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Social Media Toolkit

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University of Oklahoma Social Media Toolkit

Use this guide when publishing content and engaging with followers on official University of Oklahoma social media channels.

Have questions? Email marcomm@ou.edu.

 

Social Media Channel Summary

Facebook (facebook.com) | @uofoklahoma

Facebook allows people and organizations to connect through establishing an online community. As of December 2018, Facebook has more than 2 billion daily active users.

OU’s largest demographic on Facebook is 25-34 year-olds located in Oklahoma and Texas. OU posts photo albums, news articles, research stories, and shares content that reinforces the University’s brand pillars at least 5 times a week on this channel.

 

Twitter (twitter.com) | @uofoklahoma

Twitter allows users to connect and discover the latest new, ideas and opinions in 280 characters or less, connecting brands to their audiences in real-time.

OU tweets 5-10 times a week, connecting the university to relevant conversations and engaging our audience with Twitter trends. OU posts real-time photos and shares content that shows the University’s research efforts, affordability, and community impact.

 

Instagram (instagram.com) | @uofoklahoma

Instagram is a photo and video sharing app with a community of more than 400 million monthly active users, with 90% of users under the age of 35.

25-34 year-olds from Oklahoma and Texas make up the largest demographic in our Instagram audience. We post high-quality and consistently branded photography as well as on-brand user-generated content 5 times a week and utilize Instagram Stories to host social media takeovers and cover events. 

 

LinkedIn (linkedin.com) | University of Oklahoma

LinkedIn is a business and career-oriented social network used for professional networking. In 2013, LinkedIn introduced University pages.

The majority of our LinkedIn followers live in Oklahoma and Texas. We post campus photos, homepage articles, university news, and research stories 5 times a week on this channel targeted toward alumni and friends.

 

Social media platforms are continuously rising and falling in popularity. The University experiments with content and engagement on new platforms as they develop and gain in reputation. In general, it’s more important to be successful on fewer platforms than trying to spread the brand too thin across multiple platforms.

 

Social Media Best Practices

A strength of social media is that you receive feedback from your audience, providing insight on how to improve your approach. Listen to that feedback, and use it to make adjustments as necessary.

While it’s not necessary to publish every day, your audience should see that someone is consistently engaging and attending to the information on the social channel. Provide accurate information, keeping in mind that content should always be relevant to your audience.

When you answer in a public setting, many people may read that answer. If the information you are providing is sensitive or valid only for the individual being addressed, you may need to make that clear in your response or provide them with a more direct way to contact you (email or phone). Consider each negative situation on a case-by-case basis, referring to the university’s social media policy for more detailed instructions.

 

Social media platforms are subject to Open Records requests just as email or other forms of communications. Remember this when responding to comments, both public and private.

You can only control what you say through your social channels – but you cannot control how people interpret your message, how they will react, or what they will communicate to others through these channels about your organization. Focus on telling your story honestly and providing accurate, timely information that is relevant to your audience.

Take advantage of free metrics and tracking capabilities that are available – this will help you to become more educated on your audience’s interests and how they are responding to your content. Facebook has built-in metrics that page administrators can access, and Twitter provides metrics for the past 28 days at any given time. Other helpful tracking sites include bitly.com and hootsuite.com.

Platform-Specific Best Practices

Text and Posts

  • Structure

    • Keep posts short. Facebook’s ideal character limit is 40-80 characters.

    • Include at least one high-quality media asset in all posts

    • Ask users a question when possible

    • Tag people, departments, colleges, clubs, etc. with (@)

      • ALWAYS double-check and confirm handles when tagging

Targeting

  • Organic targeting

    • You can take advantage of free targeting if your post targets a specific demographic.

      • Ex. You’re posting about a scholarship that only applies to students living in California

  • Paid Ads

    • Always utilize Facebook Ads to create an ad as this allows you to target specific audiences and manage paid ad budget in greater depth.

    • Do not use boosted posts, as they don’t allow for in-depth targeting.

    • Marketing and Communications is happy to help in the development of paid social media campaigns. Reach out for more information: marcomm@ou.edu.

Photos and Videos 

  • Images

    • Images for a post: 1,200 x 628 pixels

    • Images for a post with an associated link: 1,200 x 628 pixels

    • Images in stories: 1,080 x 1,920 pixels

    • Images for paid ads: 1200 x 628

    • Desktop cover photo: 851 x 315 pixels

    • Mobile cover photo: 640 x 360 pixels

  • Video

    • Videos uploaded to Facebook: 1280 x 720 pixels

    • YouTube video thumbnail: 1280 x 720

    • Always upload videos directly to Facebook instead of linking to YouTube. Facebook will play videos in the feed if they’re uploaded directly to Facebook.

