By David Dos Santos, Educational Designer

A social media campaign is an organized effort to reinforce or assist with a goal using one or more social media platforms. In a higher education setting, this can be used to promote a new class, resources on campus, or training program. Social media is a highly competitive space when it comes to user attention. Users are saturated with posts from friends and family along with commercial advertising. Keep in mind from the start what your posts will be competing with.

Facebook icons in 3D

In the Office of Educational Technology, our target audience in our social media campaigns often shift between faculty, students, and staff. Your own social media campaign may be exclusive to one of these or include all three. The first step is to identify your target audience and use media in your posts that is inclusive of your intended audience. For example, in a recent vaccination advertisement on CUNY’s website, actual students were featured photographed around campus and New York neighborhoods. These types of media will make your posts more relatable.

One of the quickest and most efficient mediums for social media is video. A video can quickly and colorfully make an announcement or show a visitor how to do something. For example, a video can show you how to join our Are You Ready? Blackboard training is quicker and clearer than a text post or a single graphic. The key to videos is to keep them short, as short as one or two minutes. This is because your 1 – 2 minute video will be competing for the short attention spans of users browsing their social media feeds.

Long gone are the days of the 140 characters text-only posts. Virtually all social media can support images and short videos. Graphics, in particular in a square dimension will take up the most feed real estate as possible increasing the chance of it being read. Whenever creating graphics, we need to remember to be inclusive of our target audience both in terms of representation and accessibility. A quick way to check for accessibility issues in color choices is to use an online contrast checker such as the one offered by WebAim.

Utilize hashtags to increase your audience reach and pronounce your presence. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound symbol. On social media, it serves as an indication for users and the platform that a piece of content relates to a specific topic or belongs to a category. For example, we may use the #Hostos or #EdTech hashtag in our posts. Hashtags help make content discoverable in on-platform searches and, effectively, reach more people.

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