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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

COVID-19 campus response and Return to Learn news and updates.



Social Media Best Practices

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Photos, Videos, and the Law

Post original photos as often as possible to increase engagement, but follow these guidelines to make sure you are not using copyrighted material.

What you can post according to copyright laws:

Any original photo that you or the University have rights to. This includes:

  • Photos that you took
  • Photos taken by someone else that were submitted to you with permission to use
  • Graphics that you create from uncopyrighted materials
  • Stock photography that you have purchased
  • Photos from the University's image library
  • Links to articles and images already available on the web

What you can not post according to copyright laws:

  • Any image or video that you have found on the internet, downloaded, and re-uploaded and posted. You may link to already available images, articles, or videos, but you may not upload them as your own.

Photo/Video Release Forms

If you take photos or video of students, staff, and visitors, you might consider having them sign a [DOC] photo release (82 KiB) or media release to document that you have their permission. This is not required, but some choose to take this extra percaution when only a few people are the focus of the photograph or video, especially if children under the age of 18 are featured. You do not need to use a photo release form when taking pictures or video of a large group. If you have questions about whether or not to use a photo release, please contact Lindsey Tollefson.

How Often to Post

  • Facebook: 1-2 times per day is recommended. Post at least 3 times a week.
  • Twitter: Post everyday is recommended. Try to post 2-10 times per day.
  • YouTube: Post whenever you are able to create new video content.
  • LinkedIn: Post when you have information that would be of interest to a professional or pre-professional audience (information about job fairs, lectures, big achievements, alumni, etc).
  • Google +: Post whenever you can, but create longer posts. This will help your search engine optimization.

Increase Engagement

  • Post your news and events, but also post fun stuff and questions to your audience from time to time.
  • Use photos and videos to show off what you are doing.
  • Answer questions and be as helpful as you can when people reach out to you for direction.
  • Visit other social media profiles across campus. If someone posts something that would be of interest to your audience, share it on your page.
  • Listen to conversations and join in. If someone is talking about you, respond. If someone is doing something cool, comment or tweet and tell them so. If someone gives you a compliment, thank them. If someone brings up a concern, address it. Be social. This is social media.
  • Rather than deleting all negative posts, respond to them. Address them. Show your audience that someone is listening. This will help you build trust. Exceptions should be made only if the negative post includes profanity or hate speech.