Best Practices

Best Practices – Tips & Tricks

Think of an informal get-together with some friends and friends-of-friends. You break the ice. You listen. You relate. You ask questions. You’re conversational, humble and polite. You don’t start passing out flyers or promoting yourself. Humboldt social media is the same way. It’s about educating, informing, and entertaining. Great posts do all three.

You've got complicated subject matter. We can help guide you to effect communications practices, so feel free to set up an appointment.

  • Sharing Posters on Social Media Is a Bad Idea, Generally. They're often inaccessible to folks with vision problems, so you must transcribe the content in the post's alt-text field. Also, posters tend to get low engagement. That hurts you in the long run. An alternative could be a short video. 
  • Making a Video? Check with Marcom ahead of time, especially if you want to be able to post it publicly. 
  • Use #HumboldtState. It helps people find you. Use additional hashtags, but always use #CalPolyHumboldt.
  • Quality over Quantity. If people scroll past your post, algorithms are less likely to show your next post to that audience. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything.   
  • Brevity. Social media users will typically skip posts with long captions. Research shows that captions with 80 characters or less get the most engagement. "Research shows that captions with 80 characters or less get the most engagement" is 79 characters.
  • Stay on your topic - Your audience follows you because there’s an expectation that you will provide some sort of service related to your field. If you ask yourself whether a certain post may not be focused enough - put it on your personal profile and not on the official profile. Each post should inform, empathize, or entertain in a style becoming of a university.
  • Confidentiality. Do not share confidential information on a social media channel.
  • Third-person voice. Your department account isn't a personal account. Don't say "I", in other words. 
  • Reposts. Humboldt frequently reposts Humboldt-affiliated content. If you don't want the world to see it, don't post it publicly.
  • Direct Messaging. Someone DMd you? Forward inquiries to the proper person as soon as possible.
  • Engagement. A goal of social media is to create a conversation or community among people who have something in common. Keeping that in mind will lead to a better experience with social media.

There's more, and Marcom is happy to help refine your specific channel.