Marketing Communication

@SUUTBirds on Social Media

Our social media efforts support the larger SUU initiatives of attracting the most qualified students, giving them the best undergraduate experience and ensuring high graduation rates and employment placement. We will use SUU’s core themes of explore, engage and excel by showing SUU’s quality academics, personalized classrooms and hands-on experiential based learning.

Main University Accounts

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest from campus. You can also find us on YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SUU Blog and Snapchat (@SUUTBirds).


While social networks are free to set up for your college, department or organization, the work to use and maintain them is not. These are some guidelines for establishing and managing university-affiliated accounts:

Before starting a new account or adding new channels to your social media presence, consider these questions:

1. What should my college/department or unit aim to achieve with social media?

Consider how you will engage with current and prospective students, alumni, parents, community and corporate stakeholders with informative and creative content. Consider how you will share news and information to support SUU’s visionary plan***. How will you provide excellent customer service and drive traffic to your SUU site?

2. Who is your target audience?

Before building a social media presence, understand and define who you are trying to reach. Different channels speak to different audiences and what works on Instagram may not work as well on Twitter.

For SUU’s main accounts (@SUUTBirds), we’ve separated our audiences out by platform:

Facebook = Cedar City community, alumni, faculty, staff, parents of students, donors
Instagram = current students, prospective students, recent alumni
Twitter = current students, faculty, staff, news reporters
LinkedIn = current students, alumni
YouTube = prospective students, prospective faculty/staff
Pinterest = prospective students, current students

3. What are the risks associated with starting a social media account?

Social media is changing constantly. If you don’t lay a solid foundation from the beginning, you may forget to post and your account will become obsolete.

Possible risks to active accounts include errors, fake or hacked accounts, potential posting of inappropriate content, legal issues, and complaints/trolls. This training guide is to help you get started, but the SUU Marketing Communication Office is here to help. Here are basic solutions to some of these issues:

  • Post content that encourages positive interaction and feedback
  • Identify hot button issues in your department/program/university and stay away from posting about them. Have a plan of action in case these issues are posted on social media.
  • Make sure you have all the facts before you post. Double-check everything for accuracy, spelling and grammar. Double-check links to ensure they are going to the right web page.
  • Link to your sources when possible and tag other university units in your posts.
  • Correct errors quickly and visibly.
  • To respond to a troll on social media, express that you would like to help them and direct the conversation offline (e.g. Thanks for your feedback. Please contact with concerns so we may better assist you.)

4. When will you find the time to manage social media?

Consider if you or other staff members can carve time out of your schedules each day to post, monitor channels and measure outcomes. 

5. Who should set up and maintain our social media accounts?

One of the biggest mistakes when launching a social media account is underestimating the amount of time required to respond and moderate discussions. Within your program or department, designate one person for your social media, but train someone else on how to do it as well. Create a flexible schedule for posting timely content that is relevant to your unit. Inactive social media accounts reflect negatively on the university, so stay consistent with your posting or delete your account.

6. Should we have a presence on all of the popular social media networks?

To begin, build a presence on just one social channel, at least for the first few months. Choose which channel by asking your audience which platforms they use the most. As your following grows, you may decide to branch out to other channels.

7. How often should I post new content on my social networks?

It depends on the channel. Here’s how @SUUTBirds organizes their social media cadence:

Facebook = three to five times per week
Instagram = six to seven times per week, lowered to three to five in the summer
Twitter = two to four times a day, more if necessary
LinkedIn = three to five times per week
YouTube = once a week
Pinterest = repin daily, add original content weekly

8. What types of content should I post on which social platforms?

Each platform has their own regulations regarding content. For a detailed analysis of post ideas, visit our SUU Social Media Platform Guide.

9. How can I measure the success and return on investment of my social media marketing efforts?

It’s important to continually track your social media marketing metrics in order to gauge which tactics and types of posts work. Most social platforms offer their own metrics, such as Facebook Page Insights or Twitter Analytics. This data can quickly become overwhelming, so use the SUU Social Media Analytics Template to analyze your accounts monthly.

10. What campus resources do I have for running social media?

The SUU Marketing Communication Office has a small social media team who can help you develop a strategy and grow your following.

You can also join the SUU Early Birds, a brand ambassador group, and receive content from the Marketing Communication Office you are free to share on your own platforms.

Facebook is a great way to share social media content because of its large and diverse audience. It is a popular social networking site that allows you to make connections, share interests, and join groups. Members can communicate, connect and engage with each other, both directly and through various applications and features. More significantly, Facebook is changing the way we interact on the web, making our experience much more open and social. It is the largest social network in the world with more than 1 billion active users.

Facebook should be used to manage and monitor the brand, build relationships and increase awareness through real-world connections. It’s a platform for full-featured brand presence and engagement, where businesses can host promotions, contests, photos, videos, events and other rich media content, as well as distribute updates.

