Wondering what exactly to post on your social media channels? Content can come in many formats such as articles, photos, infographics, blog posts, event listings, videos, tweets, re-tweets, informational web pages, surveys/questionnaires, contests and more. Start by thinking of your goals and target audience, and let these two things drive the content. Here are some items to consider in light of your goals:
- How can the content you create help reach your overall goals?
- What is your audience most interested in?
- What is the most useful to them?
- What can you offer that is unique to your audience?
What Do People Want to Read?
Some of the top posts for SJSU’s Facebook page have been stories connecting current events with things happening at SJSU. Pieces that highlight faculty or student accomplishments and photos of the week centered on student activities and campus life have also done quite well. In fact, a post with a photo consistently gets more traction than those without.
When sharing content keep the length short, professional and easy to understand. You only have a few seconds of someone's attention so make your post good. Pay close attention to the types of content your audience responds to and shares, and what doesn’t capture their interest.
Here are a few guidelines for creating content:
- Make your content shareable by adding a “share this” button to your site.
- Be concise. You only have a few moments of your audience’s attention.
- Use a professional but conversational tone.
- Shorten links using bit.ly. This service also tracks the number of clicks.
- Facebook posts should be about three sentences or less.
- Video should be two to three minutes long.
- Keep photo albums to about 10 to 15 shots. Photos should be of good quality (leave out dark or blurry photos). People like to see faces and other people doing things.
- Twitter posts are 140 characters are less. Use links for more information.
- Before re-tweeting or sharing something, click on the link being shared and carefully look at the content.
Make a Schedule
The likelihood that you will consistently post content and keep your page updated increases if you create a schedule. Here’s an example of a monthly content calendaryou can fill in for publishing content. Remember that you can create content or share great content created by others online or within your community.
Listening and Engaging
Monitoring your community provides the opportunity to highlight positive comments and stories people tell about SJSU. If possible, identify and leverage consistently positive people (also known as brand ambassadors). Thoughtfully collaborating with them as part of your social media strategy can bring a new source of ideas, content and resources.
Don’t panic when someone leaves a negative comment. As the community manager, it is your job to decide if this comment is just an opinion, a valid concern to address or if the comment violates the posting guidelines you have outlined for the community. You can see SJSU’s Facebook posting guidelines for an example.
If someone posts something negative or inappropriate you have a few options:
- Reply with a solution or factual information in a courteous way. This is particularly important when someone had a bad customer service experience. Apologizing on behalf of SJSU and offering a solution has the potential to change someone’s experience dramatically.
- Leave the comment alone if it is just an opinion.
- Wait a day or two to see if your community responds to the post.
- When someone uses profanity or offensive language, you can contact them directly in
a one-on-one message asking them to repost their comment without the offending language.
Explain why the material is being deleted. Here’s an example of how Public Affairs
responded to a comment that had some validity but also contained profanity:
Hi, This is Teresa over in Public Affairs. Can you please repost your message without the profanity? I completely understand your frustration and I am sorry your housing experience has been so difficult. I'm doing my best to pass along messages we receive from students. I appreciate yourself and other members that can find ways to express their frustrations in respectful ways. I hope things get easier in the near future. Thanks, Teresa
- Delete the comment if it is completely inappropriate.
If the person continues to repost inappropriate comments despite warnings, you may choose to block them.
Take a look at “5 ways to manage negative online comments” by Gini Dietrich on Ragan.com for more tips.