in the caption of photos on Instagram, even if they are short, as they are inaccessible to be clicked or copied.
    • Instead, include the wording “link in bio” and update the profile link to the article you’d like to point audiences to. 
    • If you often post content with links on Instagram, utilize a link “tree” for making links accessible on this platform. Learn more about link trees here. 
  • Limit your use of graphics on Instagram. Because the platform focuses so heavily on visuals, graphics tend to underperform and stay on your profile for long durations even after the information presented is relevant. Consider relying more on photography and using the caption or Instagram stories for posts more promotional in nature.

Other Social Platforms

The above social media channels are not inclusive of all platforms that exist and that will exist in the future. If your team is looking to open a TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest or any other social media channel not listed above, the account will need to be requested. Be sure to consider your capacity and the performance of your current channels before requesting a new account. 

Analytics + measurement

Measuring and analyzing the data created by your social media efforts is important in understanding how content resonates with your audiences and how to apply those learnings to future content plans. A few tips of get started:

  • If you're just getting started with analytics, each social media platform has built in metrics to help you. This can be a simple way to explore what metrics are available, learn terminology, and understand what dashboards and reports may be available. 
  • When assessing content performance and audience engagement, determine what is right for your channels based on the communications goals you're aiming for. Important metrics could be engagement/engagement rate, clicks, reach, and more depending on the purpose of the content.
  • Establish a baseline based on your analytics and goals, and measure against that baseline.
  • Don't be hesitant to test and learn when it comes to your content strategy, and refer back to the analytics to understand the impact of those tests.
  • Create custom dashboards or reports that allow you to revisit the same metrics each month or quarter so you can maximize both your time and your comparisons of content over time.
  • Determine a cadence of analyzing social data that is right for you. This could be monthly or quarterly, and may vary by channel. 

Additionally, the UCOMM social media team puts together a comprehensive quarterly report covering the main UNC Charlotte social media presence. While every social media presence is different, reviewing this report could help to highlight content trends or insights helpful to our broader University social media landscape.

Sign up to receive UCOMM's quarterly report

General Content Presentation Best Practices 

The below recommendations transcend any single social media platform and are helpful to keep in mind as you develop content and manage your channels. 

General Content

  • Refrain from sharing content from news sources that do not pertain to UNC Charlotte. 
    • (For example: the public health social media account should not share an article about vaccine efficiency without it being related to UNC Charlotte in some way. Relation could be that a faculty member was involved in the writing or storytelling, a student was profiled or interviewed, or the event or happening took place on campus.)
  • Consider desktop vs. mobile presentation. 
    • Graphics, copy, and overall content presentation appear differently depending on the device the audience is using to access the content. Be aware of how it appears on both desktop and mobile once sharing to ensure no elements are cut off or an unintended mistake occurred. 
  • Size graphics to the appropriate channel you’re posting on. 
    • While graphic sizes for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be synonymous (1920 x 1080 px is recommended), square graphics should only be used for Instagram, as they are cut off on other channels when viewing on certain applications. 

Links

  • Use link shorteners like Bit.lyOw.ly to Go.uncc.edu to shorten links and free up character space before sharing on social media.
  • Avoid putting links in graphic elements, as they are inaccessible, take up valuable space, and may date the content you’re sharing. 

Hashtag Usage

  • See style guide on approved hashtags and usage. 
  • If you’re using hashtags, try working them into the copy instead of sharing them at the end of the post to avoid looking too promotional.
  • Refrain from using more than two hashtags in a post.

Copy

  • Avoid use of buzzwords like “check out,” “attention,” or other overused phrases. See examples below: 
    • Attention students! The last day to register for next week’s webinar is today. 
    • How are we keeping our students engaged this summer? Check out these new student profiles on our website. 
  • When sharing articles or websites, ensure your copy is unique from the headline instead of using the headline as the copy. Consider expanding on the headline or adding a quote from the article or a tidbit of information to get the audience interested in the article. 
  • Break up long chunks of copy with line breaks, emojis, etc. to make it easier for the audience to read on mobile devices

Visual assets

  • Please do not use photography on social media more than 3 years old, unless the post specifically references a given time period or is being used for historical representation (throwback, transformation of campus, Bonnie Cone, etc.)
  • Refrain from using gifs or memes in your content. 
  • Quality photography performs best across all channels, utilize Brandfolder, Flickr, etc. to use photography when your own is not available. 
  • When using photography off of the internet, ensure that you have the appropriate rights to use it. Do not take other’s photographs without their permission. 
  • Only use photography or graphics created in a design application. Refrain from using Instagram Stories and other informal platforms for designing a post to share on the Instagram Feed, for use on another platform, or in paid social advertising.