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Brand execution guidelines

Publishing guidelines

Optimizing content for publishing on social media maximizes the return on your social media marketing investment. This section provides an overview and quick tips on how you can successfully optimize how you share your content in social media.

Tool of record — ASU

 

ASU uses Hootsuite to publish and manage content to its core accounts. Learn more about the ASU Enterprise Hootsuite license, and if your unit qualifies for a seat.

Social publishing guidelines

 

These publishing guidelines have been created based on our existing brand guidelines and extensive analysis into strategies that have resonated with our audiences.

Follow ASU’s tone and voice.

Each time you post, respond, launch, thank and connect with others on social media you are exercising our brand’s tone and voice. As such, you should always follow ASU’s writing style. Every time that our audience sees a tweet or a post, they are building an idea of what our brand means to them, and we should aim to maintain an identity standard regardless of medium. 

For more information, make sure to visit ASU’s writing style and content overview section of the brand guide.

 

Don’t repost the same message across networks

While it may appear as an efficient way to share the same messages across multiple accounts, this tactic can make it seem like you are not taking into consideration the nuances of each of your audiences (which is especially true if you manage multiple accounts on the same platform and you are using the same content for all of them, scheduled or posted at the same time). 

This does not mean that you shouldn’t share the same stories across multiple social platforms — it means that you should strive to make the content feel fresh, either by changing a picture, the format (video or image?), or the text (maybe showcasing a different angle of the story) every time you share it. Changing your posts — even if it’s just slightly — also improves the chances that your content will be acted upon, since now you are giving your audiences a new reason to click or engage on your post, without seeming repetitive.

 

Social media publishing guidelines
Social media publishing guidelines 2

Same story, different preview

Don’t overpost

“More” is not always “better.” Different social platforms behave in different ways, and while it might make sense to post every hour on Twitter, that might be overkill for your audience on Facebook. Analyse how your audience reacts to different cadences, and adjust accordingly. Don't know where to start? This Rival IQ article shows what  the ideal frequency per platform, per industry is (based on their analysis). 

Optimize content for each network 

Different platforms reach different audiences. As such, you should use language that speaks to that particular audience (versus using a “one-size-fits-all” strategy). Phrases that work on TikTok will probably not work on LinkedIn. And use the right (versus same) hashtags for each platform (unless it’s a campaign hashtag that can be used in different platforms, like “#ASUgrad”). Spammy hashtags (e.g., “#likeforlike” or “#follow4follow”) might be very popular on Instagram, for example, but taken out of that environment and placed on a different platform, they will take on a whole different level of looking “spammy.” 


Optimize link thumbnail previews 

When sharing links on social media, make sure that you optimize how your link preview will appear to your audience. Depending on the metatags on the website that you are sharing, link previews might not appear as you would like them to appear, so it is always a good idea to test if your link preview will appear so that you can optimize your audiences’ experience when engaging with your content. 

Although not ideal for a quick fix, the best solution is to work with your web team to optimize the metatags for social sharing on your websites. This allows for the website to be optimized once, and makes sure that every time that a link is shared, you have control over how it will appear in social feeds, regardless of who shares it. Read more on how to optimize images for social sharing.

Unoptimized preview
Optimized preview

This post did not optimize their thumbnail preview.

This post did optimize their thumbnail preview.

How to see what the preview will look like:

Facebook, Twitter and Facebook provide tools that allow you to check what a particular link will look like once shared.

 

How to change what the preview will look like:

Once you check what your preview will look like, you will have the option of continuing forward with the link as is, or changing how it looks. Depending on the platform, the process to change a link preview varies.

 

Choose the right scheduling tool for publishing

 

For the past few years, platforms have integrated scheduling tools into their native offerings, but how do you know when you should use a third party tool, or when to use the native platform?

Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is a great tool where you can centrally plan all of your posts and tweets. Unfortunately, some formats are not available to be scheduled directly on Hootsuite. 

As a good rule of thumb, use Hootsuite to schedule:

  • Facebook link and image posts (including posts with GIFs). 
  • Twitter link and image tweets.
  • Instagram single-image posts.
  • LinkedIn link and image updates.

Facebook Creator Studio

Through Facebook Creator Studio, you can schedule posts for Facebook and, if your Instagram account is connected to your Facebook page, you can also schedule posts for Instagram. The benefit of using Facebook Creator Studio instead of a third party tool (like Hootsuite) is that it offers few scheduling options not available outside of the native platform. 

