Graphic of Little Victor holding a megaphone.

Content Checklist

Before you post to your social channels, be sure to follow this checklist to optimize your content and make it soar! 

#1. Think UB First

Does this content promote UB and move the university forward?

As communicators speaking on behalf of the university, we have an obligation to make sure that all posts made from UB social accounts reflect our institutional values and move the university forward. Be sure that your content is accurate and ties back to your account’s social strategy. Not sure if your post reflects your account strategy? Use your bio/about section as a litmus test. Make sure everything you post from your page ties back to that statement.

#2. Consider Your Audience

When positioning content, always think about the audience. Consider:

  • What’s in it for them? What are they going to get out of reading this?  If we want our audience to engage with our content, we have to provide value or position it in a way that is meaningful to them.
  • Would YOU want to click on this post? Does the copy make you care or feel excited about the content?
  • Does the image or video help tell the story? Is it engaging?
  • Have you considered adding either a call-to-action or engagement opportunity to encourage conversation on your post?
  • Is the content inclusive and does it accurately reflect our community? We want to make sure that our diverse university population is represented in an authentic way. Step back and look at your content from the week and consider whether or not the language, the people and the photos you are featuring reflect an inclusive community that is a reasonable representation of your unit and/or our community as a whole.

#3. Socialize Your Copy

Keep these tips in mind when writing content for social media:
  • Hone in on the benefits: It’s not always about what UB did. It’s about what UB, and our community collaborations, did for others that matters to our audience.
  • Frontload your copy: We need to capture our audience’s attention fast or they may scroll past our content. Try to put the most compelling information first. 
  • Avoid PR talk: We don’t want to sound like a press release. How can we create more of a connection for our audience and make it relatable, fun or engaging?
  • Handle with care: Although we don’t want to sound like a press release, we also don’t want to be insensitive when it comes to serious subject matters. Posts that touch on an individual’s health or beliefs, especially, should be treated delicately and positioned in a way that provokes empathy or discussion.
  • Think Local: We love our city. We can appeal many stories to the WNY audience by positioning our content to show how it impacts the local community. 
  • Establish credibility for your source if they aren’t a household name. 
    • For example, the audience may not care that an alum is offering career advice, but they will if we note that the alum is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
    • Don’t include full names unless the ‘source’ is a household name. Use ‘this alum’ or ‘this professor’ and include context
  • Start a conversation: Is there an opportunity to build engagement into the post? How can we talk WITH our audience instead of AT them?

#4. Be Mindful of Current Events

As content creators, we need to be attuned to what is happening in the world in order to avoid unintended insensitivity. Before you post, think carefully about how this content will be received by the community and be prepared to respond, should issues arise:
  • Get another perspective: If you are posting content that you think may be contentious or attract attention because of the subject matter, ask your supervisor or senior communicator for their feedback before posting. Getting multiple perspectives may help identify issues you haven’t considered.   
  • Timing is everything: If the content or subject matter you are posting is a hot-button issue, think about delaying the post to avoid eliciting an unintended or disproportionately negative response.
    • For example, posting a photo of students playing in the snow during a major snowstorm when accidents and injuries are being reported could make your post a magnet for criticism. However, delaying the post for a few days when the conditions are safer could help ensure that your post is received positively.   
  • Research your hashtags: If you decide to jump on trending topics and hashtags, be sure you understand their meaning. Find out what the source is to be sure you are part of the right conversation, as intended.

#5. Consider General Accessibility Best Practices

  • Use CamelCase on hashtags, when applicable
  • Avoid acronyms in posts whenever possible
  • Make sure color contrast is accessible
  • Use a URL shortener to minimize characters
  • Keep alt text front of mind.
    • If text is embedded on an image/graphic, be sure to include that text verbatim in the alt text
    • See #6 for channel-specific accessibility recommendations

#6. Optimize Content For Each Channel

Facebook logo.

Facebook

  • Does this fit your content pillars for Facebook?
  • Is this content relevant to everyone? Or at least a large group of people?
  • Is #UBuffalo included in the post?

Accessibility:

  • If posting a video, have captions/SRT files been included?
  • Alt text is automatically populated on photos, but you can edit/improve by following these steps
Instagram logo.

Instagram

  • Does this fit your content pillars for Instagram?
  • Does this content work best as a post or a story?
  • Is #UBuffalo included in the post?    
  • Did you include a list of reach hashtags in the caption?
  • Did you tag all relevant handles?
  • Did you add a location?

Accessibility:

  • Did you add alt text in the photo?
  • If posting a video, have text overlays been embedded?
  • If posting an Instagram story, Is contrast between text and backgrounds accessible?
Twitter logo.

Twitter

  • Does this fit your content pillars for Twitter?
  • Is #UBuffalo AND at least one secondary reach hashtag included in the post?
  • Did you tag all relevant handles?
    • UB handles?
    • Content source, author or subject matter?
    • Additional handles that may be interested in topic?

Accessibility:

  • Did you include alt text, if posting a photo?
  • If posting a video, have captions/SRT files been included?
  • Place @ mentions and reach hashtags at the end of the tweet (if they aren’t being used as part of the tweet copy)
LinkedIn logo.

LinkedIn

  • Does this fit your content pillars for LinkedIn?
  • Is this content relevant to everyone? Or at least the majority of our alumni audience or current UB community?
  • Is #UBuffalo included in the post? Did you include a secondary hashtag for reach?

Accessibility:

  • If posting a video, have captions/SRT files been included?
  • If posting a photo, has alt text been included?
Snapchat logo.

Snapchat

  • Does this fit your content pillars for Snapchat?
  • Is this content relevant for our students and young alumni?

Accessibility:

  • If you upload the takeover to a YouTube playlist, include captions on the video