Twitter Editorial Guide
More and more users are joining Twitter, especially teenage prospective students. Albion College uses Twitter as a direct engagement channel, responding to and retweeting student and campus organization tweets.
Twitter also serves as the campus newsfeed, with posts providing periodic updates throughout the day. Because Twitter serves as a stream of information, more posts are better -- but not successive, one-after-the-other posts.
As a channel, Twitter skews to prospective students, current students, and recent graduates. Therefore, we keep the College’s voice on Twitter more casual and fun.
Retweeting is an effective engagement tool on Twitter. Students, and especially prospective students, enjoy being retweeted by the College’s account.
Specifically, on Twitter we tend to:
- Retweet prospective students who announce that they are attending / have chosen Albion (usually with a comment like, “Great to have you!”)
- Retweet athletic successes from @gobrits or individual team sports, using the hashtag #gobrits!
- Retweet student and alumni photos or comments that show campus in a positive light
- Retweet random or funny student comments as a part of our “Random tweet of the week” feature
Typically, the College follows students who have interesting things to say on Twitter. If they are usually negative or crude, we will not follow them. We also follow prospective students who have committed to come to Albion.
Campus organizations, other colleges in our athletic conference or the GLCA, individual athletic teams, employees of the college, and alumni are also good targets for following on Twitter.
The College also keeps tabs on emerging trends (like #albionproblems) and College-based fake accounts (like @albionpartystories).
As of now, the College uses SproutSocial as its Twitter management platform. SproutSocial allows us to schedule tweets in advance, keep updated on new followers, and develop monthly reports for Twitter activity.
Because we are able to schedule tweets in advance, we can think weeks or months in advance about upcoming college events, promotions, or initiatives. Because of the constant flow of information on Twitter, we can also post more than once about promotions or events.
Also, some general strategy points include:
- Space tweets out at least an hour or so. Retweets can occur in between.
- Post prospective-student tweets after 3 p.m. (when they get out of school). The later (8-10 p.m.) the better
- Wednesdays feature posts about the value of a liberal arts education, usually from third party links/articles.
- Random tweet of the week: Thursday afternoons.
- Using Instagram to post to Twitter allows us to (a) have a photo to show and (b) doubles our efforts.
- Typically, we tend to send more traffic to the Albion College website when providing links, but often -- say, if an alumnus/alumna appears in a news article -- we’ll post to third party sites where appropriate.
- Use Twitter’s “favorite” tool to archive important, useful, or positive tweets -- especially if they will be used for tweets in the future.
- When students ask questions on Twitter, research the answer and get back to them. Use Twitter like a service phone line. Ignore insulting or complaining tweets (and there are a few).
If a student tweets a concerning comments, such as abuse, suicide, or criminal acts, Marketing/Communications will take a screenshot of the tweet, along with a URL to the tweet, and send the link to the College’s Campus Safety department and Student Affairs leadership.
Key Takeaways From Albion's Twitter Presence
- Twitter has a younger audience; therefore, we can be more fun and engaging on the site
- Retweeting is one of the best forms of engagement
- We follow obvious tweeters, like students and campus organizations, and those who have a connection with the College or higher ed
- We use strategic posts to advance the College’s communications initiatives
View Albion-related Twitter accounts on our Social Media Listing
LinkedIn Editorial Guide
Albion College has several communications channels on LinkedIn: our Company page, our Group, and our University page. How do these sections of LinkedIn differ?
Albion’s company page serves as an employer/employee-specific channel, reaching those who work for -- or who someday want to work at -- the College. Weekly (if necessary) posts offer job-specific updates, like awards, promotions, conferences, and employment opportunities at the College.
Albion’s official group serves as a networking platform for students and alumni. The group is an exclusive one, meaning only those with Albion degrees or who work at the College can join. This serves several purposes:
- Cuts down on spam posts from outsiders
- Makes the group a unique benefit of being a part of the College
- Offers alumni-specific jobs and internship opportunities
Typically, students ask for job or internship opportunities, and alumni offer those opportunities through the group discussion tab. Albion’s Career Development office also posts job and internship opportunities.
As a part of the official Albion College group, the College’s Career Development office runs the mentoring subgroup by invitation only. This helps those interested in providing mentorships to connect with current Albion students.
