AHS Social Media Guidelines 2022
College of Applied Health Sciences
Social Media Guidelines
The College of Applied Health Sciences official social media accounts support the goals of college and ensure that strategic and meaningful messages are shared effectively with audiences. Developing a comprehensive social media strategy serves as a communications and marketing function that reflects the excellence of the college’s educational, research, and engagement activities. The information outlined below is what informs content on each of our channels, how we foster engagement with our audiences, and identifies the standards and policies behind our decisions.
Elevate the College of AHS Brand
Increase Student Recruitment Efforts
Expand Advancement Efforts to Increase College Endowment
Advance the CHAD and CHART Enterprises
- Tell the AHS story
- Build pride amongst current students, faculty, staff and alumni
- Share research news
- Highlight alumni news
- Share outstanding student stories, achievements, and awards
- Promote alumni and donor support
- Facilitate student recruitment
- Connect with stories and news from campus units and the university
*LinkedIn page and platform strategy to be created
College of AHS Accounts
Facebook (College of Applied Health Sciences at Illinois)
Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST)
Facebook (Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at Illinois)
Kinesiology and Community Health (KCH)
Facebook (Department of Kinesiology & Community Health at Illinois)
Speech and Hearing Science (SHS)
Facebook (Department of Speech & Hearing Science at Illinois)
Affiliated Unit Accounts
Chez Veterans Center (CVC)
Facebook (Chez Veterans Center)
Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)
Facebook (Disability Resources & Educational Services at Illinois)
Account Management & Security
AHS accounts refer to the Social Media Best Practices for Account Access & Security put forth by Public Affairs as a guideline for account management and security.
- Keep a record of every person who has access to each social media account. Remove people who should no longer have access to post to the account. This should be audited at least once a year. Make sure at least two people have access to the accounts at all times in case account management changes or if you become locked out.
- Keep a secure record of all account passwords. Only people who are actively managing the accounts should have access to the current passwords. Passwords should also be updated as soon as someone who has access leaves the unit or no longer needs access to the account.
- Ensure passwords are securely shared. No passwords should be shared via email. A secure Box folder will be used to document and share all AHS account passwords.
- Use department emails, rather than personal ones, for account purposes. This should be applied to all accounts used for social media content or digital advertising (e.g., Google Ad account, Canva account)
AHS accounts refer to the Social Media Best Practices put forth by Public Affairs as a guideline for social media strategy. Below are general guidelines for social media strategy that AHS accounts should adhere to:
- Develop an appropriate tone for the account. Each unit has a unique audience and voice, but the AHS accounts should have a tone that is smart, kind, thoughtful, proud and deeply supportive of and excited about the university.
- Post several times a week, every week across all platforms. Create quality content that not only promotes AHS and the strategic goals of the university, but resonates and connects with your intended audience.
- Promote social accounts in other communication formats. Examples include emails, posters in buildings, student recruitment swag, or publications. The goal is to create awareness and earn followers.
- Identify your audiences and build your strategy around this audience. Each social media platform requires a unique strategy. Different audiences resonate with different tones, messages and interactions.
- Consider the tone of each platform and the audience. A tweet about Homecoming might sound and look different than a story about faculty research on Facebook.
The words, tone, colors, images and fonts of every post create brand identity. Content shared on the AHS accounts should be visually identifiable as being associated with the Illinois brand and AHS. The priority is to create and post clean, accessible and consistently branded content.
- When creating graphics for social, consider the following:
- Does this message or information need to be a graphic?
- Most of the time, the information on a graphic can be shared in the body copy of the post. Graphics can be good for visually unifying a recurring series (e.g., Alumni Spotlights, podcast episodes) but they should remain high quality and connected to the Illinois brand.
- Is this too much information for a graphic?
- Text should be minimal and easy to read. Too much text can become inaccessible or hard to read, especially on mobile. QR codes or URLs designed on the graphic should be avoided. Instead, link out to relevant content in the copy of a post, through a link in a bio, or embed the URL into the post.
- Do I have enough visual contrast?
- See the chart on the SMB website that shows the accessible and non-accessible combinations of the university’s primary and secondary color pallets.
- Did I design the size with each platform in mind?
- Instagram 1080px by 1080px
- Twitter 1600px by 900px
- Facebook 940px by 788px
- If you want to make one size for all platforms, it’s best to use 1080px by 1080 px
- Should I use stock photography or illustration?
