Social Media Guidelines & Policies

These guidelines and best practices apply to all social networks. For network-specific guidelines, see each network's individual section.

Download the Guidelines

General Guidelines & Best Practices

Engage your audience with good content and communication
  • Quality over quantity! Uninteresting content will hurt you, especially on Facebook (whose complex filters will start to hide your posts). Only post when you have something worthwhile to say that you think will resonate with your audience.
  • Look at your audience's engagement with your content to strike the right balance. (Which of your posts get the most likes, comments, and shares?)
  • If you can, monitor sites throughout the day, over the weekend, and after business hours. Make sure the person doing this has approval from their supervisor to work outside regular hours.
  • Respond in a timely manner to those who reach out to you, especially if they are asking a question.
Be personal and "on-brand" with your language
  • Use "we" and "us" to refer to your department and "you" for your audience. This keeps the conversation personal and informal. Never use "I" when speaking on behalf of the university.
  • When referring to the university, always use "Cal Lutheran" instead of "CLU" (except in cases where it is part of a proper entity name, such as CLU Magazine).
Use a content calendar

Whether you manage one or multiple accounts, a content calendar can help you keep track of what messages you're posting and when you're posting them. There is no single solution for creating a content calendar, so use whatever works best for you and your fellow account managers. This could be an Excel spreadsheet, a shared Google Doc, an Outlook calendar, or even just a simple whiteboard.

Act in an official manner
  • You must adhere to university conduct, policy, and brand guidelines.
  • Posted content must reflect Cal Lutheran's views, not your own.
  • Be honest and transparent in all interactions. Remember that all posted content is available to the public, including the media.
Measure success in a meaningful way

Success in social media is not measured purely in numbers. It's not about amassing the most followers or "likes", but rather focussing on the quality of engagement. This can be tough (if not impossible) to condense into a spreadsheet report. You'll often have to rely on your gut instinct as to whether you are truly connecting with your intended audience. That said, make use of each platform's analytics tools and insights to measure your progress.

Build your audience organically

If starting a new account, you will need to build your audience of followers startingfrom zero. There's no way around this. Use your other channels of communication to let your audience know about your new social media presence in a way that is natural. Think less like, "We have a new social media channel! Follow us just because!" and more like, "To stay updated on new happenings, follow us on Twitter." Make it clear why they should follow you.

Cross-promote when possible

If your content also concerns another university entity that has an official social media presence on the same network, be sure to tag them in the appropriate manner, if possible. This cross-linking allows for easy sharing and benefits all parties involved. For instance, instead of simply saying "Cal Lutheran" in your status update, tag the main university's account.