Skip to main content

Best Practices

Know your audience.

All content shared on your platforms should fall in line with your social media strategy and audience. Various platforms and tools can provide access to your audience demographics, and this knowledge is indispensable when determining the type of content to post. Be aware if your audience is different from platform to platform. Are you reaching the same primary and secondary audiences on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, or do they shift? If so, adjust your content and tone accordingly to fit the platform and audience.

Post timely updates on a regular schedule.

Having an active social media presence means posting regularly – which is not the same as posting as often as possible. To avoid overwhelming your followers or losing their interest, stick to a regular schedule and prioritize quality over quantity. There is no rule of thumb about how often you should post – find a balance that works for you and your content.

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.

Manage your community.

Social media platforms are made for interaction, and managing your community is an important responsibility for all social media administrators. This can include responding to questions and engaging with comments, as well as handling any controversy on your page. In all cases, remember that whichever official university account you are managing, you are communicating on behalf of Cornell University.

Responding to your community can help build rapport and credibility and provides a human element to your channel. Like or respond to positive feedback on your posts; answer general questions when you can, providing links to websites when possible.

Monitor all conversations happening in the comments on your posts and in your mentions. When sensitive comments or issues arise, pause before engaging to consider an appropriate response. Consult Social Media Policy 4.16 and Cornell's Social Media Decision Tree, provided during the required Brand Ambassador Training. When in doubt, reach out to the Cornell New Media team for guidance.