Social Media

Our goal at GW is to use social media as a two-way communication tool for developing our community. With a number of platforms to use, there are opportunities to connect with your unique audience in a meaningful way. Whether you’re sharing #OnlyatGW moments or building pride as we #RaiseHigh together, social media can be a powerful way to talk to your audiences.

Marketing & Creative Services oversees social media strategy for the university and runs GW’s main accounts. We use social media to:

  • Promote news, events and resources
  • Share photos and videos
  • Livestream #OnlyatGW events
  • Monitor brand reputation
  • Host discussions
  • Respond to questions or problems from our community
  • Reach different audiences
  • Drive traffic to websites
  • Build communities

We can help you develop your social media strategy. Whether you represent an office, school/college, center/institute, department or initiative, you may benefit from developing your own social media accounts. Support is available to people with all levels of experience and can help you meet your communication goals.

 


Setting Your Social Strategy 

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Know your audience and set your goals

It’s important to understand who you are trying to reach on social media. Not all platforms reach the same groups. For example, Instagram reaches younger users on their mobile devices while LinkedIn reaches a professional audience. Think about who you are trying to reach with what kind of content to decide which platforms to develop and spend your time on.

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Determine how much time you can spend on social media

Building an engaged following requires consistent posting of good content. While you should be able to dedicate time to cultivating your community, don’t overextend yourself. It’s better to develop a good presence on one network than to post infrequently on every network. Think about your communication goals, which audiences you’re trying to reach and what content you have to work with. Focus your attention on the platform or platforms that will best achieve your goals.

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Develop your content strategy

When you know your audience, goals and how much time you can commit to social media, think about what content you can provide. Determine what kind of content best suits your goals and capabilities. For example, articles may better serve some needs, while visuals may make more sense for others. Consider different sources of relevant content, like news sites, user generated content, YouTube channels or your own students, staff or faculty. Be creative and build a unique voice. Listen to and interact with your audience when you can. Finally, think about the different strengths - and limitations - of each network.

 


Quick Tips

  • Be authentic, consistent and creative
  • Focus on networks that will be effective for you
  • Develop a content strategy and your unique voice
  • Try new things and learn what works on each platform
  • Use high-quality photos and other visuals
  • Interact with your followers one-on-one when you can

 


 

George is getting Giphy with it

No matter how you pronounce it, GIFs are more popular than ever on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. That's why we created custom GW GIFs and made them searchable on social media platforms. Everyone in the GW community can bring Colonial personality and pride to Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat stories. To date we’ve created more than 20 designs with more on the way so be on the lookout for updates. To join the fun and get started using them just search for "raisehigh" in your app.

 


Social Media Platforms

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Facebook

Facebook has more users than any other social media platform, but its audience skews older. It’s the ideal platform to reach graduate students, parents and alumni and it offers excellent targeted advertising of posts for a small budget. Its longer-form posts are great for sharing news content. Video performs particularly well on Facebook as it can be natively uploaded and automatically plays in your audience’s newsfeed. Livestreaming offers a great opportunity to broadcast to an audience that cannot participate in person and comments sections provide an opportunity to interact with your users and generate conversation.

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Instagram

Instagram is a mobile platform for posting photos or videos. You can write descriptive captions but good and compelling imagery is the most important part of a post. Similar to Twitter, hashtags (like #PictureGW) are frequently employed by users to find new content, so use this platform to get your photos and videos in front of new audiences.

Instagram stories—brief photo and video snippets that last just 24 hours—are almost like their own social platform within Instagram. Daily stories can be created with text, emojis or our GW gifs overlaying a photo or video. If you’re using Instagram stories, consider developing separate strategies for your stories and your Instagram account.

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Twitter

Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform where people talk about things happening in the moment around the world. In bite-sized messages, it’s easy to get lost in the noise, but it’s also easy to benefit by posting timely content. Use hashtags (like #GWU, #OnlyatGW or #RaiseHigh) to join conversations, but remember to always be authentic.

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional development platform. It is used for networking, job opportunities and thought leadership. It is great for creating communities of alumni, practitioners or partners.

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Snapchat 

Snapchat is a mobile-only platform where you send brief photo or video messages to friends. Messages are only viewable for a limited time, but when viewed in order these messages can create long-form stories. Snapchat’s users are younger than other networks’ so humor works well.

 


Resources