Social Media Guidelines
Social Media at TRU
Through social media we communicate with the world. Social media channels are one of the most direct ways we can create a conversation and generate excitement about TRU.
Here you’ll find information to guide you through the initial setup and ongoing management of a TRU social media account. This is intended as a beginner’s guide to get you started and you will find resources to further build your knowledge and skills.
If you have any questions along the way or if you’d like additional information on topics that may or may not be outlined here, contact us to learn more.
Create an Account
Before you create your account
- Do you really need to create a new account, or can you leverage TRU’s primary channels for your needs? If you have daily or consistent weekly content, a new channel may be the best route. If you don’t have at least a weekly need to communicate with your audience, contact TRU MarCom to see if your content can be worked into the overall editorial calendar. Editorial Calendar
- Do you have capacity to manage this new channel? You’ll need to plan content for at least a post or two each week, and respond to comments and messages in a timely manner. An average of four hours per week is a conservative estimate of time required to manage a single social media business account.
- Determine the social media platform(s) to best reach your audience, and best suited for the content medium you expect to publish. Resources to guide you: Social Media Use in 2018; Pew Research Centre
Setting up your account
Contact MarCom with the following:
- A request for your unique TRU social media avatar. All TRU accounts should have a standard TRU avatar.
- Your login details. We store a backup for all TRU social media channels, as well as the contact details for the individual(s) managing this account.
- A request to schedule your TRU social media orientation with the digital communications working group. In this request, specify if you intend to run ads, sponsor content or track performance metrics so this can be worked into your tutorial.
- MarCom can also 2) All TRU accounts should indicate in the bio that they are part of Thompson Rivers University (full spelling) 3) Possibly as TRU accounts to mention @thompsonriversu in bio?
- Setting up your bio: All TRU accounts should indicate in the bio that they are part of Thompson Rivers University (full spelling). You may also mention TRU's main channel (@thompsonriversu).
Posting Best Practices
Following these best practices will not only help you create consistently high-quality content that TRU’s audiences expect, but also aid the performance of your posts on social media.
Each social media platform recommends image sizing that will display optimally through their channel and you are encouraged to crop your images accordingly for maximum impact. Consult one of the resources below for up-to-date image information.
Resources to guide you:
- Your Bookmarkable Guide to Social Media Image Sizes; Hubspot
- Cheat Sheet: Optimal Sizes for Social Media Images; Hootsuite
Sourcing images to use on social media
Strive to use TRU photography whenever possible to convey an authentic and consistent experience for your audience. If you don’t have a photo library or DSLR camera available to use for your social content, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use your phone to take photos. If it doesn’t flip open, it has a camera good enough to capture images for social media. You can run your images through a photo editing application or publish as-is, whatever you’re comfortable with.
- Check TRU’s flickr account for images you can download and use. Search our library to find something relevant to your post, and download the file size you need. Browse TRU’s flickr account
- Share images that others have posted on social media by reposting, just make sure you get permission first. Using a repost application and crediting the user in your post gives credit where credit is due, provides you with unique image content and may even further leverage your content by reaching the photographer’s followers through their mention. Read Hootsuite’s reposting best practices
Video dimensions and length
Optimal aspect ratios for videos vary by platform and even within platforms—Instagram feed posts vs stories videos, for example. Consult an up-to-date website to verify what aspect ratio is suggested for your platform and application before developing video content, as it may significantly influence how footage is filmed and edited.
Resources to guide you:
Native video hosting vs. link sharing
Whenever possible, upload your video file directly to your social media account rather than sharing the link from YouTube, Vimeo, or anywhere else it may be hosted. Each social media platform will give priority to video content loaded natively (i.e. on their platform directly) vs. shared, so your content will get more views.
Making your social media channel fit the TRU brand
All official TRU social media accounts have a consistent visual theme that follows our brand's visual guidelines. This lets our audience know that the content they find is reliable and official TRU information.
Creating on-brand social media content
Designing content for mobile/responsive devices
The majority of our social media audiences engage with our channels on mobile devices, so it’s important to plan your content for a small screen and where audio is usually muted.
Consider including video captions rather than voiceover for important messaging. Include generous safe zones for any overlaying content to allow for responsive cropping, use overlaying content sparingly and develop with mobile users in mind. Use preview tools available in each platform to ensure your creative assets are displaying correctly.
Adapting TRU tone and style for social media
In social media, as with other communications to our various audiences, strive to speak in our brand voice—purposeful, empowering, collaborative, open and visionary—and adjust your tone to the context. In this case, less formal, more conversational, as well as concise and appropriate. Which attributes of our brand personality come to the fore will depend on your audience and subject. Each social media platform also has its own set of best practices for composing effective copy.
- See Voice, Tone and Style for TRU writing guidelines and examples
- Social Media Copywriting: How to Compose Text for 5 Different Channels; HubSpot
Hashtags, which ones and how many
Hashtags are used to sort and discover content. Consider using popular hashtags if you want your content to reach beyond your current followers—to new users searching for related posts— or establishing a new hashtag if you want to start a conversation around a topic, or want the ability to search your content at a later date.
Hashtags can be used within post caption copy, after the caption or as a comment on the post.
Don’t use more than five hashtags—they won’t be read and it can have negative connotations for your brand. Only use hashtags that are relevant to your content, including irrelevant hashtags can have adverse effects on the performance of your content.
Before inventing a new hashtag, research commonly used tags for your location, discipline, field or topic to include already-trending tags. Also, research tags you’re considering adopting, to make sure competing or unrelated content won’t distract from your message.
TRU’s primary hashtag is #myTRU. Consider adding this to your post to leverage your content.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to share my content on TRU’s primary channels?
TRU’s primary social media channels strive to deliver content that recruits students, builds the reputation of our institution and positions TRU in thought leadership conversations. Get in touch with TRU MarCom to discuss if your content meets one or more of these requirements and if it can be worked into our editorial calendar. Editorial Calendar
How do I get my TRU branded avatar?
You can request your branded avatar after you have completed your social media orientation session. This is provided by TRU MarCom. Request Form
Can someone show me a writing example?
Definitely, but we need some more context. Get in touch with us and let us know what social media platform (i.e. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook) you’d like the sample for, and what type of media (ex. photo, video, article link, etc.) you have to work with. From this we can create a relevant sample for you to work from. Request Form
TRU’s digital communications working group is composed of invested members from across our Kamloops campus. The group meets regularly and membership is open to anyone interested in joining, and learning more about social media and digital communications at TRU.