Text and Posts

  • Structure

  • Keep posts short

  • Use a space to break up posts that exceed four lines of text

  • Always use vanity links generated by bit.ly

  • Put “🔗” or “➡️” before links

  • Tag people, departments, college, club, etc. with (@)

    • ALWAYS double-check and confirm handles when tagging

    • If tagging a handle in the beginning of a tweet, put a (.) before the handle

Photos and Videos

  • Photos

    • Profile Photo

      • 400x400 (Displays 200x200)

    • Timeline photo:

      • Square Image recommended 440x220 pixels

      • Maximum file size 5MB

    • Timeline photo collage: 4 photos

      • Desktop:

        • 1 large and 3 small square images

      • Mobile: 

        • Each photo shows up in a rectangle quadrant

    • Timeline photo collage: 3 photos 

      • Desktop:

        • 3 square images

      • Mobile: 

        • 1 large portrait and 2 small square images

    • Timeline photo collage: 2 photos

      • Desktop:

        • 2 square images

      • Mobile

        • 2 landscape images

  • Animated GIF

    • 1280 x 1080 pixels

    • 140 sec. Max.

    • File size 15MB 

  • Video

    • Must be between 0.5 seconds and 10 minutes

    • Recommended resolution:

      • Landscape: 1280x720

      • Portrait: 720x1280

      • Square: 720x720

    • Video uploaded to Twitter: 512MB max. Size

      • Always upload videos directly to Twitter instead of linking to YouTube. Twitter will auto-play videos in the feed if they’re uploaded directly to Twitter.

Text and Posts

  • Keep it short. Captions collapse on the main feed at 140 characters.

  • Images should always be high quality, adding value to a user’s feed and exemplifying the OU brand.

  • Always add your location to the post when appropriate.

  • Tag people, departments, college, club, etc. with (@)

    • ALWAYS double-check and confirm handles when tagging

    • If you have a link associated with a post, put the link in your bio

      • In the copy, say “link in bio” or “🔗 in bio” 

      • Make sure to change the link in your bio to the link. After a day, change it back to ou.edu

      • Always use vanity links generated by bit.ly

 

Hashtags

 

  • Always use multiple hashtags after the text of the post.

    • Use a period and line breaks after the post to add 3 lines before the hashtags. 

    • Use consistent and established hashtags

  • Search and discover established hashtags that are relevant to the image in your post

    • Ex. If you post an image of fall, popular hashtags are #Fall #FallWeather #FallPhotography #FallFeeling

Photos and Videos

  • Photos

  • Profile Image: 110x110

  • Photo Thumbnails: 161x161

  • Photo in post: 1080x1080

  • Instagram Stories: 1080x1920

  • Videos

    • Feed Videos 1080x1080

      • 60 seconds max.

    • Instagram Story Video

      • 15 seconds max.

Stories

  • Keep the number of stories in a 24 hour period to 4-7 posts.

  • Share stories to Facebook when appropriate

  • Utilize stories to:

    • Host social media takeovers

    • Cover events in real time

    • Share photos

      • Always use vertical photos

Text and Posts

  • Keep posts relevant and short: Remember you're speaking to a professional audience and how that may affect their content preferences. Posts will collapse after 217 characters.

  • Include an image or video in all posts.

  • Tag people, departments, colleges, clubs, etc. with (@)

    • ALWAYS double-check and confirm handles when tagging

Hashtags

  • Use established and consistent OU hashtags

  • Use hashtags that are relevant to the industry you’re posting about when appropriate

Photos and Videos

  • Photos

    • Cover photo: 1584x768

    • Company logo: 300x300

    • Photo in post - display size (desktop): 1200x1200

    • Photo in post - display size (mobile): 1200x628

  • Videos

    • 4,096x2304 max.

    • 10 minutes long max.

    • 5GB max. file size 

Live streaming is a great solution for capturing, sharing and documenting a momentous occasion. From building dedications to graduations, there are several milestone moments that happen on our campus, and each of these may be a good opportunity to stream. Learn more about live streaming services offered by OU Marketing and Communications here.

Here are a few tips to consider before going live:

  1. Prepare as much as you can: know where you’ll set up your live stream equipment on-site, what the focus of the stream will be, and have key messages on-hand if a host will be speaking.

  2. Promote your live stream in advance: promote your live stream like you would the event itself to your social media audiences and email lists.

  3. Plan for engagement: live video is most interesting when viewers receive direct feedback from the brand they’re engaging with. Have a staff member dedicated to responding to viewers via chat or on the live stream itself.

  4. Have a call to action: give your captive audience a call to action to accomplish one of your other marketing goals, like subscribing to your newsletter.

  5. Repurpose your live stream: get the most mileage out of your live stream by republishing it across other channels, such as YouTube or Twitter. Pull the best moments out of the video to act as standalone content.

Channel-specific Help Sheets:

Hashtag Strategy

Hashtags are a way to consistently brand your content or insert your brand voice into a larger conversation happening on social. Below are a few branded hashtags the University uses on its own content. Before using a hashtag, always research how it’s being used by other users to determine the sentiment of the conversation.

  • Use no more than 2 hashtags per post, as they will negatively affect readability.

  • Do not use two hashtags next to each other.

  • Be consistent and use established hashtags.

  • Use camelcase for readability and accessibility. (#BoomerSooner)

  • #BoomerSooner, #Boomer

    • Use with gameday content and after announcing awards or accolades. 

  • #CampusBeautiful

    • Use with campus photography

  • #FutureSooner, #OUBound

    • Use for highlighting or engaging with prospective students

  • #OUResearch

    • Use with research content

  • #OUFamily 

    • Use with content that captures the university community