Social Media User Guide Part 3: What should I post?


A common (and understandable) mistake that many people make as they’re diving into social engagement is to limit their content to promotional updates. Consider broadening your scope a bit as this will make your content more appealing and lessen the burden of creation. We have gathered a few ideas below in case you are ever stuck wondering what to post.

1. Adjacent content:
It’s a pretty safe bet that if someone is following you, they’re interested in what you offer. It’s an even safer bet to say their interests don’t stop there. Share content that’s tangentially relevant to your subject or something involving common interests of your audience. For example, it’s safe to say that students who are studying Sports Science will be interested in reading topical news stories relating to the Olympics or local sports events.

2. Tips and tricks: Share information that will make your followers’ lives easier. For example, direct students to informative articles or podcasts that may be useful to them or post any ‘pearls of wisdom’ that you have that may benefit your followers.

3. Responses: Not every post has to come from original ideas of yours; you can bounce off the ideas that other people are already posting. Social media relies on conversations, so jump in and be a part of them. Check what’s trending and use hashtags to both search for a subject and to make your posts visible to others who are also searching. For example, type #NHS into the search bar at the top of the page to bring up any posts containing that hashtag.

4. Job opportunities: Social media can be a great way to advertise job vacancies, internships or volunteer roles within your school. Job seekers are increasingly using social media to search for work and to advertise their skills and services. LinkedIn is a great way of connecting with talented, like-minded individuals.

5. Jokes and non-serious content: To keep followers engaged it’s important to break up ‘serious’ content with something lighthearted. This could be a joke, meme or even just an attractive visual such a photograph of the weather or the swans on the Brayford. You can jump on common hashtags such as ‘#MondayMotivation’ and find memes on Google Image Search to share.

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6. Breaking up your timeline: Text-only posts are fine but remember to break it up by alternating with something eye-catching such as an image or video. Posts with a media attachment always perform better than text-only posts so if you are posting a link to a news article, for example, right-click on one of the photographs in the article, save it and attach it to your post. Try to avoid posting about the same topic consecutively and mix things up to keep your timeline varied. It’s also a good idea to space out your posts throughout the day to avoid overwhelming your followers. If you are using a management tool such as TweetDeck you can schedule posts to appear at intervals throughout the day.

7. Avoid too much retweeting: A majority of your posts should either be original or you can ‘quote’ or copy and paste a link to another user’s post.


Other useful resources

A-Z of Social Media for Academics

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

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