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Elements of a Post

Provide brief and informative captions.

Users scroll through their social media feeds quickly, and they should be able to understand your post’s message immediately and without confusion. Provide messaging that is clear and concise. Avoid using unnecessary acronyms, especially if you have a broad audience.  

Do not go overboard with hashtags and account tags.

Account mentions (e.g., @Cornell) and hashtags (e.g., #Cornell) should be used sparingly, as they can make your text more difficult to comprehend. Focus on the key, important parts of your post, and then add only the most relevant tags or hashtags – no more than three per post.

Remember that hashtags are used to lead people to an existing conversation on social media; do not make up random hashtags. For trending topics, do your research to understand which hashtags are most relevant and are receiving the most engagement. For Instagram specifically, if you use bulk hashtags for discovery purposes, put your hashtags in a separate body of text following your caption or in the first comment.

When scheduling, know what your post will look like.

Always preview your posts to understand how the images will render and confirm that your link is accurate and valid. Many scheduling platforms allow you to preview posts before sharing.

Use expressive visuals.

Visual elements play a vital role in enhancing social media content and audience engagement. Cornell Photos provides approved photography in support of the university's marketing and communications needs, including for use on social media. Images can be searched and downloaded at sizes and resolutions appropriate for use on Cornell websites and in Cornell print or electronic publications. For additional questions on university photography standards, visit the Brand Center.

Examples

social media post example
social media post example