Post Frequency: Posts should be made 2 - 4 times a week. It’s about quality not quantity.

Audience: current students, faculty & staff, parents, alumni

Metrics: monthly engagement percentage, url clicks, video plays, page likes

Posts to Make:

  • Native video to increase views and engagement (if possible, don’t post YouTube links, it does not automatically play for the viewer)
    • Captions for videos also increase engagement
  • Engaging blog stories and news articles (ensure photos are engaging/relevant)
  • External validation posts (articles or stories written by the media)
  • Use photo albums with varying types of pictures rather than posting a single photo (then tag the people within the photos to increase engagement and reach)
  • Big campus news and announcements (ex. Athletic champions, snow day, awards or recognition from well-recognized institutions)

Posts to Avoid:

  • Promotion/announcement of events
  • Status updates with no links or pictures

Facebook Live is still fairly new but viewership is growing rapidly. Facebook Live lets you livestream a video where you can connect and interact with your audience in real time. Viewers can comment on the video during your broadcast and you can answer questions or reply back during the livestream. This feature gives viewers new ways to engage with your brand, become part of the conversations and personalize the video content.

Facebook Live videos are simple and unpolished, but offer an authentic and genuine glimpse into the company and the people who work there. Videos could offer insider tips, behind-the-scenes look into daily office life and/or host interviews.

The live video option is built into Facebook, you don’t need to download another app to use it. After you finish your live video, it is automatically saved to your timeline.  You can reshare it, tweet it, and upload it to Youtube.

Facebook Live Tips:

  • Test out live videos by using the “only me” privacy setting. You can play around with the video feature, but you are the only one to see it.
  • Promote the live video event in advance
  • Have a strong wifi connection
  • Write a compelling description before going live. Tell people what the video will be about.
  • Have a friendly, conversational tone
  • Introduce yourself at the beginning
  • Go live for at least 10 minutes so you can attract visitors but no more than 90 minutes
  • Do a quick re-cap of the video about halfway in so new viewers know what you are discussing
  • Call out visitors by name when they tune in
  • Address comments in real time
  • Say goodbye and thank you when you sign-off

Audience: current students, faculty & staff, parents, alumni

Metrics: Minutes viewed, unique viewers, average percent completion, reactions, comments and shares

Twitter is a microblogging site with a more informal tone used to share moments and news. This platform allows users to share short 140-character messages with each other. Users can 'follow' other users and/or businesses to obtain information, share updates, and be social. You should start by following people who are in your niche and learn what’s important to them. Twitter provides you with a readymade audience to ask questions. You can plug keywords into Twitter's search function to find information on a topic you're interested in and see what others are saying about it.

Users commonly connect with brands for customer support, business information, breaking news, contests, and special promotions. Twitter is great for sharing links, so if you're providing a link to a Website, press release, article or blog, run it through a site like or to conserve space.

It’s important to research what people are saying about your company on Twitter by using a hashtag (#) before the search term. A hashtag is a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. You can add hashtags to your Twitter posts by prefixing a word (#TBirdNation) with a hash symbol. Twitter users often use a hashtag to aggregate, organize and discover relevant posts.

Twitter has settled into becoming a broadcast channel for brands with some conversational functionality. Twitter is centered around real-time conversation and if possible businesses should be posting several tweets a day. Marketers should try to turn as much relevant content about their brand into tweets as possible, and move quickly when posting about time sensitive topics that appeal to a wide audience.

Post Frequency: Posts should be made 1-3 times a day, and responses should be made to all mentions.

Post Time: Monday - Thursday are strongest days between noon and 3

Audiences: current students, faculty, staff, future students, media

Metrics: engagement rate, url clicks, followers

Posts to Make:

  • Responses to all Tweets about SUU
  • Big campus news and announcements (ex. Athletic champions, snow day, awards or recognition from well-recognized institutions)
  • Funny, relatable moments about SUU, Cedar City, and student life
  • Cute animals
  • Information during a crisis
  • Native video, gifs, emojis and photos

Posts to Avoid:

  • Promotion/announcement of events
  • Links to videos on YouTube
  • Tweets with no pictures, links, or hashtags

Instagram is a photo sharing platform that can help humanize a brand if used properly. Instagram has 600 million active users and provides a huge asset for visual content. It’s one of the top 10 most popular smartphone apps with growth nearly doubling that of every competitor ahead of it on the list. 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text. You should have a healthy balance of fun images with business pictures. Tell a story with images.

Users take photos & video with a mobile phone, store it on the site & share it with others. Majority of posting will need to be done from an app, only a few sites allow you to post from a computer to Instagram. Best times to post are weekdays before 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays between 6-11 p.m. Use hashtags that align with your campaign or brand image. Also, images can be shared across other social platforms, i.e. shared from Instagram to Facebook and/or Twitter.

