Social media best practices
Linfield uses social media as a tool to tell the story of the college in engaging ways on various platforms. Many departments, teams and organizations at Linfield own social media accounts to inform specific communities of events, activities and programs. The following information will help you best use social media to promote your online efforts.
Are you thinking of creating an account to highlight the work of your department, organization or team? Before launching an official account, contact Travis McGuire, director of social media, for tips and best practices. Topics covered during the consultation include:
- Naming the account (@Linfield####)
- Deciding which platforms are best for you
- Using Linfield's brand for icons and in content
- Proper image sizes
- Copy for "about" and "bio" sections
- Goal setting
- Additional communications and marketing resources
Keep in mind Linfield's brand identity requirements for your account's profile photo. Department and team accounts are required to use a branded icon created by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
Linfield's images and logos are for official use only and are the legal property of Linfield College. Unauthorized use of any Linfield image is not permitted. For more information and resources regarding Linfield's brand, visit the Brand Graphics page.
Social media accounts must be administered by one or more Linfield College employees. Students are allowed to manage and post content, but they cannot be the sole account owner or the only one with account login information. Faculty and staff administrators ensure social media accounts will remain active after a student graduates or is no longer managing the account.
Official department social media accounts must be registered using a shared email alias (firstname.lastname@example.org) that is accessible by the account administrators. Individual Linfield email addresses should not be used (email@example.com). Contact Travis McGuire, director of social media, to help facilitate an alias through ITS if your department does not own one.
Sharing content that is relevant to your department or team is the fun side of social media. Your story is important and can help your audience understand what role you play at Linfield. Think of photos, videos, events or links to share that emphasize your department or team's goals. Mix up your content and think beyond using social media only as a glorified calendar.
Be sure to keep your account active by regularly posting content. Ideally, you should post at least once a week during the academic year.
Are you stuck? Members of the Office of Communications and Marketing team can help you brainstorm content ideas that will help you accurately and creatively engage your audience.
Defining the people you want to reach will help with creating interesting content. Are you trying to engage with students, alumni, prospective families, faculty/staff or a combination of these groups? Thinking about the audience in advance of your posts will help with engagement.
Social media is ideal for two-way conversations. Set aside time to regularly check your accounts and see if followers are talking about you. If your account is included in a comment or direct message, it's appropriate and encouraged to engage with those followers.
Not everyone on social media follows this guideline. Do not post inaccurate information, engage with people who are "trolling" you, or post personal information about students, faculty, staff, alumni or parents without their written consent.
Contact the director or social media immediately if your account is subject to unwanted and repeated negative attention.
Tagging and following individuals
Students, faculty/staff members, coaches and alumni are often featured in social media content. Many of them will have personal social media accounts that could be tagged. Before tagging, ask them if they approve of their handle/name being tagged in a post. They may prefer to keep their social media persona private.
Building a base of followers is difficult. It takes time and is the result of posting good content. DO NOT under any circumstances attempt to build your followers by following students and individuals unless they are of relevance to your specific account. The content they post is usually not relevant to the content you are posting and therefore should not be followed.
Reaching new audiences
Adding a hashtag to a tweet or post can enhance your content's reach. Users without an affiliation to Linfield, especially on Instagram and Twitter, may stumble upon your content because you added a popular hashtag.
When adding a hashtag, start with a (#) followed by a word or number or combination of the two. Symbols cannot be used in a hashtag.
Tip: look up the hashtag or geolocation before adding it to your content. You may find that it's being used in ways that would not reflect well on your account, organization, department, team or Linfield College.
Official hashtags are below. Let us know if your department or team has an official hashtag, and we'll add it to the list.
#LinfieldCollege | #RollCats (athletics) | #LinfieldGives (giving day)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Office of Communications and Marketing.