Social Media Basics
The guidance on these pages are intended for accounts officially representing a unit at the University of Illinois College of Fine & Applied Arts. It does not apply to personal/professional accounts of any faculty, staff, or student.
If you have any questions about this information or want to explore expanding your social media strategy, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you’re looking into increasing your social media presence, consider the following questions: What audience are you trying to reach and can you do it through this platform? Are you already reaching this audience in another, more effective way? Do you have time to maintain this account?
- Creating a new account is a big step; make sure it’s what your unit really needs.
- Create quality content to post regularly, but do not over-post. A general rule of thumb is to post around three times a week or more, depending on platform.
- Content should relate to your audiences: Focus on the stories and accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni. But also promote events and activities that showcase what it is like to be a student in your unit and at our university.
- Interact and engage with your audience—remember, social media helps create community!
- Promote your accounts in other communication formats, such as emails and newsletters, to recruit followers.
- Link to other university accounts and actively follow them; rebroadcast relevant info from other units on your account/feed. If you engage with them, they will be likely to return the favor.
- Keep up with rapid changes to social media. New services appear rapidly and older ones vanish. Settings and policies also may change with no notice from the provider.
- Consider deleting an account if it isn’t achieving its goals.
Keep in mind when using social media that you are representing not just your unit, but also the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and the University of Illinois. Bring your unit’s personality to your social media postings, but leave personal postings to personal accounts.
All university social media accounts should be accessible to more than one person in the unit. It can be very difficult to regain access to your accounts if someone leaves the university.
A few more tips to keep your accounts safe:
- Use a general departmental email address for unit accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube). For accounts that don’t require a unit email/login (Facebook, LinkedIn), make sure to designate at least two administrators who are not students on the account.
- Document everyone who has access and passwords for each of your accounts, and regularly remove people who should no longer have access to post to the unit account.
- Students with access to accounts should be closely supervised by a unit faculty or staff member.
- When anyone with access to your social media accounts plans to leave the unit, make sure they have granted administrative access/shared the login information with someone else. When they leave, change the passwords on accounts with central logins, and remove their administrative access on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Store your passwords in a secure place.
- Never send a password via email.
- Account Takeovers: create new passwords for these and make sure you remove access once the takeover has ended.
For these and more advice, check out the U of I Social Media Best Practices for Account Access & Security.
Visit our Identity Elements page for both FAA and University of Illinois wordmarks and block I downloads.
- Your profile picture should include the Block I. Do not use the column I anywhere on your social media platforms. You can use the template provided by Public Affairs or contact FAA communications (email@example.com) for assistance in creating your profile picture.
- Mention in your account bio that you are part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
- Do not create anything resembling a logo to represent the campus, the college, or your unit.
- Student groups should identify themselves as such and should not imply that they are an official university or college source.