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Social Media That Drives Growth

Social media can be an efficient and effective way of reaching our student audience who have grown up using social media to connect with their friends, family and brands.

Growth is a Must

Social media makes it easy to create and share information, but it can be a challenge to understand the ROI. Between posts, the number of users that follow your profile as well as their engagement with your posts should be continually increasing. It's important for these numbers to continually grow because it shows that you are posting valuable content. Valuable content will increase your brand's image and may lead users to go to your events, sign up for your programs or buy your specials.


Does My Program Need Social Media Accounts?

After extensive research, we have found that having fewer Division social media accounts that post important information leads to stronger brands and engagement. 

It depends...who’s your audience?

If you are trying to reach a small niche of people, such as students who are part of a certain club sport, it might be appropriate to have a single social media channel to share events. However, if you are trying to reach a large audience, we strongly recommend against creating new social media accounts. Instead, submit content ideas to our team for inclusion in KBI and share on the central Division channels.

Submit KBI & Social Media Content

Request UCM Social Media Support

Choosing The Right Platforms


Generation Z uses Instagram to curate a version of their life. They use high-quality images and value-quality posts. Instagram’s hashtag feature also makes it easy for users to find more posts about a subject they’re interested in. Instagram allows many different ways to post, including images, videos and stories. Stories are short videos that disappear after 24 hours but have many options that allow a follower to interact with the brand in a less polished setting rather than a post that will be up indefinitely.


TikTok is an emerging (and popular) video platform that is used widely by people from Generation Z. They are highly active on the app, making it an ideal place for short, informative videos. The style of the platform is more casual than YouTube and requires less production value. Using relevant hashtags on the platform helps increase engagement considerably.


Facebook should be used sparingly when trying to communicate information to Gen Z. If your audience is older (e.g., parents, Athens community), this platform is ideal. Otherwise, try not to make this site the focal point of your social media marketing strategy. Generation Z is less likely to engage with content posted on Facebook than other platforms. Captioned videos and photos will have the best reach.

X (Formerly Twitter)

Twitter is more conversational than Facebook or Instagram. Twitter also has good tools for finding what people are saying in a specific location by searching a hashtag, keyword or username. It is a great way to communicate information that is important in the short term, such as canceled events or facility updates. However, because of its limited character use, make sure that your messages are tailored and concise.


Sixty-two percent of Generation Z uses YouTube every day. However, because of the time needed to produce original video, we advise against having a YouTube account. Consider using alternative video platforms instead, such as TikTok or Instagram Reels to get your message out.

Adapted from American University’s Guide to Engaging Gen Z on Social

Writing The Post

What should I be posting?

The 70-20-10 Rule

Think about grabbing lunch with an acquaintance. If they spend the entire time talking about themselves, would you want to spend any more time with them? Probably not. But you’d probably keep them as a lunch buddy if they talk about things they have experience in that they know you’re interested in too. Social media accounts should be the second type of lunch friend, and an easy way to do this is with the 70-20-10 rule.

  • Seventy percent of your posts should be about things that are related to your brand that would be helpful to your audience. This shows that you understand your audience and are an expert in the field. (e.g., if a Culinary Services account posted about how to make healthy food choices during finals.)
  • Twenty percent of your posts should be sharing other people talking about your brand.  (e.g., Campus Rec sharing a super positive review of a workout class from a Bobcat that attended)
  • Ten percent of your posts can be self-promotional. (e.g., Survivor Advocacy  saying “Come to Take Back the Night to support student survivors!”)

How often should I post?

All social media platforms have algorithms that decide what users will see in their newsfeed, and most give precedence to accounts that post regularly. You want to provide interesting and high-quality content, but you don’t want to spam your audience so much that they’ll ignore your messages. Here’s a rough estimate of how often you should post.

  • Facebook: Two to three times a week
  • Twitter: Once daily
  • Instagram: One to two times a day

Do you have any writing guidelines?

Generation Z is interested in content that is authentic, supportive, diverse, practical, pragmatic and inclusive. Think about the subjects you can expertly help your audience with. 

Check it twice!

You should do at least one proofread of your content and confirm that dates, times and locations are correct before posting. We recommend having an editor who is different from the original writer.

Is it OK to share other people’s content (articles, blogs, videos, photos, images, social media posts, etc.)?

In many cases, it is OK to share other people’s content or posts. Please keep the following in mind before sharing though:

  • Is the author/poster in any way controversial, or do they have views that don't represent the values or mission of your department and the University? Sharing content is like giving a mini-endorsement, so make sure you feel comfortable endorsing the person from a University account.
  • Is the content credible? Content doesn’t have to be from an expert, but if it’s from a non-expert, then they should be talking about a personal experience or citing people who are experts.

Choosing Images, GIFS and Videos

What types of visuals should I use?

The best visuals are uncluttered, interesting and inclusive. Be mindful of any corporate branding and anything in the background that might raise eyebrows. For more information, read our guide to best practices for photos.

What sizes should my images be?

  • Facebook: 1,200 x 630 px
  • Twitter: 2:1 ratio between 440 x 220 px and 1024 x 512 px
  • Instagram: 1:1 ratio, ideally between 510 and 1080 px

Can I put text on images?

Sure, but do so sparingly and when possible make sure important information is repeated in the post copy. 

Helpful Tools

Scheduling Posts in Advance

Finding Visual Assets

When you’re looking for visual assets that haven’t been created for the university, make sure you’re using images with the proper permissions. View the Social Media Examiner's guide to image permissions. Here are some resources for free images:

UCM Social Media Training

Get help from the professionals! Reach out to UCM's Social Media team for customized support and resources.