SIAT Content Guide

Social Media Content Strategy

This document defines the objectives, audiences and writing strategies for the different social media platforms SIAT engages on, as well as other media engagement options – i.e. email, in-lecture – which will be referred to broadly as platforms for the rest of this document. The intention is to help improve future engagement through these platforms.

This document moves from macro (big, overarching) objectives of platforms, to more micro (specific, detailed) strategies for writing content tailored to each platform. As a result, any more ‘overarching’ objectives or strategies should still be taken into consideration when writing for more specific platforms.

Available in this section:

Over-arching Platform Strategies

These define what the purpose of our content should be for all of our platforms.

  1. To provide timely information (Promote): Given there are more regular news and updates from the program than we can accommodate on our website, we should use our other platforms to share more immediate news items.
  2. To raise awareness with a broader audience (Expand): Keeping in mind platform-specific audiences, we should use our platforms to engage a broader audience than we would be able to through our website alone.
  3. To build a community (Connect): Capitalize on the advantages of each platform to build a strong sense of community within the platform; enable our audience to feel comfortable sharing their experiences, views, and rich media in a safe environment.
  4. To engage our community (Responsive): To help the strong sense of community within each platform, make sure that we are regularly responding to and sharing our community’s experiences and views (as appropriate).
  5. To support information-seekers (Helpful): For those who may be asking questions or looking for further information, we should help support and direct them to resources as appropriate.
  6. To bolster our university community's profile (Boost): Help out our university community members — the student unions, other departments, the faculty — extend their reach by sharing their work and posts.

Platform-specific strategies

The next series of sections define considerations specific to each audience. This includes:

Anyone who writes content for the platform should have access to the considerations specific to their audience(s), available in the Website Content Strategy.

More platform-specific considerations:

In-class Announcements

Goals and strategies to consider when considering an email announcement. Audiences for this platform can be:

Audience context for in-class announcements

These are students in-class, being announced to before, during, or after the class. They are there to engage primarily with the class — not your announcement — so remember to be respectful of their time and focus.

Platform strategies for in-class announcements

  1. Only talk to things prospective students understand: In-class announcements are the most direct method of getting information to current undergraduate or grad students. Use this platform only if reaching them is critical.
  2. Faculty may not participate: If sending out a request to have a faculty member to share something with the class note that the faculty member may choose not to participate (and may not inform you as such). If critical, send an individual to complete the announcement with the permission of the faculty member.
  3. Keep announcement related to their context: To ensure that students see the connection between the announcement and the classroom context, make sure that the announcement is related to their in-class context – keep it to within-program or within-community – events, opportunities, or advising items.
  4. Provide clear means of follow-up if appropriate: If the announcement involves some form of ‘follow-up’ – i.e. sign-up for event, email me for more information, go here for info – make use of an audience-friendly, simple means of engagement. No complex URLs, odd email addresses, or multi-step processes.

Email Announcements

Goals and strategies to consider when considering an email announcement. Audiences for this platform can be:

Audience context for email announcements

Most of these audiences likely receive multiple (10-100+) emails from the university per day. There is a high likelihood that these messages will be ignored or missed by your audience.

Platform strategies for email announcements

  1. One clear message or call-to-action: Avoid sending an email with multiple, different or unrelated announcement items. As much as possible we want to ensure that there is a single clear message or call-to-action to ensure our audience engages as necessary.
  2. Keep things extra concise: Nobody has time to read a long-winded email.
  3. Separate announcements and critical information: Ensure that anything that is a general announcement is never sent from an email address that is used for critical curricular or departmental items. We want to establish a consistent rapport that emails from a specific address should be viewed as higher priority or critical.
  4. Not everything is ‘critical’: Really consider if sending an email to a (likely) overly-bombarded inbox will help convey your announcement. Other platforms may offer a better means of conveying your announcement, with a higher level of engagement in the end.
  5. Keep frequency low: While there is no hard-and-fast frequency rule, keeping the numbers of emails you send to your audience per week at a minimum will avoid over-saturation.
  6. Avoid duplication: If another department or administrator in the school will be sending out related messages to your audience make sure to check-in with them to avoid duplication of message content, as well as to avoid information overload of too many emails at the same time.

Digital Campus Displays

Goals and strategies to consider when considering a digital campus display. This may need some work

Audience context for digital campus displays

This may need some work...

Platform strategies for digital campus display posts

  1. This may need some work: ...

Facebook

Goals and strategies to consider when considering a Facebook post. Audiences for this platform can be:

Audience context for Facebook

This may need some work...

Platform strategies for Facebook posts

  1. Ensure above-the-fold information piques interest: Facebook collapses long posts, make sure that the information that appears ‘above-the-fold’ is sufficient to draw someone to open the full post.
  2. Speak to the entire community: Make sure that posts are varied over time to speak to our community at-large; not just one of our audiences or program streams.
  3. Be active: Make sure that you are regularly (at least 2-3 times a week) posting relevant content and responding to the posts of members in our community.
  4. Encourage sharing: Make it easy to share and like our material: Invite those reading or looking through our page to reply, share, and engage with us on Facebook.

Twitter

Goals and strategies to consider when considering a Twitter post. Audiences for this platform are the broadest, and the likeliest way to reach all our potential audiences. This being said, the likeliest audiences are:

Audience context for Twitter

This may need some work...

Platform strategies for Twitter posts

  1. Make use of hashtags as appropriate: Before posting, research what hashtags are commonly used for the topic area you will be posting in and make use of them as appropriate to extend the reach of the post beyond our usual followers.
  2. Speak to the entire community: Make sure that posts are varied over time to speak to our community at-large; not just one of our audiences or program streams.
  3. Keep things ‘live’: Posts should be reasonably frequent – at least once per day – and invite participation or deeper engagement either through Twitter, or through other platforms (i.e. Facebook, web, events).
  4. Engage with our community: Share and reply to follower's posts as appropriate to keep our community active and responsive.

Instagram

Goals and strategies to consider when considering an Instagram post. Audiences for this platform:

Audience context for Instagram

This may need some work...

Platform strategies for Instagram posts

  1. Make use of hashtags as appropriate: Before posting, research what hashtags are commonly used for the topic area you will be posting in and make use of them as appropriate to extend the reach of the post beyond our usual followers.
  2. Speak to the entire community: Make sure that posts are varied over time to speak to our community at-large; not just one of our audiences or program streams.
  3. Feature the people of SIAT: Photos of people (particularly faces) usually draw more engagement on Instagram, starting with a photo of an individual and then following with a series of objects or designs will likely lead to more engagement.
  4. Be visually vibrant: We are a program that generates a lot of visually vibrant materials — Instagram is a good opportunity to feature those materials.
  5. Provide clear captions: Remember that our audience may – or may not – understand the context for the photo. Ensure that captions clarify the context of a photo sufficiently that someone naïve to SIAT can understand what they are looking at.
  6. Connect, share, and follow students: We don’t have to generate all our own content. Connecting with and sharing SIAT student content (often SIAT-related) can help enhance our community and ensure that we are active without necessarily posting new material every day.

LinkedIn

Goals and strategies to consider when considering an LinkedIn post. This may need some work

Audience context for LinkedIn

This may need some work...

Platform strategies for LinkedIn posts

  1. This may need some work: ...
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