Online communication: Top tips to maximise your reach

Yellow text with a pink outline on a black background: Freshers 2020. Computer mouse in bottom right

Do you know your MySpace from your Facebook, your Bebo from your Instagram? Yes? Good. Now we’ve got that boomer energy out the way here are some super simple online communications tip to help your content get to the next level! Some of the tips might sound obvious or weird but we've found they've worked for us promoting events, clubs and socs at Oxford and beyond. Already doing all of these? Congratulations, you’re smashing it!

If you’d like more training or tips on a specific platform then just drop us an email and we’ll see what we can do vpcandc@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk. If you want even more then Oxford University IT Services run some courses, check them out here. 

 

Planning

Staggering posts and having a clear social media strategy can be super helpful. You can use a spreadsheet to plan out the term and when key posts/events are happening. You can use online tools to help plan out your content and some will even post them for you (some of these are paid tools): Some examples include Trello (has a good free version!)  
 

Making your content accessible is key: Here's some top tips...

1. Videos should have captions and a text transcript should be provided.  

2. Images posted on social media or included in emails should have an image description written in the caption for the image.  

3. Images included in documents and on webpages should have appropriate alt text included (or the image should be marked as decorative).  

4. Where images include extensive text, a plain text version should be provided.  

5. Where possible, documents should be provided in an editable format.  

6. When using hashtags each words should be capitalised.  

7. When sharing links, shortened versions should be created and shared where possible.  

8. When advertising events, an accessibility statement about the event and venue must be included. Use https://www.disabled.cusu.cam.ac.uk/resources/access-statements/ and include link to more access info if available e.g. on uni/college website. 

9. When advertising events, details about who to contact for accessibility requirements must be included e.g. an email address. 
 

Ways to boost engagement: Engagement means likes, comments and share, more engagement means more reach!

  • Do lots of liking and commenting on other people’s content, helps boost your profile 

  • Get all of your team/committee to like/comment/tag on all your content, pushes it up people’s feed 

  • Remember strong, quality, original content will do the best but relevant/reposts also do well! 

  • On Facebook keep to 3 posts a week and 1 post a week on Instagram if possible. 

 

Top tips for running accounts: 

  • If you are using more than platform be consistent and make sure people can get all the info they need by only following one account. If you can’t be consistent across platforms, just use one account and key that up to date 

  • Always have more than one admin/moderator + have the passwords written down! 

 

 

Text is a key part of any post, make every word count!

  • Be clear what the post is asking people to do, what the action is include one link in every post, text should be ‘fun, focused and confident’. 

  • Text in posts should be as short and direct as possible, break text into bullet points (you can occasionally have longer text if moving/relevant e.g. Humans of Oxford Uni but think about whether a post with a photo and quote + link to a longer blog would work better!) 

  • Tagging: tag people/groups you’re talking about with @userhandle - make sure these tags work 

  • Use emojis to break up the text 

  • Every post should have ONE link (on instagram this should be ‘link in bio’ then use lnk.bio to store all your links on one page) 

  • Ensure this link is shortened if possible (use bit.ly to personalise) 

  • #UseHashtagsButCapitaliseFirstLetter 

  • DON’T WRITE LOTS OF THINGS IN CAPITALS 

Martha and Charlotte smiling at the camera
 

Photography and Videos 

  • Every post should have a graphic or photo (don’t be afraid to re-use if you haven’t got new ones, avoid generic stock photos if possible, remember to use copyright free images 

  • Photos should be fun, include faces if possible (tag them if they’re up for it!) and high quality (when sending photos use email or google drive to keep high quality) 

  • Graphics: should have as little text on them as possible, use Canva to easily make graphics 

  • All photo/graphics should have an image description, try and keep this as short and concise as possible 

  • Videos should be high quality and have captions, ideally landscape or all in portrait if for Instagram- key is to keep uniform. Use videos lots, even if just a boomerang (Facebook pushes videos up people’s feeds) 

  • COVID: It’s hard to get photos when you’re not having face to face events, instead you can use screenshots e.g. from zoom events, photos from past events, or old photos e.g. of your committee 

 

Facebook

  • Tag events so that the event title becomes a hyperlink, don’t just put the facebook event link (if not possible make facebook event a bit.ly link) 

  • When posting in Facebook events make sure you post as the page not your personal account,  

  • Post in Facebook events regularly-> people get a notification 

  • Build communities using Facebook groups and chats 

 

Email Tips

  • Don’t email your mailing list more than once a week 

  • Bold the key info (can you read through the whole email just reading the bold bits and get the key info from it?) 

  • Put the key info/dates at the top of the email 

  • Have an interesting subject heading 

  • Link to your social media platforms in every email 

  • Remember to handle personal date carefully. Use Oxford SU's data handling training for more info. 

Ben and Ross smiling at the camera holding a picture which says 'I've just done the leap with RAG'

 

 

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