Post Frequency: Posts should be made 4 - 5 times a week either, with the best times in the morning.

Audiences: current students, recent alumni

Metrics: likes, comments, video views, hashtag uses, followers

Posts to Make:

  • Pretty pictures of campus with relevant and conversational captions
  • Relatable posts on SUU, Cedar City, and student life
  • Cute animals
  • Big campus news and announcements

Posts to Avoid:

  • Promotion/announcement of events
  • Pictures of food
  • Low quality photos
  • Videos that require sound

Instagram Stories enables you to post multiple photos and/or videos in real time to your followers without feeling like you are overwhelming your follower’s feed. The story appears in a slideshow format, but your story only lasts for 24 hours and will disappear after that time period.

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over posting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. This allows you to appear more human and approachable, truly bringing your story to life.

Stories appear in a bar across the top of your feed  — when there’s something new to see, the profile photo will have a colorful ring around it. To view a story, just tap on the profile picture and view at your own pace: tap right to go forward, tap left to go back, hold down to view that photo longer, or swipe right to go to the next story. You can also send private message to that person through private direct messages. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.

You can also go live on Instagram Stories, allowing your followers to interact with you in real time. You can also include stickers like polls, ratings, questions and hashtags to get viewers interacting with your content.

Post Frequency: 2 to 3 times a week

Metrics: Average story reach from the first slide to the last, insights now available through Instagram if you have a business account

Audiences: current students, recent alumni

Posts to make:

  • Give a rundown of the week with an event schedule every Monday
  • Event promotions and storylines (real time)
  • Educating followers on changes to your department/office, i.e. SUUSA voting changes, how to apply for FAFSA, how to register for classes, etc.
  • Contests and winners
  • Student takeovers, day in the life

Posts to avoid:

  • Party atmosphere
  • More than 10 posts in one story

Snapchat is a mobile photo, video and messaging app used to excite, involve and communicate with viewers. Snapchat users can share short photos or videos, referred to as Snaps, directly with their friends via message or they can post multiple Snaps via Stories.

Snapchat is Twitter meets Youtube. It’s short, visual, real time and very urgent. There’s a fear of missing out if you don’t check the platform on a daily basis. Snapchat is not about crafting a professionally staged photo or perfectly scripted video. It’s about sharing real, authentic moments. You want to show your audience the people behind the brand giving them inside access and an instant connection. The platform encourages creativity, honesty and a sense of urgency since the Snaps disappear.

Post Frequency: 1 story a week

Audience: current students as primary, prospective students as secondary

Metrics: Followers, views, engagement (snapback, screenshot)

Snapchat Tips:

  • Use takeovers to increase followers
  • Post event ads to increase screenshot engagement
  • Post with national trends to increase snapback
  • Upload photos from phone for easy posting
  • Do not post more than ten snaps with a takeover
    • Preferably under four snaps
  • Highlight events, show behind-the-scenes, & create exclusive content not found on other platforms
  • Push people to Snapchat from other platforms
  • SUU Ideas:
    • Student takeovers
    • Market during Red Riots
    • Push snapcode on other platforms
    • Tour of new buildings
    • Meet organizations on campus

Blogs are a form of content marketing that has quickly become one of the most popular ways to communicate and share information while increasing your online visibility. A blog is a great tool to develop a company’s position and reputation as an industry expert. The content you create on your blog should demonstrate knowledge, answer common questions, serve as a news platform and offer expert tips.

Blog posts can incorporate video, graphics, photos, audio and text, all to provide valuable and reliable resources to the reader. The intent of every blog post should be to answer consumer questions and should be written to a specific audience, whether it’s toward prospective students, current students, parents, community members or faculty.

Blogs are an excellent method to answer reader’s questions about college, address worried parent concerns, showcase life in southern Utah and highlight outstanding faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Posts should be published several times a week. When a new blog is posted, the link can be shared on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and occasionally Facebook, all according to the overall marketing strategy.

The ultimate goal of blogging is to increase search engine optimization, generate traffic on other social networks, and build a community of invested followers. Blogs build trust and provide value for your company/department. By posting relevant and quality content, your blog expands your online presence and can eventually move your site to the front page of search results on Google.

