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Social Media 101

Office of Institutional Advancement and Communications
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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 may be more effective than Twitter, though student adoption of Twitter is growing. If reaching both students and faculty is important, with engagement from both, focus on Twitter. If you want to communicate with higher education peers and build visibility for your program in your field, Twitter is generally preferable (though Facebook is important for some fields). If you're thinking of YouTube, contact us first about hosting your videos on the CCNY YouTube channel. If LinkedIn interests you, contact us first to see whether your needs can be met by CCNY's LinkedIn page.

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

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 @MPACCNY Twitter, CCNY Beavers Facebook, and @ccnybic Instagram.

  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, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and CCNY will follow you. Notify us to ensure that your social media presence is included on the forthcoming CCNY Social Media Feeds page and to facilitate information-sharing among CCNY social media managers.

    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. On Twitter, use an @reply to provide the departmental email address or use an @reply to request contact information via direct message, then handle offline. If you get positive feedback or reviews on any social media platform, be sure to say thanks.

    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.

  5. Learn More

    Tips & how-to:

    Buffer, Hootsuite, and Social Pro Daily, in addition to each platform's help center.

    Platform news and updates:

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube

    Video tutorials:

    Lynda.com via LinkedIn Learning

    Scheduling tools:

    Hootsuite, Buffer

Questions?

Contact us