Best Practices

Content

Social media is about conversation and your content should follow suit. If you have specific questions about your content strategy or to request a content audit, contact the social media specialist.

Negative Comments and Crisis Communication

Negative Comments

From time to time, someone may disagree with something that you post or your organization as a whole. If users post criticisms of your unit or organization, do not delete or suppress such comments if they raise valid points. Let the comments stand, and respond to correct misinformation. If there are privacy concerns, respond publicly that you will reach out and then follow through. Do not engage in heated arguments either publicly or privately. Remember: everything you say can be shared in a screenshot.

Often members of the community will step in to correct misinformation or defend the institution. If this happens, it may be unnecessary to add an additional official response.

Vulgar or Threatening Comments

If a comment on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube is obscene, a personal attack on a member of the university or hate speech, take a screenshot to save for your records then hide or delete the post. We cannot control responses on Twitter.

If you see a post that you believe is threatening to the university, your organization or a community member, take a screenshot and send it to Ed Callahan, director of public safety, and Allie Morse, assistant director of social media strategy. Immediately call Public Safety at 781-736-3333.

Crisis Communication

In the event of an emergency or crisis situation impacting the university, social media managers must share only official information provided by the main Brandeis University social media accounts and shared in official university messages. Sharing information found elsewhere or not approved by Brandeis may lead to false or confusing information reaching the community and spreading online. 

Please contact the assistant director of social media strategy in a timely manner to alert us to any pending or predicted crisis communication or emergency response needs.

Supported Platforms

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Facebook

Facebook is the world's largest social network, with more than 1.84 billion people using the site a month. Individual users create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, including status updates, that are aggregated on a newsfeed.

Schools, departments and offices can create brand pages, which allow individual users to "like" the page and follow content. Pages should post content at a minimum of 3 times a week, preferably more, in order to continue to engage the audience. If your group has student workers or UDRs, encourage them to give feedback or ideas of how to engage their peers. The best Facebook pages not only promote department events and news, but also share interesting articles and information. Images and videos also perform better on Facebook than plain text or a link. See the Brandeis Classical Studies Community and Hiatt Career Center for examples of great content strategy.

To encourage more discussion, users can also create groups that are either open to all, "closed" so they require permission to join, or "secret" which requires a link to find. Groups differ from pages in that they function more like a message board than a billboard. Conversations happen internally but are not easily seen by those outside of the group. Groups are best used to encourage conversation among cohorts, alumni groups, clubs or other in-groups.

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Twitter

Twitter is a social networking/micro-blogging platform that allows groups and individuals to stay connected through the exchange of short messages (280 character limit). You should post at least once per day, but preferably more. You can schedule tweets in advance using clients like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Twitter can be informal, using GIFs, emojis, hashtags and images to communicate your message.

We encourage you to use #Brandeis so your content is seen by the Brandeis community.

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Instagram

Instagram is an image sharing platform that uses hashtags to connect users to content. Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform among 18-22 year olds. Content in the main Instagram feed can be seen by everyone as static images in the feed, while Instagram Stories appear for 24 hours and are short, informal videos and images. These stories can be saved as a "highlight" that appear at the top of your feed.

Use #Brandeis and #BrandeisUniversity on all posts, in addition to any brand-specific or other hashtags. These hashtags are the best way of reaching a wider audience!

Community members have the opportunity to "take over" Brandeis University's Instagram Story to showcase what their day looks like or to spotlight their club or event. We are also happy to work with you to feature your program, event or intiative on the main channel.

Apply to take over Instagram

 

Due to the difficulty of getting enough images and maintaining momentum, we strongly discourage individual departments from starting their own Instagram accounts. Please consult with the social media team before you create an account.

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YouTube

YouTube is a popular video hosting and watching website, with more than 100 hours of video uploaded worldwide every minute. It is the second largest search engine and third most visited website on the internet. The primary Brandeis YouTube channel hosts videos produced by the campus videographer.

While YouTube videos can be shared on other social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, it is preferable to host videos on those platforms themselves. Videos on Facebook can be any length, while they must be under 2 minutes and 20 seconds on Twitter. 

If you choose to create a YouTube channel for your department, consult with the social media team Remember that all videos must follow principles of accessibility, including captioning.

Digital Communications does not support Snapchat (including individual accounts or geofilters), Wechat, Weibo, Tumblr, Pinterest, chatbots or other emerging social media platforms at this time. If you are interested in one of these channels, please let us know.