Audiences: prospective students, parents, SUU community

Post Frequency: 2 to 3 posts a week

Metrics: page views, organic views, and social views, comments, social shares

  • Targeted keyword articles
  • Repost news stories with searchable titles
  • Articles relatable to students (ex. Last Minute Spring Break, 10 New Year Resolutions, How to Decorate Your Grad Cap)
  • Articles written by students sharing common experiences

Posts to make:

  • News releases
  • Student stories
  • Faculty highlights (Meet our Professors, Faculty Fridays, Faculty awards)
  • Letters and presentations from the President
  • Major Blogs
  • SUU to Everywhere stories
  • Community and Cedar City information
  • Outdoor posts
  • Helpful information for parents and students
  • Common questions/concerns
  • Higher education information / how to prepare for college

YouTube is a powerful free tool for organizations to engage an audience with online video. You can use it to show off your expertise, share knowledge, market your products and connect with customers, colleagues and prospects. By creating and sharing unique and valuable information you generate loyalty and trust in your company.

Your YouTube channel is basically your house for the videos you create and upload, the videos you have selected as favorites, and those that you have organized into a playlist. A customized channel gives you the opportunity to add and showcase your company’s branding with specific colors, information and links to your website and/or relevant social media pages. A channel also gives viewers an option to subscribe to your content with the click of a button. Plus, it helps them easily search for only your content.

Some best practice advice for creating video is to pay attention to lighting the area, sound quality and shakiness of the camera. Use a tripod. It is also important to plan an outline and a script prior to making your video. Much like writing a story, you will want to include a beginning, middle and end. Make sure your video has a purpose. Keep it simple and short. 2-3 minutes for a video is recommended.  Utilize tags and keywords, choose a thumbnail that is enticing so people will want to immediately click and watch your video. Share your videos on your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter page. Always include the company’s website in the video as you want to give the viewers additional reasons to engage. Other ideas for calls to action might include: offering a contest, scheduling a tour or learning more.

Audience: prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, alumni

Metrics: views, comments, shares

Pinterest is a virtual corkboard that allows users to visually share and discover new interests in the form of images and videos from around the Web. The goal of Pinterest is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” Pinterest differs from many other social media platforms in that it is image-based, allowing a following to develop among those with similar interests and preferences. It’s focused on a person’s lifestyle and can help individuals find like-minded people and companies.

The goal is to gain brand recognition, drive traffic to our website and convert new visits into leads. When using Pinterest think outside of the box of how you’d typically use social networks. Succeeding on Pinterest is about finding how our product/service fits into the lifestyles of our target audience.

Pinterest should represent the company identity by showcasing the lifestyle our brand promotes. It can also be an online archive that gives a visual history of company. Our brand should be relatable, interesting and humanized. Let people see behind the scenes of our company.

Images uploaded by users are called Pins and can be organized onto pinboards, which may be customized, themed and followed by other users. Users can also like or repin content shared by other pinners. Create resourceful boards based on a few core keywords (Higher Education, Dorm Life, Outdoor Adventures, Preparing for College, Lesson Plans for Professors, Cedar City) this will attract followers who are passionate about those specific topics. You can add an unlimited number of pins to a pinboard. Embedding the Pin It button on your website and blog will help facilitate sharing on Pinterest. Pins added using the Pin It button link back to the original site they came from.

Post Frequency: SUU should curate most content, but create at least 1-3 original posts a week.

Audience: students, parents, faculty, alumni

Metrics: repins, likes, followers

Pins to Make:

  • The most popular pins are: food and drink, DIY crafts, home decor, womens fashion, weddings, design, hair and beauty, art and kids.
  • Use high resolution, light pictures. Images without faces get more repins. Shoot for 736 x 1102 pixels.
  • Use instructographics (infographics with instructions on how to do something).
  • Tip: share pins in college newsletter
  • Tip: use a private board to plan

Pins to Avoid:

  • Promotion/announcement of events
  • Too much text or none at all
  • Pins without permalinks

LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. Brands can have company pages, and users can 'follow' the page for updates from those companies. The network has more of a business networking and career focus, and the way users connect is much more formal. Users often have fewer, more intimate connections than they would on Facebook or Twitter.

LinkedIn can be a great way for businesses to share information and become a thought leader for the industry. LinkedIn can be used to share blog posts, links and articles, as well as to lead discussions about national trending topics. LinkedIn is also a great way for employees to form connections with professionals in the field.

Audience: students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni

Post Frequency: SUU should post a relevant article at least 1 time a week

Metrics: followers and engagement

Google+ is another platform that allow users to connect over shared interests and topics. Because the site is connected with the largest search engine, having a Google+ page with relevant industry content, photos, videos, links and contact information enhances organic searches. A high frequency of posts will result in a better overall SEO ranking.

Google+ will be used to share news releases, videos, blogs posts about higher education and faculty experts.  

Audience: Alumni, parents, faculty and staff

Post Frequency: 1-2 articles a week

Posts to Make:

  • Blog posts with relevant description
  • Links to news releases
  • YouTube videos

Posts to Avoid:

  • Event announcements

Instagram: @suutbirds

Facebook: /suutbirds

Twitter: @suutbirds

Other Campus Social Media