SOCIAL-DirectoryOur social media channels provide us with endless opportunities to share the stories and achievements of our university, listen to outside opinions and engage with our audiences in a timely and efficient manner. With those opportunities also come potential challenges: 24/7 connectivity, negative interactions and engagement speed. We encourage you to participate in the social media conversation, but please read our rules and guidelines beforehand.

Social media accounts take a lot of time and effort to maintain. Before setting up an official Missouri Western social media account, you are required to meet with PR/Marketing and/or join our Griffon Social team. You will have the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to run a successful social media page and remain within the University brand. When you are ready for this step, please email griffonsocial@missouriwestern.edu or a member of the PR/Marketing team.

It is important to use the right platform to reach the right audience. Here is some brief information about each recommended platform.

  • Facebook
    People use Facebook for a variety of reasons. Some choose to connect with family, friends and coworkers. Many use it to research a product, company (or university) when determining where to spend their money. Keep Facebook use casual, fun and informative. Share photos and videos rather than text-only posts, and remember that posting videos directly to your Facebook page (native content) will result in higher performance than sharing a YouTube link.
  • Twitter
    Many people use Twitter to read the news (71% of users), and people are 31% more likely to recall what they saw on Twitter as opposed to online browsing in general. Tweeting with a gif or video will receive more engagement than a text-only post.
  • Instagram
    While many users engage with brands via normal Instagram posts, don’t forget about the use of Instagram stories. Photos that include a face will also get up to 38% more likes than those that don’t, so be human and show humans in your posts.
  • YouTube
    If you have knowledge to share with the world, YouTube may be the place to do it. Since three times as many people would prefer to watch a YouTube video than read an instruction manual, YouTube is a great platform to show people how to do something related to your department.
  • LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is populated with educated, urban, professional Americans, many of whom earn more than $75,000 per year. This makes it the optimal platform for connecting with alumni through posts about networking, idea sharing and industry information. LinkedIn should be used for more serious posts rather than the fun and casual ones from other social media.
  • Snapchat
    Snapchat is currently the social media platform that is most relevant to our prospective students. Snapchatters want to see the genuine side of your brand. They don’t want to see celebrities or talking heads—they want authentic users and stories. Content should be fun and lighthearted, and remember, messages and stories are short-lived and self-deleting. Day-in-the-life and behind-the-scenes stories are popular with this audience.
  • Pre-plan before creating a new account
    Before you create a Missouri Western-related account on a social media platform, you will want to have a plan in place. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Q: What do you want to accomplish on your platform? Are you choosing the right platform for your content?
      A: Your content and tone should match the intention of the platform.
    • Q: Where is your target audience?
      A: Ensure that the audience you want to reach uses the platform you are creating.
    • Q: Do you have time to keep up with your new account?
      A: Social media changes rapidly—you will need to constantly learn new tips and tricks to the platform, as well as ensure that you have enough content to maintain an up-to-date presence.
    • Q: Are there other University channels that already connect to your target audience?
      A: We work hard to build our University social media following. Using our established platforms may reach your target audience faster than building one up from scratch.
  • Pre-creation requirements

    • Before setting up an official Missouri Western social media account, you are required to meet with PR/Marketing and/or join our Griffon Social team. When you are ready for this step, please email griffonsocial@missouriwestern.edu.
    • You should share your login information with PR/Marketing. This can be helpful on the off chance that immediate action needs to be taken with the account, and can ensure continuity if the person responsible for the account leaves or is unavailable.
  • Creating your account
    You’ve answered all of the pre-planning questions and are ready to start your new account. We know you can’t wait to start posting and sharing content, but please take a moment to review these guidelines before you get started:
    • Your profile image should be a photo related to your department or an approved logo.
    • Ideally, there should be at least two administrators of your account.
    • Just as you would put in the effort to not plagiarize a professional paper, put in the effort to not plagiarize on social media. If you must use someone else’s work or content, it is best to link to the original owner rather than attempt to reproduce it.
    • Missouri Western follows the policy guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Do not post confidential information about anyone including Missouri Western students, alumni or employees.

Now that your account is set up, you’re ready to start posting! Here are some guidelines to make the most out of your social media experience and keep your account on-brand with the rest of Missouri Western.

