When participating in social media, it’s important to always be upfront and honest about who you are and what you represent. Use sound judgement and common sense before you post or comment, and follow Brock’s Code of Conduct and Respectful Work and Learning Environment policies, the Student Code of Conduct and all other applicable policies.
Brand standards for social media
A social media handle is also known as your username and what your audience will use to find you. Accounts should have ‘BrockU’ or ‘Brock’ in the handle. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, i.e. if your area/department name is too long. All of your social media pages should use the same handle.
Before opening a new page/changing your handle, do your research on each platform to ensure your handle is available. If your handle is taken, please consult with Layton Risto on what your second chosen handle will be.
All official Brock University social media pages must have the Brock logo as its avatar. Sub-brands, such as Brock Sports, the Goodman School of Business, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Cool Climate and Viticulture Institute, and Youth University will have their own avatar that is specific to this sub-brand. If you require the logo or assistance with uploading it to your page, please contact Layton Risto.
We encourage a standard biography on your social media pages, followed by a sentence or two that is unique to your area (where space allows).
‘Official Instagram page of Brock University. Tag your pics with #brocku #brockuisbeautiful or #experiencebrocku
‘Official Twitter account of the Brock University Badgers. 123 championships and counting.’
Cover photos apply specifically to your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn pages. High-quality photos provide the most impact. Ideas include seasonal photos of campus, people (students, staff, faculty, alumni) at an event or engaging in an activity. People should be smiling to give the photo life and energy.
Cover videos have been introduced to Facebook. This option requires additional resources but can be achieved by repurposing existing video content. Cover videos do not support audio, so videos must be able to stand on their own without sound.
Cover photos/videos should be updated at least once per semester (September, January and May), and at the most every month to ensure variety.
- People are very wary of advertising.
- The average person sees 3,000 to 20,000 ads and brand messages per day (Forbes).
- Developing amazing/valuable content is a great strategy to have your audience trust and listen to you.
- Content marketing costs 62 per cent less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads (DemandMetric).
It’s not about selling
- Your content shouldn’t be an advertisement; it is not about you.
- Nobody wants to be directly sold to – stop selling, start helping.
- Content should be authentic, relatable and valuable to your audience’s life.
- The purpose of valuable content is to build trust and loyalty before selling: What problems are your audience trying to solve? Answer them and they will thank you.
- When it comes time to make a decision, there will be a positive response towards your brand.
- Knowing and living the brand tone and voice helps develop personal relationships with your audience.
- Authenticity is key to building trust: Emotions are difficult to read online – be empathetic, kind and respectful to build trust.
- The messaging is the first thing your audience will see and it determines whether or not your piece will be read.
- Perform A/B tests with the same content by posting the content multiple times using different messaging to see what resonates most with your audience.
- Brainstorm a few messaging options differing in lengths and tone before posting.
- Ensure accuracy: Don’t create expectations you can’t fulfil (click bait).
- Make it pop: Include things like alliteration, strong language and numbers.
- Ensure it resonates: Speak your audience’s language, including what resonates with them and their values, morals and helping the greater good.
- Experiment: Don’t be afraid to use emojis or trendy phrases that your audience can relate to.
- Video accounts for two-thirds of social media behaviour with attention span reaching a seven-second benchmark.
- Strong connections keep students.
- Create content that is captivating, is shareable and will generate discussion.
- Constantly connected: Content that is instantaneous, accessible, authentic and has an emotional or global impact resonates the most with our audience.
When tailoring messaging and content to your different platforms, keep this in mind: Content is King. Distribution is Queen.
Think about what you’re posting and where it is the most appropriate to post:
- Is it appropriate for this message to go on social media?
- Is this information helpful to my audience on this page?
- Which platform(s) will have the most impact for this content?
When selecting platforms to post on, think about the community the social media platform fosters. There is no hard or fast rule on this, but generally speaking, these platforms are designed to:
Keep you connected to your family, friends, acquaintances, favourite brands and up-to-date news.
Original content creation and user-generated content, refined photo and video content.
Private messaging platform between friends, public-facing original content creation, light hearted, fun and often humorous.
Original and refined video content creation, often viewed during an extended period of time.
Keeps you connected to your family, friends, acquaintances, favourite brands and up-to-date news, operates like a digital newspaper.
Network with professional contacts, job search, up-to-date news, all within the business, career and professional development industry.
Writing for social media
- Authentic, honest, respectful, transparent voice.
- Don’t engage in arguments.
- Have a personality; use humour.
- Write in an active voice, using exciting and unique verbs.
- Check with your supervisor about circumstances when you’re empowered or need approval to respond to users.
- Don’t delete negative comments that are about Brock; however, comments that are considered a form of hate, harassment, oppressive, deceptive, contain foul language and/or are discriminatory towards your audience should be removed.
- Monitor your platforms regularly.
- Writing for the web should be quick, concise and easy to follow for screen-weary eyes.
- Use plain and simple language.
- Avoid technical speak and acronyms.
- Contribute information that will add value.
- Have all of the facts before you post.
- Check for errors, spelling mistakes and broken links.
- Check that content is AODA compliant (closed captioning for videos, alternative text for photos and videos when applicable).
- Ensure accuracy: Don’t create expectations you can’t fulfil (click bait).
- Make your messages pop: Include things like alliteration, strong language and numbers.
- Ensure it resonates: Speak your audience’s language, what resonates with them and their values, morals and helping the greater good.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Always respect the dignity of others and engage in civil and thoughtful discourse.
- Don’t post content or use language that is vulgar, hateful, deceptive, condescending, profane, discriminatory or embarrassing.
- Always give proper credit for other people’s work before you publish.
- Don’t post content that is outside your authority or expertise.
- If you discuss a situation involving individuals on social media, be sure that they cannot be identified.
- Obtain consent before posting identifiable information like a photo of a Brock student.
- Take conversations offline or to a private message after first addressing the issue publicly.
- Administrators of official Brock University social media accounts are asked to share only official information provided by the main Brock University social media accounts.
- Remain silent otherwise and direct all inquiries to the official Brock University pages.