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Social media Best practices

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Introduction

As prospective and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni increasingly rely on social media to communicate, many higher education professionals are using social media to advertise conferences and events, recruit prospective students, engage alumni, and leverage fund-raising efforts. This page provides broad guidance to the effective use of social media at Illinois.

Before You Begin

Social media is just one element in an integrated communications plan. Keep in mind that you are representing the University. Bring your personality to your professional social media postings, but leave personal postings to your own social media.

Use social media only if you have set time aside to:

Create a Social Media Communications Strategy

Create a Distributed Management System

Know the Risks

Be aware of the issues and consequences involved in relying on the use of third-party services for social media. Many vendors have poor or non-existent customer support. It is often difficult to find contact information to resolve problems.

Tone

Branding

Posting Policy

You may wish to create and post a policy regarding the type of commentary permitted on social media accounts. The posting policy currently used on the campus Facebook page is:

Your comments, links, photos, and videos are welcome here. All postings should be relevant to the University community and are reviewed. While creative and inventive postings are most welcome, if you wouldn’t share your comments with your family at a holiday dinner, you shouldn’t post them here. We will remove any postings that are offensive, inappropriate, contain insults, illegal suggestions, attacks, commercial advertising, self-promotion, spam, or solicitations. Comments posted here do not represent the opinions of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Social Media Directory

Join the Social Media Listserv

Send an email to socialmedia-request@lists.illinois.edu to subscribe to the campus social media information exchange list.

Submit Content

If you have news that you would like the main campus social media feeds to consider posting, please submit it using this form. The short URL for the form is http://go.illinois.edu/contactsocialmedia.

Content Resources

Take advantage of these campus resources in order to share relevant information on your social media pages. Here are some ideas for gathering content:

Like or follow other campus units on social media to share their content to your page.

Using standardized Hashtags

When writing posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, consider using a hashtag. Hashtags are used as keywords, so anyone doing a search for that hashtag may find your post. If possible, work your hashtag into your sentence (Welcome to the #ILLINOISfamily! #IlliniPride). Avoid using more than three hashtags in a post.

Suggested hashtags:
#ILLINOIS
#ILLINOISabroad
#ILLINOISalum
#ILLINOISarts
#ILLINOIScares
#ILLINOISdads
#ILLINOISfamily
#ILLINOISfinals
#ILLINOISgraduation
#ILLINOIShomecoming
#ILLINOISmoms
#ILLINOISmovein
#ILLINOISquad
#ILLINOISquadday
#ILLINOISresearch
#inclusiveILLINOIS
#Illini
#GoIllini
#IlliniPride
#FutureIllini
#FightingIllini