UW Environment social media profiles

 Why the College uses social media

  • To share news, information and slice-of-life content related to the College and its units
  • To engage current students and build on their affinity for the College and its community of faculty, staff, students, etc.
  • To connect with prospective undergraduate and graduate students interested in exploring environmental topics at one of the nation’s leading educational institutions
  • To direct people to the College’s website; social media is the number one driver of web traffic to environment.uw.edu

High level tips for an effective social media presence

Be brief

The shorter the better for social. In a content-saturated online space, social media users will not read through vast blocks of content. Most posts on social media should link to content housed elsewhere on the web, so don’t include every detail in posts themselves. Use the fewest number of words that will draw the reader in and then provide the link for them to follow. For example:

  • Too long: “We wanted to send you a quick reminder about this afternoon’s State of the College Address event from the College of the Environment! Join Dean Lisa J. Graumlich for this annual event to get updates on the College, our progress and where we’re headed in the coming year. After the dean’s address, stick around for refreshments, connect with Dean’s Office staff and chat with friends and colleagues. [insert RSVP link]” (67 words)
  • Better: “Don’t forget about this afternoon’s State of the College event from UW Environment. Join Dean Graumlich to get the latest updates on the College and where we’re headed. Stick around afterward to chat and enjoy refreshments! [insert RSVP link]” (36 words)
  • Best: “See you this afternoon at the Foege Auditorium for our State of the College address! [insert RSVP link]” (15 words)

Be useful

Before you post on social, make sure your content will be useful — e.g., actionable, valuable, helpful — to your audience(s). If it won’t be, reframe the post so that it will be or post something else instead.

Keep it fresh

Post at different times of the day, post more or less often than, post different types of content. Photos and videos are great for engagement.

Decide on a tone and voice

Use both consistently. Are you positioning yourself as an expert who speaks with an academic voice? Are you channeling an informal voice that millennials can relate to? At the College, we use a conversational, relatable voice and we try to have fun with our social pages.

Be active

If you run a social media page for your unit or department, make a plan for keeping it active. Contribute valuable insights that are relevant and true to the unit you represent. If you make a mistake, correct it and own the error.

Measure results

Look back at posts from the last week or month and see which ones performed the best. Do they have anything in common? Build on what works best.

Accessible social media content

To make your unit or department’s social media content more accessible:

  • Provide additional ways to contact your school or department, such as mailing address, email address or phone number.
  • When possible, put your content first and keep hashtags and “@” mentions near the end of your posts to help screen reader users.
  • Avoiding use of acronyms, abbreviations and shorthand “text message” speak.

University of Washington social media resources

Contact

Kelly Knickerbocker
Marketing and Communications Coordinator,
College of the Environment,
University of Washington
kknick@uw.edu