Social Media Toolkit
Social media gives our community a place to share. How do we share?
We are in a continual conversation with our students, faculty and staff and we actively listen to our global community. At UBC, we use social media to amplify stories that celebrate new thinking in the world.
Social media is a powerful resource and tool that enables us to capture and share moments which exemplify UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit, inform our global community on real-time UBC news and encourage others to join us in pursuing ideas that change lives for the better. Our social content is inclusive and should always inspire a feeling of belonging to the UBC community.
Here are some examples that bring this to life.
Key Considerations for Social Media
UBC social channels are required to have an official social media avatar and a high-quality cover photo (please see our photography page for guidelines). UBC Communications and Marketing will create a brand-compliant social media avatar for you; please use this form to submit your request.
As an official UBC social media channel, it is expected that your content is representative of a leading university. Language and media should be engaging, bold and responsive, without appearing overtly promotional. UBC social content offers an intelligent, highly informed point of view that shares discoveries, inspires conversation and supports the UBC community locally and around the world.
The majority of our social audience accesses our content primarily from mobile devices. Plan your content for a small screen: keep text to a minimum on graphic images and always keep in mind how your content will be consumed. Using images and graphics with large ‘safe zones’ around the edges, with clear and easily understood call to actions will help enhance the mobile experience for your user. Imagine the entire user journey and create content that enhances the mobile experience.
When writing for UBC social channels, please adhere to our editorial guidelines at all times. Compress your message so the first 80 characters are sharp, succinct and eye-catching. Resist sensationalism or spam-type language to engage your audience. Inspire a feeling of belonging, ignite discovery, and share stories that help create new thinking in the world.
Hashtags are an opportunity for conversation. They represent online communities that gather around specific topics. Before you invent a new hashtag, research commonly used hashtags for the discipline or field you are talking about and use #UBC to leverage your content. Brevity is key: keep your hashtags as short as possible and build in connections to other handles and hashtags right into your sentence.
Make the most out of your project. Here are some strategies that we think will help you.
- Before starting a social media channel, ask yourself: Have I considered all the alternative communication channels to promote the content? Do I have the capacity to maintain the channel and can I do a consistently good job at creating and publishing the content?
- Learn about the social landscape and best practices. Join the Social Media Meetup Group.
- Create a long-term strategy that includes an editorial calendar, a management plan and benchmarks to guide your progress.
- While these guidelines are intended for official UBC channels, many faculty and staff also engage on social media via personal accounts. See our guidelines on personal use of social media by UBC faculty or staff.
- Listen to your community. Monitor hashtags and keywords relevant to your faculty, unit or department. Watch your Twitter lists. Don’t have lists? Here’s how to create them using Twitter.
- Monitor UBC’s main Facebook and Twitter channels and UBC News on Twitter to ensure that you’re keeping abreast of the larger, enterprise-wide stories and news.
- Be consistent. If you’re unable to post content on a regular basis, ensure that you’re scheduling content for when you’re away and that there is someone to manage the channel for you.
- Measure your efforts. Knowing how your content is performing will guide when, how, and what you post. Each social platform offers varying analytics and measurement data that you can use to report on performance. Establish a process to track your performance over time.
- Be proactive about your content. Plan for events, seasonal promotions and recurring themes in the academic calendar, and incorporate and promote your own unique events and stories that you know will happen each year. By planning ahead, you will capture better content and optimize real-time media.
- Continue to build your network. Follow key influencers at UBC and join the Social Media Meetup Group to learn more about creating and managing successful social media channels.
Get your social channel on-brand by ordering your official UBC avatar.
UBC Now/Storybox Content Submission Form
Do you have a story you’d like shared on ubc.ca or UBC’s main social media channels? Review our guidelines on StoryBox and use our submission form.
Social Media Best Practice Guidelines
These best practices will help you succeed at managing and creating exceptional content for your UBC social media channels.
Social Media Response Framework and Moderation Guidelines
Use these guides to help you determine when to respond and how to moderate conversation on social media.
Our photo library is an invaluable resource with hundreds of on-brand photographs available for non-commercial use on our Flickr site.
Opportunities to gain new insights and communication skills, whether you are a new or seasoned communicator, are always available to you at UBC.
Develop fundamental social marketing skills to drive real business results. Learn how to optimize your social media profiles, create a strategy and grow an online community. You will also discover content marketing and social advertising fundamentals.
Social Media at UBC — A Conversation with Houston White