- Only when you have to. The Image Database provides consistent, quality images of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that should be used whenever possible to reflect the excellence of Illinois on social and other communications pieces. When necessary, stock images and videos can be found through Storyblocks.
- Does this message or information need to be a graphic?
- Refer to the guidelines put forth by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Branding for university-wide design elements like color, graphics, typography, wordmarks, etc.
- Use profile pictures consistent with the social media brand standards. Profile pictures should include the Block I. Do not use profile pictures with the column I or a logo other than the Block I.
The following platform strategies specifically refer to the main college accounts. Department accounts should adhere to the same general guidelines with the exception of posting frequency.
With a large and diverse audience on Twitter, this is where we share the largest variety of content of any of our platforms. Our primary audience on Twitter includes current students, faculty, and staff, members of the Champaign-Urbana community, and other units across campus. We focus on sharing content that builds pride, shares news about our research and faculty, mentions us in external media publications, and connects with units across campus. We prioritize content that uses high-quality images, media elements (e.g., links, videos, call-to-action), and stories published or shared by Illinois units.
Tone & Style
We maintain a clear, concise, and casual tone when it comes to all content shared on Twitter. As with other platforms, we occasionally will share content that is light-hearted or aligns with social media trends. However, we must remember to be strategic and sparing when using emojis, relatable language, or following social media trends so we do not come across as unprofessional or develop an ingenuine tone.
General demographic: Prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, media, campus units
- Most engaged: campus units, current students, faculty and staff
We post 3-5 original tweets during the week. Retweets should happen as often as needed and should supplement content shared throughout the week. If we are tagged in posts, we should engage as appropriate (replying, retweeting, or liking). We tag relevant Illinois or external accounts in our posts to foster engagement and reach a wider audience.
Our Instagram has the highest amount of active and engaged students and alumni. We prioritize storytelling through images that are high-quality and purposeful. The body of posts should give deeper context and build pride. Instagram stories should be used to entertain or share informational content with links and resources.
Tone & Style
With a student-driven audience, our tone is casual and light-hearted. In all instances, text or an initial sentence should be short enough for users to see in-feed without having to tap “see more.” When appropriate, a following paragraph can be longer to tell stories or include relevant information. Emojis and trending language should be used intentionally and strategically.
General Demographic: Current students, prospective students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, campus units
- Most engaged: Current students, prospective students, alumni=
We aim to post 2-3 times a week in our main feed. Stories should be created or shared as needed.
The two main goals of our Facebook account are to build pride and share college or university news. While our audience is diverse, the most engaged users are alumni and parents. We focus on sharing content that builds pride and shares stories about the college or university. We want to convey the excellence of the college to our audiences and instill a sense of pride through showcasing our impact.
Tone & Style
Our tone is warm, prideful and approachable. We refrain from overly using casual or light-hearted language knowing our audience is primarily faculty, staff, alumni and parents. Each post should have a high-quality image, video, or link to external content. Illinois.edu links are preferred as it allows us to change the link preview.
General demographic: Current students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, community
- Most engaged: Alumni, faculty, staff and parents
We post 3-4 times a week. We share similar content to other social platforms: content that builds pride, shares news about our research and faculty, mentions us in external media publications, or connects with units across campus.
AHS accounts refer to the Social Media Comment Policy put forth by Public Affairs as a guideline for comment policies and procedures.
Our accounts may sometimes receive negative comments or responses. Simply because a comment is negative is not a sufficient reason to delete it. Instead, only delete or hide comments that violate the comment policy.
What We Post
We prioritize creating and sharing content that tells stories, connects with our audiences and helps them find how we can help fit into their journey. This looks like, but it not exclusive to:
- Written news and feature stories, videos, and podcasts about students, faculty and staff that highlight their experience in AHS, their research, their opportunities and their successes
- Articles, videos and podcasts that mention us or our people in external media publications
- Images that give a glimpse into the lives of students, faculty, staff or alumni and a look into the campus environment
- Stories, videos, and podcasts that connect people to the developments of campus and facilities
We occasionally receive requests to post content that will not reach its target audience through our social channels. While each request is reviewed individually, these typically include:
- Job postings*
- Research study participation**
- Events or fundraisers hosted by anyone other than the college or affiliated units, RSOs or other groups
We recommend these types of posts be more effectively shared through:
- Department, college or campus newsletters
- The Dean’s List
- Illinois job board
- Personal social media accounts
*Job postings can be shared via LinkedIn once page is created
** Current research studies will be shared monthly on social media via webpage on AHS website