Social Media Strategy

Knowing where to get started with social media can be difficult, but we’re here to help.

Become Successful with Social Media

Social media is about creating dialogue and engaging your audience to help them feel closer to you and your department or organization. It can help improve brand recognition, repeat exposure, website traffic and public influence.

We have compiled some social media basics, based on our experience and insights from running an online network with tens of thousands of followers. Not all social media platforms will be reviewed. Instead, we focus on the most used platforms of EWU’s target audience and those that are most essential for departments and organizations across campus who seek:

  • Effective content creation
  • Audience engagement
  • Best practices
  • University standards

If you’re already engaged in social media and want to take your participation to the next level, you’ll also find tips and tricks to help increase the success of your account(s).

Getting Started

Getting Started

  • Do you have a goal or purpose for being on social media?
  • Do you know who your audience is?
  • Do you have content to post?
  • Do you have time or a person to run and maintain account(s)?

If you answered yes to each of these questions, it looks like you’re ready to be on social media!

Tip #1:
A social media strategy sets out a plan to achieve a particular goal or set of goals. What are you trying to accomplish?

Different Platforms & What They Do

Choosing the right social media platform is an important part of building your social media strategy. If you’re new to social media, try starting out with one platform before expanding across to other platforms. The platform you choose to use should depend on your audience — determine how they want to connect with you and which social media platforms they prefer.


Facebook is the biggest and most active social media platform, essential for developing an online presence.

Audiences: alumni, community members, donors and parents


Instagram is an indispensable tool in the social media universe. Visually showcase your department or organization with high-quality images and videos.

  • Use relevant hashtags for effective networking
  • Interactive 15-second stories that disappear after 24 hours

Audiences: prospective and current students


LinkedIn is for people who want to build a professional network and establish business-to-business relations.

  • Post/apply to a job or internship
  • Learn the skills you need to succeed in your career
  • Conduct market research

Audiences: current students, faculty, recruiters and professionals


Twitter is most effective when used to broadcast brief news, real-time updates and rapid communications.

  • Easy and effective to use
  • Multiple posts per day
  • Use proper grammar whenever possible, but it can be flexible so long as it’s understandable

Audiences: athletics, alumni, faculty, staff and community members

Tip #2: Social Media Explained... With Donuts

"I like donuts."

"Here's a photo of my donut."

"My skills include donut eating."

"I'm eating a #donut."

Content Creation

Your content should align the needs of your audience with the goals of your department or organization. This can be a challenge, but it is important to consider both.

  • Keep your goals realistic and measurable. Beginning with one or two goals is a good starting point.
  • Compile historical data on how previous posts have performed. Which ones performed well?
  • Listen to online conversations. What does your audience want to see, hear or need help with?

One way to help balance their needs and your goals is by using an editorial calendar to plan future posts. Decide how often you want to post, while keeping in mind that the quality of your content is more important that the quantity.

Best Practices

Social media best practices can change as quickly as the social media platforms themselves. Here are a few best practices to adopt as well as common social media mistakes.


Know your audience. The content on your social media account(s) should be custom to your audience. For balance, follow the 80/20 rule. That is, 80% of your content (or more) should be relevant to them while 20% (or less) can be specifically about your department, mission or services.

Understand which social media platform(s) are best for your department or organization. Social media isn’t “one size fits all.” Consider your goals — if you want to drive traffic to your site or improve engagement, then Facebook and Twitter might be a good fit.

Be active but don’t overdo it. Be active on your social media account(s), but don’t post so often that you overwhelm or annoy your audience. This could lead to too much information and can cause your followers to stop following your posts.

Maintain one voice and have a personality. Create a voice for your account(s) that is relatable to your audience. You want to be as approachable as possible, while positively representing EWU. Speak in the first person, be professional and stay consistent with your word choice.


Don’t like your own posts. Of course you like your post. You made it! But don’t “like” your own posts on social media. Encourage your employees/coworkers to like and share the material that’s posted. They can be your brand’s greatest ambassadors.

