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The Gold Standard: Managing Duke Alumni Regional Social Accounts The how's, why's, do's and don'ts of optimizing your Duke Alumni Regional accounts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About

Regional social media channels are volunteer-driven online platforms for Duke alumni to connect, share news and events, and create community. They are a critical way to engage alumni on the platforms they’re already using to stay connected with some of the most important people and organizations in their life.

This toolkit is intended for regional volunteer board members, including those serving as Social Media Chairs or Committee Members. Scroll down to view various sections that should be helpful to you for social media!

Deciding what makes sense for your region

Regional boards are responsible for their social media accounts. Some regions may have a designated Social Media Chair or Committee. All board members are encouraged to be active on their region’s social media accounts.

To start, take stock of your region’s social media presence. What regional pages and accounts already exist? Who is managing them/has access to them? What is their primary purpose? Does it make sense to keep each one open, and why or why not?

NOTE: Do not create a "Public" Facebook Group. If you're currently managing a Public Facebook Group, please change the settings to make it "Closed". This will allow you to confirm that all members are Duke Alumni and not overzealous Duke fans.
There may be multiple closed Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups in a region that serve more targeted regional alumni populations (e.g. DBA, Young Alumni) .

What about other types of social media accounts?

Regions that have a Social Media Chair or Committee may also want to use other social media channels to build local Duke community, such as Instagram and Twitter. Instagram is great for spotlighting alumni and photos from regional events, of campus, etc. Twitter can be helpful for sharing regional event reminders and re-tweeting campus news and updates.

If you are thinking about creating a new social media channel, check with your Regional Director and the DAA Marketing staff first (liz.young@duke.edu). It may already exist! Although social media is managed by regional volunteers, it is important that DAA staff have access, in the event that volunteers move regions, etc.

Curate content to engage your audience

When you're looking for content, keep this in mind: Curate, not Create. Don't get stumped trying to create posts from scratch; instead, you simply get to find content and share it. Here are a few places to find great Duke content:

1. Sign up for BlueCrew We send you fresh content several times a month, right to your inbox. Plus, when you share from your personal account, you can be entered to win prizes every month. It's a "win-win!"

2. Pull content from other Duke accounts Don't do extra work. Follow the Duke Alumni Association on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram and repost content you think would be interesting for your region.

3. Pull content from your followers' accounts, with their permission when appropriate. Retweet your followers' tweets or share their posts on Facebook with a comment. For Instagram, direct message before sharing others' content from your account.

4. Join your regional/reunion/affinity groups Get access to all the most relevant information and stay updated by joining related groups on the alumni network.

5. Sign up to stay in the loop. Check Duke Today and sign up for Forever Learning and Professional Development eNewsletters. Mostly importantly, make sure your contact info is current in the alumni directory so that you get accurate Duke regional and affinity group announcements and newsletters

6. Listen What posts are getting the most attention and engaging your alumni? Also, check out a few Duke podcasts for multimedia content to share.

7. Encourage your region Encourage followers and members to send you any of their personal achievements! This can be added to a Pinned Post.

Optimize your message

Make the most of your post! Follow the steps below to make sure your accounts are followed and posts are liked, shared and commented on... all of which are your Social Media #goals.

1. Use platform-specific voices Facebook is a more formal platform, whereas Twitter is much more laid-back. Always remain professional... remember, you're representing Duke.

2. Use visuals Create graphics for free with Canva. The Duke Photowalk Flickr feed is another image source. Have fun and utilize GIFS every once in a while!

3. #Hashtags and @mentions In addition to more general Duke hashtags (#ForeverDuke #LetsGoDuke #LGD #DukeFam), use your region-specific hashtags (#DukeDC #DukeNY #DukeATL). Once you start using a hashtag, stick with it! Also don't forget to @mention accounts whenever possible (for example, if you're sharing a post about Duke arts, mention @DukeArts).

4. Timing and frequency The best time of day to post is usually in the evening between 6pm-9pm. Try to post once a week (even if it’s simply reposting). If you can post more frequently (and maybe have multiple people managing your account), do it!

5. Build your audience To gain more followers, follow their accounts first (or for Facebook, send an invitation). For more eyes to see a post, encourage other board members to like, comment and share.

(Image right: Emma Rena '11, from Instagram)

Channel-specific tips and tricks

Note: the Duke Alumni Association is trying to unify the "look" of all our Duke regional accounts. Please find the recommended social graphics here for your Duke Facebook and Twitter headers.

Please reach out to your Regional Director before opening any new accounts.

Facebook Group, Closed

Description wording: This is a Group for all Duke Alumni located in and around Austin, TX interested in networking and learning about upcoming Duke-related/sponsored events. Please feel free to also share personal achievements or achievements of fellow alumni, along with buying/selling, meetup announcements, watch parties, etc. #ForeverDuke

Group type: Club

Email: feel free to include your Duke email here, or if a follower needs to get in contact with you, they can message the Page.

Website: alumni.duke.edu

Welcome message: as the Group Admin, you have the ability to share a welcome message for new followers here, too. Pin this message to the top of the Group so it is the first Post followers see.

Pinned post/welcome message wording: Welcome to the Official Facebook Group of the Austin region of the Duke Alumni Association! As a member, you’ll be able to network with Duke alumni in the Austin area and learn about upcoming Duke-related events from other members of the Group! This is also a space to share achievements, buy/sell, announce meetups, etc. This Page is managed by Trinity alum Jane Doe ‘00, please reach out with any comments or questions. Go Blue Devils! #ForeverDuke

Moderate group: In order to check whether requesting members are part of the Duke family (alumni, parents or students), activate the “Ask Pending Members Questions” feature under Moderate Group > Member Requests and ask a couple brief questions (e.g. degree, class year, parent year).

