Social Media Best Practices

Understanding Your Audience

If you have an Instagram Business account, you can check your “insights” to determine:

  • The times your followers are most active on social media
  • Age, gender, and location breakdown of your audience
  • Growth trends - # of follows vs. unfollows during the past 7 or 30 days
  • Content performance (reach, impressions, likes, comments, shares, etc. of your posts from the past year)

If you need more information, check Instagram’s webpage for further details.

Accessing Twitter Analytics from a Computer

  1. Log on to Twitter.com (doesn’t work in app)
  2. Click the “More” icon (circle with three dots) or go to analytics.twitter.com/accounts
  3. Click the “Analytics” menu item

Accessing Twitter Analytics from the Mobile App
You can only see analytics for your own original Tweets

  1. Go to the specific Tweet you want to see analytics for
  2. Tap the last icon (three vertical lines)

Check your Twitter analytics to see useful insight such as:

  • Summaries of % change:
    • # of Tweets
    • Profile visits
    • Tweet impressions
    • Mentions (on computer only)
    • Followers (on computer only)
  • Your top performing Tweet for each month (on computer only)
  • Top mention (on computer only)
  • Overall impressions for each month (on computer only)
  • If you need more information check Twitter’s webpage for more information

Log on to Facebook and go to your unit’s Facebook page to see Facebook insights.

Tips for Posting on Social Media

According to Hootsuite, here is a breakdown of how frequently you should be posting on each social media platform:

  • Instagram: post between 3-7 times per week
  • Facebook: post between 1 and 2 times a day
  • Twitter: post between 1 and 5 Tweets a day

Make sure to find a balance between not overwhelming your followers with too many posts and posting frequently enough to make sure current (and potential) followers can see that you are active on social media. 

Informing students of your event or resource does not guarantee engagement.

  • If the students do not immediately understand the value or benefit of participating in your event, they are likely to not engage. Many of our students have competing priorities and may not have time to figure out why they should participate, so explain to them in a clear, concise manner why your event is valuable to them. 
  • The best way to market your events and resources is by helping the students see themselves attending the event or utilizing the resource and benefitting from it. Help them see what you envision for them. 

Content posted on an Instagram feed should be timeless.

  • If you would like to post informative content that is relevant for a short period of time, consider posting the content as an Instagram story. Doing so will keep your feed feeling more timeless and relevant.
  • If you are concerned about your audience missing content, create Instagram Highlights to save these stories until you would like to delete them.

When posting events on social media, be sure to promote the event consistently until the event occurs.

  • Posting information too early poses the risk of students procrastinating and missing the event.
  • Posting the event information a couple of days in advance poses the risk of students not being able to attend due to schedule conflicts.
  • Posting events a few weeks early to build excitement and generate interest and then continuing to post one week prior up until the day before the event should help increase engagement and participation.
  • Make sure the Mason360 signup/information site is up and functioning before beginning event promotion.
  • Have all of the information you MUST include to promote events ready (date, time, location, registration information)

Posting your event without having these details available may negatively impact student participation and engagement rate.

Using Hashtags on Social Media

When used correctly, hashtags are a great way to have your content “discovered.”

People who follow or search any of these hashtags will see your content if you use these hashtags.

Use existing, well-trafficked hashtags such as #MasonNation #GMU #MasonUlife #GMU to get “discovered.”

For Instagram, check to see the number of existing posts that use a hashtag by typing in the hashtag into the search bar.

AVOID creating your own random hashtags; this is an ineffective way of using hashtags.

  • If you would like to create your own hashtag, be sure to consistently use that hashtag in ALL of your posts to build momentum behind your hashtag.
  • If you want to create a hashtag for a multi-unit campaign (such as Welcome2Mason or Giving Day), be sure to communicate the hashtag and inform all parties to consistently use the same hashtag in all posts.

Measuring Social Media Engagement

Take a look at your current performance (i.e. followers, impressions, likes, shares, comments, link clinks, profile views, etc.) to establish a baseline to track your growth. Then, develop your social media strategy including identifying:

  • goals and objectives on what you want to accomplish through your social media presence
  • target audience groups / personas 
  • posting frequency
  • the scope of your content including categories or types of content to post

Next, test your strategy by tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) including reach, impressions, audience growth, and engagement to see what type(s) of content perform well among your audience. 

Vanity metrics (i.e. followers, likes, and comments) are important but they are not the only way to measure your success on social media. While getting strong engagement (i.e. likes, shares, comments, etc.) on individual posts is valuable, focus on leveraging social media to achieve your unit’s overall goal and objectives such as increased:

  • awareness and interest in your unit, resources, and events
  • traffic to your website
  • participation in your workshops, events, and organization

University Life Social Media Accounts

Here is a downloadable PDF of the University Life units you can engage with on social media!