Don’t neglect your account(s). Having a Facebook page or Twitter account isn’t enough. You have to maintain your account(s) for them to be successful. Consider scheduling content, but only a week or two in advance.

Don’t share too much. Be careful of the things you share. Don’t share too much information. Instead, send your audience to an article or website to learn more.

Don’t ignore comments. It is important to engage with your audience. If you don’t engage, they may feel as if you don’t care about their question, comment or concern. Use their comments as an opportunity to interact and show your followers how you address positive and negative situations.

Don’t post the exact same content across all platforms. Stay true to the purpose of each platform. Post photos on Instagram, not posters or text.

Follow a Checklist

  • Be wary of using scheduling software to send the exact same message across all of your platforms — customize your copy as much as you can for each platform.
  • Include a call to action to encourage interaction.

  • Add Grammarly to your desktop, an automated grammar and punctuation checker.

  • Make sure your links work.
  • Use, a URL shortener, to create customized links when needed.

  • Use capital letters to make multi-word hashtags readable, such as #Eagle4Life and #GivingJoyDay.
  • Always test them ahead of time to make sure they’re not already used for a different purpose.

  • Stay up-to-date with the Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet for each platform.
  • Avoid large amounts of text on images. This is not accessible to people who may have disabilities.
  • Videos are powerful and capture our attention more easily than still images.

  • Tag departments, organizations or people when appropriate.

Note: You can also interact with other accounts by sharing their content.

  • By posting around 5–6 a.m., you’ll have less competition and tap into the traffic from everyone’s first scroll of the day.

Checklists are great for different situations, including social media. It may sound simple: log on, type a post and hit publish, right? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Attention to detail could save you time and trouble later.


Be very selective when hiding posts. Hiding spam and inflammatory posts is appropriate, but constructive criticism and negative comments should be allowed to stand. Do your best to respond to them promptly. Try to:

  • Be positive, polite and sincere.
  • Offer help and provide resources.
  • Take the conversation offline as soon as possible by offering to direct message or email them.
  • Let your followers speak up for you.

Acknowledging the issue can not only make an upset person happy, but can also prevent issues in the future.

Crisis Communication

In case of a campus emergency or other situation (such as a campus closure), make sure that you’re following us on Twitter @EWUNews, on Facebook or have signed up for EWU Alerts. When posting to social media, share information directly from these accounts as it’s official and accurate. Learn more about emergency info at

Note: Be mindful of national tragedies when posting on your social media account(s). Posting a goofy photo of Swoop directly after a national emergency may be seen as insensitive.

Fun Fact:
If we could cancel class whenever there’s the slightest hint of snow, that would take care of about 90% of negative comments.

University Standards


It’s no longer what you say about yourself, but what your audience says about you. You represent your department or organization, but also the university as a whole. Have fun with your posts while maintaining your goals and the university’s brand.

Social Media Policy

Please review EWU’s 203-04 Social Media Policy. Becoming familiar with this policy will prevent any issues from arising in the future. Violation of this policy by university employees or students may result in disciplinary action.

Writing Guides

EWU follows The Associated Press Stylebook (AP Style) as its house style, with a few exceptions, and follows the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for spelling.

Writing Guides for Grammar & Usage

Logo Standards Guide

When creating media for your posts, keep in mind the standards for official EWU logos and colors. This resource will help you maintain EWU’s brand.

Logo Standards

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising and boosted posts across Facebook and Instagram are great ways to reach a wider audience with a limited budget.

  • Paid advertising: Posts can reach a significantly larger number of people as advertisements based on targeted demographics such as age, gender, geographic location and more.
  • Boosted posts: By boosting your post, it will appear higher in Facebook’s newsfeed so there’s a better chance your audience will see it.

In order to meet the needs of all of our clients, requests should be made at least 45 days in advance to ensure goals and deadlines can be met. To initiate your project, please complete the online request form.

Project Request Form