Best Practices for Social Media posts
On this page, find descriptions of major social media platforms, and specific recommendations for each. Each platform has a different user base, and allow for different types of content to be posted. As always, UH Hilo must create accessible social media posts, and only use the features of each platform that allow for fully accessible content.
Wherever you post, you are representing UH Hilo, the University of Hawaiʻi, and the State of Hawaiʻi. That means that content should follow appropriate institutional branding guidelines, an use approved UH seal logos, supplied by UH System. Find web sized, transparent images at the seals page.
We also recommend installing a spell-checking browser plugin, to alert you to any spelling or grammatical mistakes before pressing 'publish'. The Language Tool Grammar and Spell Checker tool does this via a FireFox Addon or Chrome Extension.
Every social media platform supports #hashtags and @mentions. These are useful tools for linking posts and accounts together, and should be incorporated into your posts where appropriate. A hashtag (
#) preceding any number of words (without spaces) will create a link to that term, in the social media platform. Using hashtags creates a consistent brand message, and gives you a link target when mentioning a specific campaign or series of posts.
Hashtags cannot have spaces - so multiple words must be strung together, like
#UHHilo. When combining multiple words, Capitalize each word in the hashtag for improved readability. Search results will include the lowercase tag, but it is easiest for the eye to distinguish a new word when something changes. This format is called PascalCase.
Please Note: While many platforms support the use of Hawaiian characters, however the search results will be limited significantly.
View results for
#UHHilo on a number of platforms:
An @mention is used to directly link to another profile on the same platform. This is useful when there are multiple UH related accounts, and you want your followers to also be able to find, follow, or respond to other accounts. When referencing another UH Hilo office with a social media account, the first reference to their profile should be a @mention to their profile name. When you start entering their profile name (following the @), some platforms will auto-suggest usernames.
Sometimes, the profile preview will not show up when you type the name of an account. @Mentions require that the profile name be used, not the profile Title. So, an account called
@UHHilo would appear when you start typing
@uhh, but an account called
@uhh-cobe would not be found when you start typing
University. For best results, use similar and consistent branding for all of your profile pages.
Find a link to all current office, unit, and department level UH Hilo Social Media accounts on the UH Hilo around the web page.
For All Images
Images should be of an appropriate size for sharing on the internet. Modern phones create very high resolution images, often much larger than practical for sharing. Social media sites will resize images files that are too large. Too see, or reduce, the file size of an image file on your device, use the resize image tool.
Photos should be cropped to focus on a subject, whenever possible. Use the rule of thirds when cropping to create areas of interest in your photograph.
Images should have minimal text. When making an image of a flyer, the words that appear on the flyer must also appear in the body text around it - whether the text of a tweet or the caption of an Instagram post.
For All Links
Overly long links are to be avoided. If you are linking to a web page, consider using a URL shortening service, such as http://go.hawaii.edu/ to convert your long URL into a shorter one. You may also want to check the URL in a web browser to make sure that it loads properly. On Facebook and Twitter, including a link also includes a link preview, showing what will be retrieved if that link is followed. If you want to see this information before sharing, you can view the link preview on facebook or view the card preview on twitter.
Formatting Captions in Instagram posts
Instagram will also trim your captions, so focus on the first sentence.
According to Shutterstock, the ideal size for a twitter timeline image is 1024 x 512 pixels (2:1 ratio). The ideal resolution for a Twitter profile header is 1500 x 500 pixels, and the ideal resolution for a twitter profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels. The resize image tool can help you to shrink overlarge images.
Twitter supports alternative text descriptions for images. To use these, tap the 'Describe this Photo' option in the app. Alternative text should describe the image and what it conveys.
Often, the quality of an Instagram post can be improved by pre-processing the image. Useful apps for image editing, text overlays, and creating collages include:
Graphic editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can be used to add watermark images.