University Relations

Social Media Guidelines

UFV’s official social media channels are identified by the handle @goUFV. The Marketing and Communications departments manage @goUFV on the following channels:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

UFV also has a Flickr channel and a LinkedIn channel.

When posting about the University of the Fraser Valley on social media, you are encouraged to tag your posts with @goUFV and #UFV. That way, our social media managers can see your posts and retweet them to our large follower groups at their discretion. We can help you enhance UFV’s brand, promote a service or learning opportunities, advertise an event, and more.

If you have questions about posting on social media, please contact marcom@ufv.ca.

Personal social engagement

How you use social media on behalf of UFV impacts UFV’s brand and reputation with followers: students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Please review content best practices below and consider the following before posting on behalf of UFV on your personal or professional accounts:

  • Does your post represent UFV positively?
  • Are your posts factually correct?
  • Is your post spell-checked and grammatically correct?
  • How will your post impact others, including students and the community?
  • Does your post add brand value to the institution as a whole and support your department goals?
  • How does your post support student growth — academically or holistically?

Affiliated accounts

If you plan on creating an affiliated social media channel to post on behalf of the University of the Fraser Valley, please contact marcom@ufv.ca to discuss your options. The marketing department can create a branded profile picture for you.

Here are some things to consider before creating an account or group.

  • Do you have more than one person who can be made an administrator in your department?
  • Do you have the time and resources to respond to comments and reply to messages within 24 hours?
  • Can you generate enough content to post to your channels regularly?
  • Do you have a plan for promoting your social media channel to boost your follower numbers?
  • Have you done any social media training?

If you answer no to any of these questions, it may not be the right time to start a new account. If your faculty or another closely related department already has an established channel, you may consider asking for permission to contribute and help to grow this channel instead.

If you determine that creating an affiliated UFV social channel is the best way to achieve your engagement goals, follow these steps before publishing and posting:

  1. Get a professional profile image icon
    Please use an approved profile icon so that you are aligning your channels with official channels and representing the brand professionally. The Marketing department can create an icon for you. Refer to the visual identity guidelines to learn more about branding at UFV.

  2. Make use of your bio
    Before you start posting on any of your channels, make sure you’ve provided a bio that explains who you are and what you will share. On Twitter, if you include a @handle or hashtag, your profile will show up when people search for that hashtag. Be sure to spell out your faculty, department, or program name fully in your bio and as your public display name.
  3. Use a UFV handle
    All sanctioned social media channels that are officially administered on behalf of the University of the Fraser Valley should include UFV in their names and @handles. Try not to use abbreviations for faculty, department, or program names.

  4. Review UFV style guidelines
    Make sure you understand and follow UFV’s editorial style guide and visual identity guidelines.

Best social media practices

Consider your audience

Outline the benefits to your user. When posting about an event or service, include captions or descriptions that are engaging. Remember, not all your followers will see your posts in their feeds. Try to post content that provokes your users to like, comment, or share.

Sell vs. tell

You should engage others with conversational content or shared content about 80% of the time. Tell stories, share news, re-post useful articles, study tips, career advice, research updates, etc.

Talk about yourself (advertise) only 20% of the time. Comment and message conversations have a bigger impact.

Keep it short and sweet

The character limit for Twitter is 280 characters. Try following that same rule on Facebook and Instagram as well. @handles don’t count towards your character limits. Share a UFV web address (URL) for followers who want to learn more. URLs shared in Instagram posts won’t link, so make sure you provide a short URL that is easy to type on a mobile device.

Pause before posting

Check your the spelling, punctuation, and accuracy of your post. Refer to UFV’s writing and style for grammar tips and tricks. Consider plugging in an online spell-checking tool like Grammarly or the Hemingway editor. These tools can also help you improve your writing overall by flagging your most common mistakes and teaching you tricks to avoid those errors.

Use hashtags or page tags

  • Facebook: hashtags don’t work as well here, but tagging related pages (starting with the @ symbol), can help boost your engagement.
  • Instagram and Twitter: hashtags (#) are gold on these channels. If you are promoting a specific event or service, consider creating a specific hashtag for your event. You can use hashtags to track engagement. Using relevant hashtags can increase your reach. On Instagram, hashtags do not count against your character limit.

Post regularly

Keep the conversation going with your audience with quality posts at regular intervals. Try to post daily. Try not to post too many times in one day on Facebook or Instagram as followers may get frustrated if you clog up their feeds, but feel free to be more active on Twitter. Twitter posts get bumped out of feeds very quickly, so post more often than once a day if you can.

Post for mobile channels

Most of your audience will access social content on mobile devices. Post for small screens. Avoid tiny text on images, keep your copy short and sweet, provide a hyperlink, and use mobile-friendly short URLs in Instagram comments.

Reply to messages and posts

Make sure you respond to a message within 24 to 48 hours whenever possible. Twitter followers expect an almost immediate response. Instagram messaging doesn’t happen as often, but keep an eye out always as comment feeds can get long or you may get negative feedback that requires a response.

It is better to respond to a negative comment than to ignore or hide it. If you do not want to have a public conversation about a negative comment, you may note in your feed that you have sent a personal message to the person with a complaint. 

If you receive a comment you feel could be harmful, you may wish connect with the UFV Communications team before responding. They can assess the possible impact and help you come up with an appropriate response. Always remember that social is a public platform. Even private messages can be shared publicly.

Get the most engagement

Images get more engagement than text on all social channels. Use minimal text on your images. Provide the details and a URL in the accompanying comment copy instead.

If you are promoting an event, submit an image (cropped to 700px X 400px) with events details to ufv.ca/announce. That way, when you share your events calendar URL, the photo will auto-populate in the feed when shared in Facebook. Your image will be automatically hyperlinked to your event’s page, which makes it easier for your audience to access additional information related to your post online.

Don’t send your poster as an image link. Send the photo you feature on the poster instead.

Use your page analytics

Facebook insights can teach you about your audience’s social behaviour. Learn which posts create the most engagement and when posts get the most traction.

Like other UFV pages

Share the love with other departments and groups on campus by following each other. You might learn a thing or two from more experienced users or build networks to cross-promote your events.

Boosting posts

If you are promoting an event or service to an external audience, consider setting a small amount of budget aside ($30 to $100) for paid boosted posts. Please schedule a meeting with a Marketing Strategist to discuss your options. A Marketing Strategist can help you figure out how to customize your campaign to get the most out of your investment.

 

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