Loyola University Chicago

University Marketing and Communication

Social Media Best Practices

UMC's guidelines to support Loyola-sponsored social media accounts, including those for departments, divisions, schools, areas, and offices at the University.

  • Quality over quantity
    • While consistency is important, nothing will disengage your audience more than filler posts. Scaling back your number of posts in order to increase the quality of the content may grow your affinity and engagement with your audience.
    • Each social media platform uses an algorithm to deliver posts to followers. Within minutes of a post going live, the channel measures how the audience is reacting. If the post is highly engaged, it will be shown with more frequency. For a post that is not as highly engaged, it will be buried lower or not shown at all.
    • In 2018-2019, UMC intentionally decreased our number of posts by 30%, but saw a 10% growth in followers, 10% more engagement on Instagram, and a 514% increase in LinkedIn engagements.
  • Deliver value
    • Social media followers are increasingly savvy and have endless options for high-quality accounts with content tailored to their interest.
    • Particularly among Gen. Z and Millennials, audience members unfollow accounts that don’t deliver value in their posts. Help prospects see themselves at Loyola by focusing on environmental and current student
    • Think when you’re posting, What is this offering my followers?
      • For the Loyola brand accounts, we strive to inspire, evoke pride, educate, and, at times, entertain.
      • Show, don’t tell. Focus on storytelling over selling.
      • Give your audience more of what they like and respond well to.
    • Give, give, take.
      • The majority of the time, you should be offering your followers something they value. This is the key to successful 
      • Your “asks” (registrations, applications, contests, etc.) will be more successful when you’ve built brand affinity through valuable content.
  • Fit into your audience’s feed
    • Authenticity is key. Use these rules of thumb:
      • Will this post fit into my target audience’s feed, or will it stick out because it’s “selling”?
      • Does this have human touch?
    • Be in the moment.Balance posts planned months in advance with in-the-moment (responsive) content. 
    • Use emojis sparingly and thoughtfully (especially Rambler themed: 🐾🐺). 
    • Balance the elements of the Loyola experience you represent: athletics, visits, academics, service, outcomes, etc.
    • Be playful—social media should be fun!
  • Follow the pack
    • Follow the accounts of those you’re trying to reach (students, etc.) and those you can imitate (similar departments at other universities, etc.).
    • Crowdsource content—borrow and repost. Always ask permission and give credit.
    • Cross-promote other on-campus channels’ campaigns and initiatives. When we amplify each other, everyone grows!
  • Respond to questions and engage feedback
    • Implement a departmental process for quickly answering social media questions. Like and comment on responses, and stay positive. 
    • If things get contentious, take the conversation to private message or offline. Be mindful that DMs are often screenshotted and reposted.
  • Keep your profile page fresh
    • Routinely sweep for outdated “about” information and links.
    • Work with UMC if you have questions about your avatars or cover photos.
  • Use the best photos available
    • University Marketing & Communication stores and shares photos through PhotoShelter. Utilize the public galleries or contact University photographer Lukas Keapproth for further access to PhotoShelter.
    • Here are the channel-optimized aspect ratios you should use to crop your images for each platform. You can use a photo editor such as Photoshop or Sprout Social’s easy editing tool:
      • Facebook: 1200x630
      • Twitter: 1024x512
      • Instagram: 1080x1080
      • LinkedIn: 1350x705 (or 2400x1256)
  • Make sure your copy is in Loyola style
    • Lake Shore or LakeShore Campus? President Rooney or Rooney?
      It’s all in the University’s Style Guide. Familiarize yourself with best practices in Loyola copywriting and reach out to the UMC Content Team if you have further question.
    • Grammar is important. Remain concise and conversational, while keeping grammar intact. Grammarly is a free app and Chrome extension that checks your copy as you type.

  • Keep it complaint
    • Exercise discretion, thoughtfulness, and respect for colleagues, students, and University supporters. Consider the University’s social media policy and your own personal reputation when posting to social media.
    • All accounts should support the University’s mission, goals, programs, and sanctioned efforts.
    • Administrative access and passwords for Loyola-sponsored social media accounts should be available to multiple staff members in each department. Credentials must be maintained and surrendered to a University leader at the dean or vice president level in the event that the current social media manager, whether a student or employee, leaves the department/division/University

Post Checklist

  • Hashtag #LoyolaChicago included
    • Other hashtags included where relevant: #OnwardLU #FutureRamblers
  • @Mention or tag relevant parties
  • Photo cropped for platform
  • Grammarly checked
  • Location selected
  • Tagged appropriate accounts
  • URL optimized as custom bit.ly or LUC.edu address, where appropriate