CCNY Shepard Hall on a fall day

Social Media 101

How to Get Started

If you're thinking of getting started on social media at The City College of New York, we're here to encourage you. First, it's useful to define your goals:

  • What do you want to communicate?
  • To whom?
  • How often?
  • Are you particularly interested in posting news, creating community, or both?

For example, if you want to reach students, Instagram makes sense. If reaching both students and faculty is important, with engagement from both, Instagram or LinkedIn may work best. If you want to communicate with higher education peers and build visibility for your program in your field, consider LinkedIn or Instagram and consult with colleagues about which platform(s) is the best fit for your particular field.

If you're thinking of YouTube or LinkedIn, contact us to see how your activities can be supported and amplified by the CCNY YouTube channel and LinkedIn page.

Not sure which platform is best for you? Set up a consultation with the Communications team at the Office of Institutional Advancement, Communications and External Relations.

5 Steps to Starting Strong on Social Media

  1. Read the CCNY Social Media Guidelines

    Familiarize yourself with the requirements and responsibilities of representing CCNY on social media.

  2. Create a Polished Profile

    Once you've determined the platform(s) you'll be focusing on and the person who will be managing your account(s), choose a logical, intuitive name for your profile/page that identifies you as an entity of CCNY. Set up a thorough, polished account with profile photo(s), a concise description of your department, division, or program at City College, and a link to your page on the CCNY website. If using Facebook, the page must be created as a fan page. Disabling visitor posts to the page is recommended (via Facebook's General Settings); users can comment or send messages instead.

    Good examples include @ccnybic Instagram, @spitzerschoolofarchitecture Facebook, and @CCNYSports Twitter (X).

  3. Get Ready to Post

    Before you post, confirm the accuracy of the information to be shared, choose a compelling image you have rights to, and locate a URL that you'll include to provide further information for the reader. Next, Buffer's Complete Social Media Checklist for Writing Winning Posts is worth reading all the way through, then finish up with its useful pre-posting checklist. Note step #9: Representing a CCNY entity on social media means posting responsibly in the best interests of the College. Your social media activities must do no harm to CCNY, CUNY, students, faculty, administrators, staff, or the community. If anything you are about to post makes you even remotely uncomfortable, don't post.

  4. Join the Conversation

    Once you're up and running, follow CCNY on Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and CCNY will follow you. Notify us to facilitate information-sharing among CCNY social media managers and whenever questions arise.

    Social media can be a channel for customer service-type feedback, and anyone who contacts you will expect a timely response. On Facebook, monitor and reply in a friendly professional manner to your page's comments and messages. If it's a complicated or sensitive question, provide the link to the page on your office's website that contains contact information and encourage the person to follow up directly. If there are certain questions your Facebook page receives frequently via DM, consider setting up a relevant auto-response.

    On Twitter (X), use an @reply to provide the departmental email address or use an @reply to request contact information via direct message, then handle offline. On Instagram, the same can be done via comment replies and direct message responses. Be sure to check all message requests and accept and respond when relevant.

    For all social media platforms, the goal is to get serious concerns off social media and into the proper channels for resolution.

    If you receive positive feedback or reviews on any platform, be sure to say thanks.

  5. Remember the "social" in social media: Follow key people and organizations in your field, as well as here on campus: CCNY, your school or division, fellow schools and divisions, and other CCNY accounts of interest. Watch your feeds, and engage daily or weekly with the community you want to be a part of. CCNY may tag you in its own social media posts to add visibility to your social media presence and program. When that happens, be a good neighbor and like, share, or retweet.

  6. Learn More

    Tips & how-to:

    Hootsuite, Convince & Convert, and Sprout Social, in addition to each platform's own brand account and help center.

    Platform news and updates:

    Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube

    Video tutorials:

    LinkedIn Learning

    Scheduling tools:

    Hootsuite, Buffer


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Last Updated: 11/19/2023 13:51