 

As a good rule of thumb, use Facebook Creator Studio to schedule:

  • Facebook video posts 
    • You can schedule videos through Hootsuite, but the Facebook video scheduler option has a lot more features than the one provided by Hootsuite. 
  • Facebook link posts where you need to change the thumbnail preview 
    • You can achieve this through “Facebook Page Posts.” 
    • Once the posts are created, they’ll appear in Facebook Creator Studio.
  • Facebook albums
  • Facebook carousel posts
  • Facebook Stories 
    • You can post directly from desktop by using Facebook Creator Studio.
    • Stories scheduling is currently being deployed through Facebook Business Suite.
  • Instagram carousel posts
  • Instagram video posts
  • IGTV videos

Twitter Ads

While you can schedule most content for Twitter from Hootsuite, there are some content types that benefit from being scheduled natively through Twitter Ads. Just as a reminder, even though this tool was created primarily for advertisers, Twitter Ads can be used to create and schedule organic posts.

 

As a good rule of thumb, use Twitter Ads to schedule:

  • Video tweets
    • You can schedule videos through Hootsuite, but the Twitter Ads video platform has a lot more features than the one provided by Hootsuite. 
  • Link tweets where you need to change the thumbnail preview 
    • You can do this by creating video or image website Twitter cards.
  • Carousel tweets
    • You can do this by creating multi-image Twitter cards.
  • Twitter threads
    Twitter Threads
    • While there are some tools that claim to allow scheduling of Twitter Threads, Twitter has not officially announced that this is something that’s allowed by their API. 
    • As such, we recommend using the native platform to tweet all tweets at the same time (via Twitter’s website or the mobile app.) Just click on the “+” sign and create all the tweets that you want to send (you can add images, links, polls or GIFs), and once you’re done, click on “tweet all.”

More info: Solutions: How to use Tweet threads

 

  • Twitter Moments 
    • Twitter Moments can be created directly on Twitter’s website or the mobile app.
    • If you are not done creating your Twitter Moment, you can save it as a draft and come back at a later time.
    • You can schedule the promotion of a Twitter Moment. Once your Twitter Moment is done, you will have a link for it, and you can schedule a tweet link for it, just like with any other links (either through Hootsuite or Twitter Ads).


More info: How to create a Moment

LinkedIn

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn does not offer a native tool for scheduling posts. Regardless, there are still benefits to sharing some type of content directly on LinkedIn, versus scheduling it through a third-party tool (like Hootsuite).

As a good rule of thumb, use LinkedIn to publish:

  • LinkedIn video posts 
    • You can schedule videos through Hootsuite, but LinkedIn offers ways to change thumbnails and add SRT files.
  • Link updates where you need to change the thumbnail preview.
  • Multi-image posts. 
    • LinkedIn changes the way that images are displayed dynamically based on the amount of images attached to a post. When uploading a post with more than two images, we recommend you either post it directly on LinkedIn, or test it out there before scheduling it through a third-party tool to make sure that LinkedIn is not cutting off important aspects in the pictures. Some third-party tools offer previews of how the post might look like, but they make clear that due to changes on the platform, the preview might look different once it’s posted. 


More info: LinkedIn Image Sizes & Dimensions 2020

Multi-image post: here, the assets that were created for this story get cropped in a way that’s detrimental to the user experience and how we portray the story on our channels.

Multi-image post

End result: In light of how the images were cropped by LinkedIn, we switched tactics, and instead of sharing a multi-image post, we changed the image on the thumbnail preview and shared the story as a link post.

End result

Social publishing deadlines

Use these deadlines as a guideline for content creation. As a caveat, remember that social media is a fast-moving communications channel, so be prepared to pause or remove any scheduled post in case of an emergency or a crisis, regardless if it’s the weekend or a holiday. If you are on vacation, make sure that someone will have access to the social media accounts in case content needs to be changed, or preempted.

 

Regular week

Day when content should be scheduled in Hootsuite/native platform, by 4 p.m. Live date (when post goes live)
Monday Wednesday
Tuesday Thursday
Wednesday Friday
Thursday Saturday/Sunday
Friday Monday/Tuesday

 

Holiday week

This schedule works for any holiday that falls on a Monday, but for moving holidays (like Fourth of July, Veterans Day, New Year’s, Christmas) create a specific schedule that fulfills your needs. As a good rule of thumb, allow two business days from when you receive the content to when it is supposed to go live.


Day when content should be scheduled in Hootsuite/native platform, by 4 p.m. Live date (when post goes live)
Monday Wednesday/Thursday
Tuesday Thursday/Friday
Wednesday Friday/Saturday
Thursday Sunday/Monday
Friday Tuesday/Wednesday

 

Thanksgiving Week

Since the Thanksgiving holiday is typically the longest holiday observed by the university, feel free to follow this schedule in order to streamline content creation that is scheduled to go live during the holiday, as well as immediately after.


Day when content should be scheduled in Hootsuite/native platform, by 4 p.m.
(Week prior to Thanksgiving) 
Live date (when post goes live)
Monday Wednesday/Thursday
Tuesday Thursday/Friday
Wednesday Friday/Saturday
Thursday Sunday/Monday
Friday Tuesday/Wednesday