You may also want to update who can approve members. Go to Edit Group Settings > Membership Approval, select “Anyone in the Group” - this will reduce the moderator burden and allow any current members to easily invite their classmates.

Hashtags: Less commonly used on Facebook, hashtags can useful for unique types of posts or special events when used across multiple social networks.

Grow your Facebook group:

  • Share on your personal Facebook page
  • "Invite" people to join the Group
  • Cross-promote (share link to the Group) on other channels, such as Twitter and Instagram
  • Engage with the followers you do have, and encourage them to invite their friends to join the Group

LinkedIn Group

Creating a LinkedIn group is as simple as filling out a form. Navigate to your LinkedIn Groups and click on “Create group”. Or you can use this direct link if you’re logged in: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/create

"About this Group" wording : This is a Group for all Duke Alumni and parents located in and around metro NY who are interested in networking, career and professional events and opportunities, and creating a lifelong career connection with DukeNY and Duke. Please feel free to also share career and networking events, news, job listings, and other opportunities that may be of interest to other group members.

Welcome message: As an admin, you can write a welcome message to let your followers know the purpose of the page.

Grow your LinkedIn group:

  • Invite your personal connections to join
  • Encourage group members to invite their connections
  • Include keywords in description that prospective members are likely to search for. Ex: Duke, Duke in NY, Duke alumni
  • Start discussions and be active!
  • Remove spam when necessary - no one wants to join a group that's full of spam content

Facebook Page

Description wording: The Chicago region of the Duke Alumni Association works to engage, connect, and celebrate alumni of Duke University living or working in Chicago and surrounding areas. We host educational, social, and career-development events throughout the year and offer numerous services to help alumni connect with one another as well as Duke University. www.dukealumni.com

Email: feel free to include your Duke email, or if a follower needs to get in contact with you, they can message the Page.

Website: www.alumni.duke.edu

Pinned post/welcome message wording: Welcome to the Official Facebook Page of the NYC region of the Duke Alumni Association! As a follower, you’ll stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at our beloved alma mater, and be the first to know about all Duke-related/sponsored events happening right here in NYC! This Page is managed by Trinity alum Jane Doe ‘00. Go Blue Devils! #ForeverDuke

Grow your Facebook Page:

  • Post interesting content with high-quality images
  • Engage with people in your region by liking/commenting on their posts as the Page. (There is a drop down menu next to the Like/Comments/Share buttons where you can choose to take actions as a Page.)
  • Interact with other Duke-related accounts by liking and sharing their content
  • Post during high-excitement times, i.e. basketball games, Reunions, Homecoming, Commencement

Twitter

Bio wording: The official Twitter page of @DukeAlumni in Austin, Texas. Use #DukeAustin in all your Duke-relevant tweets! #ForeverDuke #BlueDevils

Website: www.alumni.duke.edu

Welcome message: As the Twitter “owner”, you can share a welcome message for new followers here, as with your Facebook Page and Group. Pin this message to the top of your profile so it is the first Tweet followers see.

Pinned tweet wording: Welcome to the Official Twitter of the @DukeAlumni community in Austin, TX! This account is managed by Jane Doe ‘90, DM for requests. Go #BlueDevils! #ForeverDuke #DukeAustin

Hashtags: Hashtags on Twitter are a great resource to organize content on Twitter or join conversations already going on, such as #DecisionDay or #DukeReunions. You should not use more than two hashtags in a post though, and even then only rarely would you want to use two. If you are using two hashtags, one should be more general with the other more specific. Usually used at the end of the post unless it fits in the sentence conversationally. For example: Don’t forget to file your #FAFSA before March 10!

Grow your Twitter following:

  • Twitter is the most casual of all platforms... have fun with it! Post fun content!
  • Follow accounts of people you know live in your region, and favorite a couple of their recent tweets
  • Favorite and retweet the Duke-relevant content your followers post
  • Use event-relevant hashtags so people can see your Duke regional account when they're searching hashtags... for example, #DukeUNC

LIST HACK: For a one-stop shop for content, create a “list” on Twitter. Once you’ve followed other Duke accounts, you can add all Duke-related accounts to a List. This way, when you’re searching for content, you won’t need to sift through thousands of tweets, few of which will be from Duke accounts. You can simply go to your List and all Duke-affiliated accounts’ tweets will be shown in one stream.

  • To create List from Twitter App: Tap profile pic > Lists > Create List (bottom-right blue button) > Name: Duke Social > Done
  • To add accounts to List: Navigate to Twitter account you want to add to list > click grey (•••) in top-right corner > Add/remove from Lists > Duke Social > Done

Instagram

Bio wording: The official Instagram account of @DukeAlumni in Chicago! We're here to engage, connect, and celebrate Duke alumni located in Chi-town. Use #DukeChicago in all your Duke-relevant posts! #ForeverDuke #BlueDevils

Hashtags: hashtags on Instagram are used as a way of cataloguing images. All images/videos of Duke Reunions content should use #DukeReunions as well as any hashtags to describe the image, event or campaign. There is no limit to the number that you can use, but the list of hashtags should not be longer than the caption itself. The hashtags help other users find relevant information and learn more about Duke reunions by searching for programs or visuals related to colleges or education in general.

Grow your Instagram following:

  • Follow Duke alumni in your region
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Follow, like and comment on other Duke-related accounts

If you have further questions or have some tips and tricks to add to this guide, please reach out to the Duke Alumni Association's Social Media Manager, Soren Chargois at soren.chargois@duke.edu. Thanks for reading and stay Forever Duke!

#ForeverDuke

Created By
Soren Chargois
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Created with images by LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together" • Adrien Ledoux - "Moving Water and Ink" • geralt - "facebook internet network" • geralt - "facebook town sign note" • Sara Kurfeß - "untitled image"

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