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CIST-605: Information Sources and Services: Research Guides

Getting Started with LibGuides

Tools for getting started in LibGuides

Writing for social media

Writing for the Web

Basics

Write for all readers. Some people will read every word you write. Others will just skim. Help everyone read better by grouping related ideas together and using descriptive headers and subheaders.

Focus your message. Create a hierarchy of information. Lead with the main point or the most important content, in sentences, paragraphs, sections, and pages. Place the essential information at the top of the page.

Be concise. Keep your sentences short and clear.  Avoid unnecessary modifiers. Cut the fluff.

Be specific. Avoid vague language.

Be consistent. Stick to the style points outlined in this guide.

Social Media Tips

  • It's a conversation: "Talk" on social media like you would talk to a real person. Avoid overly "composed" language. Consider content that's open-ended and invites interaction from your followers. Encourage engagement. 
  • Say something of value: When you post, it should be thought-provoking or in a way that builds a sense of community. If it helps raise awareness of the University Libraries, University at large, or your own personal research, helps to solve problems or improves skills, then it is adding value. 
  • Know when to respond: Some negative comments do not require a response, while others should be taken seriously and addressed. While discussing a negative experience or disagreeing with a concept or person, you are likely to achieve your goals if you are constructive and polite. 
  • Know your audience: who are you trying to reach? Posts can be playful or light, even if the subject matter is in the promotion of a database. Is your intended audience students or faculty? Can you use a trending meme, song, hashtag, in addition to your content so folks pay attention? 

Style and ADA Considerations

ADA Requirements (From UAS Branding Guidelines Handbook) - this may not be applicable in all social media postings

  • Provide a text equivalent for non-text elements
  • Link text describes the destination of the link and is distinguishable 
  • Images used as links have alt text indicating link target 
  • Sufficient contrast between the foreground color and background color
  • Provide synchronized captions for audio-video content 
  • Provide descriptive audio for prerecorded audio-video and video-only content 
  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard
  • Table header rows and columns are assigned 

Style 

For UAlbany Content 

Post sizes/Character Limits

  • Twitter's character limit is 280. When drafting posts for Twitter, make sure to keep things brief and to the point, while also leaving room for hashtags.
  • Each platform has different dimensions for images or created content
    • Facebook
      • Cover: Desktop - 820 x 312 pixels | Mobile - 640 x360 pixels 
      • Banner: 1200 x 630 pixels
      • Link/Update Image size: 1200 x628 pixels 
        • For best results, upload JPG files less than 100KB
        • Images with text work best as a PNG file
      • Event Cover: 1200 x 628 pixels 
    • Twitter
      • Cover: 1500 x 500 pixels (file size must be less than 5MB
      • Shared Image: 900 x 450 pixels 
      • In-stream photo: 440 x 220 pixels 
      • File size: 10MB (max) 
      • Recommended file types: JPG, GIF, or PNG
        • You can tweet up to a max of 4 images at a time
    • Instagram
      • Photo: 1080 x 1080 pixels 
      • Stories: 1080 x 1920 | Aspect ratio: 9:16

Acknowledgments
Special thanks to Outreach & Marketing Librarian Amanda Lowe for sharing her expertise and writing this section.