  • Cross-promote: Mention (“@”) Missouri Western and/or other related social media accounts when appropriate. This will bring your post to our attention so we can potentially share it with our larger audience.
  • Number of posts per platform:
    • Facebook: no more than two or three posts per day; three per week minimum
    • Twitter: Three to 30 times per day (spaced throughout the day)
    • Instagram: Once per day (max three)
    • LinkedIn: Twice per week (max one per business day
    • YouTube: Create your own posting schedule and post consistently. Don’t overcommit—creating videos takes time.
  • Refer to the experts:
    Social media is an easy way for people everywhere to access information about Missouri Western. Sometimes, these people choose to ask questions that may not relate to what you are posting about. Please direct these requests to the person best suited to reply. For example, if someone sends you a picture of their report card and asks if they can be admitted to the university, politely thank them for their inquiry and provide them with the contact information for the Office of Admissions.
  • Think twice before you post
    • Take the time before publishing to check your spelling, grammar, punctuation and content accuracy. If you have any questions, err on the side of caution. Take a few extra minutes to run your post by someone, or to double-check the accuracy of a statement. It is better to have something posted a few minutes late than to publish unedited, inaccurate or harmful information.
    • It is very easy to accidentally post to an official University account instead of your personal account. Always double check that you are posting appropriate content on the correct account.
  • Respect disagreements; take the high road
    As a university, we respect and encourage free speech, even when this free speech does not necessarily align with what we believe as individuals. To this end, please respect the opinions of your audience and those responding to your post. Do not cause fights or arguments on social media, or immediately delete comments that you may disagree with. If someone posts a controversial or inflammatory statement, it is best to not engage. If someone has posted misinformation, you may correct it if you know the accurate information; however, keep in mind that sometimes engaging on social media can encourage a negative discussion.
  • Using hashtags
    Hashtag use can increase awareness and engagement surrounding your social media posts. Twitter users report a 50 percent increase in engagement when using hashtags. Hashtags are an easy and effective way to build the brand and help your target audience find you.
    • Brand-specific hashtags: Missouri Western has specific hashtags that you can use when posting. By using these hashtags your post will represent what Missouri Western stands for and relate your content back to our brand.
      Official Missouri Western hashtags
      #TogetherWeSucceed
      #GriffUp
      #GoGriffs
      #GriffNation
    • Unbranded hashtags: These can relate your content back to what Missouri Western stands for, or the type of content you are promoting, without specifically calling out Missouri Western. In order to determine which unbranded hashtags you should use, you can…
      • Look at what hashtags influencers are using within the industry.
      • See what is trending on various social media sites; however, do not use hashtags that are unrelated to your post, as this will dilute your brand and message and make people avoid interacting with you.
      • Use specific hashtags that your target audience may be searching for. The more specific your hashtags, the more likely it is that your target audience will see your post. For example, if you’re writing a post about tips for first-generation students, don’t just use #students (which could attract any type of student), try using #firstgeneration or #newstudent.
      •  
    • Hashtag use by platform:
      Hashtag use can impact the engagement of your post depending upon how many or few you utilize. There are different standards on each platform.
      • Facebook: 1-2 per post
      • Twitter: 1-2 per post
      • Instagram: 9-15 per post
      • LinkedIn: 1-2 per post

Now that your account is set up and you know what to post when, you’re almost ready to start posting. Keep the following in mind as you delve into the world of social media.


  • Set a goal and strategy
    Decide what you want to accomplish by posting on your social media and post things that directly relate. You should create different goals for each platform you’re on. Measure your results to keep your goals in the forefront of your posting. Find out what did well and why and adapt your future posts accordingly.
  • Engage your audience
    Post things that your followers will enjoy, reply to and want to share. This will keep them coming back to your page, and increase your chances for better reach via social media algorithms.
  • Use brand guidelines
    Please refer to the entirety of this branding guide to support campus efforts to build a strong brand. If you have any questions about our branding, please consult PR/Marketing.
  • Keep up to date on social media trends
    • Read articles and peruse other social media channels that will keep you informed as things change on social media. It is acceptable to utilize trends and memes to spread your content (as long as they are work and brand appropriate). These trends may not always work for you—it is okay to fail in the social media realm, just be smart and ready to reconsider your decisions.
    • Keep an eye on the overall use of each platform. New social media pop up all the time, and the uses of current platforms change. Be adaptable!
  • In order to create an engaging environment for people of all backgrounds, it is important to treat each other with respect. Missouri Western reserves the right to moderate and delete any posts or comments (on main or subsidiary University social media) that
    • Are spam/scam, defamatory, indecent, abusive, hateful, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, ageist, sexist, ableist, disgraceful, vulgar, inappropriate, encourage/suggest illegal activity or doxxing, violate HIPPA or FERPA, plagiarize or violate copyright law
    • Missouri Western also reserves the right to suspend, block, or ban accounts (personal or University) from posting on, or on behalf of, the University that violate the above standards after a warning.
  • By posting on a Missouri Western platform, you are giving Missouri Western permission to utilize your content (post, comment, photo) as we see fit.
  • Missouri Western follows the policy guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Do not post confidential information about anyone including Missouri Western students, alumni or employees.