General Best Practices

  • Respect is very important. As an employee of the university, your actions represent the institution as a whole. Thus, maintaining a respectful dialogue in online interactions will help uphold the image of not only Oregon State University, but yourself.
  • Mistakes happen. Social media is super public and it's super hard to please everyone. Sometimes, you’ll make a mistake, but it’s important to address acknowledge the mistake, apologize, delete and/or repost.
  • Protect yourself. Make sure all your accounts are secure with unique passwords so your information can’t be stolen. 
  • Check your grammar. Platforms including Twitter and Snapchat don’t allow you to make changes after your content has been published. For this reason, it is a good idea to double and triple check that everything is spelled correctly and makes sense.
  • Post original content. And if you use someone else’s content, be sure to ask for permission and then attribute.
  • Social media is visual. Using photos and videos helps better connect you with your followers and makes posts much more interesting than simple text.
  • Good copy rules. Be a personality, use wit and tease in headlines.
  • Have fun with it. Ultimately, social media is meant to be a way to interact with other people. Engage and have a blast doing it.

Suggestions for managing a community

Staff/faculty/students managing university accounts

If you run an account on behalf of the university, use these tips to help you construct a strategy. If you have any questions, please email

  • Define your audience. Who do you want to reach?
  • Set goals each term. Do you want to grow your followers? Increase post engagement? Convert people to your website? Define your needs and conquer.
  • Every platform is different. From Facebook to Twitter to Snapchat, each of your accounts has a different audience. Vary your content, strategy and personality to match the audience on each platform. Do not link accounts to post the same message in multiple places. This comes off as robotic and disingenuous.
  • Be eye-catching. Use photos, video and animations wherever possible.
  • Fewer links, more content! Use videos, photos and text natively within a platform to tell a story. Don’t make your account a link farm.
  • Remember, timing matters. Do some research and see when your followers are most active. Then post at those times.
  • Be responsive. If someone reaches out to your account or adds a comment to a post, respond quickly and accurately, whether the feedback is positive or negative. If you are unsure of how to respond to a critical comment, please reach out to our team.
  • Use our hashtags! Unless it’s for a specific event, there’s no need to create your own when we have established hashtags already in #GoBeavs and #BeaverNation.
  • Posting is just the beginning. Make sure you’re monitoring comments, replies and what people are saying about your brand. And after that, engage with them.
  • Make a content calendar. Social media trends move fast, but it really helps to plan out your posts a week at a time. Commit to consistent posting.
  • Timing matters. If you have news to break, break it first. Big announcement coming? Create a strategy.
  • Space out your posts. Don’t post too much in one day, rather, find the times your followers are most active. This is often in the mornings, late evenings and usually never on Friday and Saturdays.
  • Don’t panic during a crisis. Yes, emergencies happen and we use social to reach audiences the quickest. Please refer followers to the official university accounts, per policy.
  • Post AND engage. Follow and reach out to pages like yours. Comment, reply and be active on other social pages, not just yours.
  • Give credit. Where did you get that photo or idea? Make sure it’s OK with the creator to post it and always provide attribution.
  • Check your grammar. The grammar police are real.

Students managing personal accounts (personal brand building)

  • Be professional. Many employers look at social media accounts when deciding whether or not they should hire someone. Keeping your content professional and appropriate ensures that hiring managers will see you in the best possible light.
  • Create a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with potential employers as well as find jobs or internships. Setting up an account sooner rather than later could be a valuable asset in your future job hunt.
  • Follow companies you’d like to work for. Following companies on social media affords you the opportunity to find out what you’re interested in and when jobs or internships are available.
  • Double check your content before you post it. This goes without saying, but posting content that might position you in a bad light could be detrimental. You never know who is looking at your profile. They could be a potential employer.
  • Understand that you have a personal brand. Much like companies, you as an individual have a personal brand. Use social media to build your brand positively and publicly.
  • Go public. We know, it’s a little scary to make your accounts accessible to everyone. However, social media is your friend and is a great tool to show future employers who you are and what you’re about. 
  • Use your best judgment. If you have any doubt about what you want to post, play it safe and don’t press SEND.

Faculty managing a personal account

  • Retweets and shares are perceived as endorsements. It’s important to understand that everything you post or share reflects on you and your employer, even if it’s not your intention. You can’t control perception, but you can control content.
  • Identify how you want to use your accounts. For example, Facebook might be better for friends and family whereas Twitter might be best for colleagues, your profession or other acquaintances.
  • Showcase your work. Social media is today’s best opportunity to have your work seen. Commit to social media to share your successes. We’re here to help!
  • Post consistently. Posting content on a regular basis keeps your audience engaged. It doesn’t even have to be original content; a simple retweet or share holds almost as much weight as a post you’ve created yourself.