Albion College’s university page is a recent development, and Albion was one of the first colleges in the nation to beta test this feature. The education page offers more of the personality of the College -- more like a Facebook page, say, than the LinkedIn company page. But with LinkedIn, we take on more of a professional voice and focus.
Weekly posts feature research projects, academic program successes, and job/internship-related student stories. We give those with alumni connections special attention.
Key Takeaways for Albion's LinkedIn Presence
- LinkedIn posts focus on internship- and career-related updates
- The College uses the official group to connect students and alumni for experience and job opportunities
- Content is focused on student and institution research and success stories, especially those that have an alumni connection
Find Albion LinkedIn links on our Social Media Listing
Flickr Editorial Guide
Flickr is a social photo sharing site, allowing Albion College to post pictures in galleries grouped by events, activities, themes, athletic teams, and academics.
The Office of Marketing and Communications links to Flickr galleries on the website for appropriate events and happenings, such as Homecoming and Commencement galleries.
Collections are groups of Albums, and are comprised of larger theme-based categories: Academics, Athletics, Alumni, Student Life, etc.
Albums are groups of individual photos that represent a theme, event, class, athletic contest, or initiative. Photo galleries could include “Commencement 20XX,” “Albion Britons vs. Hope - Football 20XX,” or “Campus Tour.”
Galleries should be separated by year, when possible, for website link purposes (“See last year’s Grand Getaway photos”).
Because Flickr serves as the main College photo gallery, we encourage the sharing and downloading of photos.
Each photo contains a download link in the “Actions” menu (called “View All Sizes”). This is how viewers can see the full-res version of each photo, and download it to their computer.
Processing and Uploading Photos
Marketing and Communications archives photos after they are taken. Often, for immediate sharing, we will publish them to other social platforms like Facebook.
Once this is done, we upload photo sets to Flickr and share the link to the gallery through Britonline, Twitter, and other social networks.
Tags and Descriptions
Flickr helps organize photos through tags. We use tags like “alumni,” building names, the event name, the season, the year, and over-arching themes like “student life,” “academics,” etc.
It helps to have captions with each photo for context purposes. Tools like Adobe Bridge and Lightroom let us write descriptions into photo metadata so that we only have to write them once.
Key Takeaways for Albion's Flickr Presence
- Flickr helps organize photo albums based on events, themes, and activities
- The College uses Flickr to share photos with constituents, on the website, and through social media
- Flickr keeps a record of uploaded photos through tags and captions
Visit Albion's Flickr Gallery
YouTube Editorial Guide
YouTube is Albion College’s primary video hosting and sharing platform. It’s ease-of-use, channel creation options, and in-depth analytics make it a useful tool.
The College uses YouTube to host videos for embedding on the website, sharing in other social media sites, and marketing promotions in email and other campaigns (think of it as an “upload once, post everywhere” solution).
We post all videos to YouTube: athletics, academics, news stories, marketing pieces, event highlights -- everything.
YouTube allows the creation of channels. We organize these channels into major themes: athletics, student life, academics, events, etc. As new videos are uploaded to YouTube, we add them to the respective playlist.
Tags, Headlines and Descriptions
To help with search engine optimization (SEO), “Albion College” should always appear in the video title, followed by a description of what’s in the video. Usually it’s descriptive, such as “Homecoming Highlights 20XX.”
For descriptions, shorter is better. If it’s promoting a particular department or promotion, we include a link back to the albion.edu website. We also try to list any individuals who appear in the video. If royalty free music is used in the video, we include the artist, title of the song, and link to the artist’s website.
Albion’s YouTube account is set to automatically include tags relating to the College, but others should be added that fit the context of the video. This also helps with SEO.
YouTube automatically creates a video preview screenshot for each video uploaded, but often the three default choices are unflattering or blurry. It's best to take a good screenshot of the video, representing a true preview of the video (often someone's face, or the title screen of the video), and upload that as a custom preview.
For good at-a-glance "video shopping," we will often create a custom preview using a photo from the video shoot and a title -- usually created in photo shop to HD specifications (1280x720).
Key Takeaways for Albion's YouTube Presence
- YouTube is Albion's use-everywhere video hosting solution
- The College uses strategic titles, tags, and descriptions to help with findability
- Channels help organize videos into themes like student life, athletics, etc.
Visit Albion's YouTube Channel