Social media is a great tool to enhance our university’s brand and reputation while connecting directly with Orediggers around the world. The Mines Office of Communications & Marketing can help you utilize social media to reach a wider audience. You can find us on any of these platforms:
How to Get Your Content on Mines Social Media
Mines already has a massive, centralized online presence with thousands of followers on the main social platforms. Rather than starting an account from scratch, consider these options using our existing channels:
- Run a Mines account for a day through a Social Media Takeover, where you can temporarily post content to our institutional account
- Submit information through the Daily Blast
- Submit a story idea using our Project Request Form
- Submit a photo, video or post idea to email@example.com for consideration. During busy times of the school year, content is scheduled at least two weeks in advance, so send content as early as possible so we have time to determine how it best fits into the schedule.
Content we share:
- Information about events open to all of campus and/or the public
- Stories about unique work or accomplishments by students, staff, faculty and alumni
- Stories about special connections or relationships within the Mines community
- Compelling, high-resolution images or video of students, campus, events or Golden
Content we don’t share:
- Content strictly for an internal audience
- Information about events only for a small portion of the Mines community
- Low-resolution images, low-resolution video, or video longer than three minutes
- Images or video that includes copyrighted material
- Fundraising posts (with the exception of #idigmines annual fundraiser)
- Sales or commercial content
- Religious or political content
Starting a New Account
Properly managing a social media account for your department, club, organization, research group or class takes a lot of time and energy, and it can take years to build an audience. Our Communications team has tactics for departments and organizations to use social media without needing to build independent accounts.
However, if you still plan on starting or managing an account, be sure to review the guidelines provided here and let us know about the account by emailing a link to your profile to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Media Best Practices
While every account is different, here is some general advice for anyone running a Mines-affiliated social media account:
Choosing a Platform
Which social media platform is right for you? First, think about the kinds of content you want to share.
- Do you have lots of photo and video content? Instagram might be your best option.
- Do you want to share news that is primarily text-based? Consider LinkedIn or Twitter.
The audience you are trying to reach should also factor into the platform(s) you choose. Alumni are primarily on LinkedIn, while students are primarily on Instagram. See below for details about each platform to help you choose which ones to focus on.
- Audience: students’ families, alumni, local community
- Post type: links, videos (up to 240 minutes in length), photos, text
- Audience: current students, prospective students, alumni, parents
- Post type: photo, vertical video (under 3 minutes)
- Audience: alumni, industry partners
- Post type: photo, links, text, video (up to 15 minutes)
- Audience: alumni, faculty, industry partners
- Post type: short text, photo, video (under 2 minutes 20 seconds)
- Audience: students, prospective students, STEM enthusiasts and educators
- Post type: vertical (max 60 seconds) or horizontal video (any length)
Make a Plan
Before creating a new social media account, make a plan for what will be posted on the account and the experience you want your followers to have. You need a robust, detailed document that identifies your goals and how you’ll reach them.
A good strategy outlines your audience, channels, the type of content you’ll share on each channel and the sources you’ll share from (like the Mines Newsroom or Daily Blast). Find inspiration from the main Mines accounts or from other departments or organizations on the platforms you are using.
Social media is time-consuming and easy to neglect on a busy day, but it’s important to stay active and engaged. Expect to check in daily. Be sure to follow and engage with other Mines-affiliated accounts and personnel, and respond to comments on your posts as needed.
Keep an Eye on Quality
For both text and photo posts, it’s important that quality remains high. Double check for typos, formatting issues and tagging errors.
Use a resolution of at least 1920×1080 for a widescreen image, or at least 1080×1080 for a square image. Phone photos are perfectly fine to post – just make sure the image isn’t compressed or pixelated.
When making graphics, keep an eye on composition and keep it simple. Avoid long sentences, bullet points, multiple logos or large text blocks on a graphic. Focus on including just the name of the event or title, and one line of information, with the rest of the information going into the caption. Consider whether a graphic is necessary or if a photo with a caption would be just as effective.
Make Your Content Accessible
When posting images, always add alt text. Alt text is a description of what is in an image to help blind, low-vision and screen reader users understand the content better.
Example: Your Instagram photos have captions like “Come to Kafadar and enjoy free lunch on us!” or “it’s a beautiful day on campus!” but doesn’t have alt text to describe the photo for non-visual users. Users won’t know if it’s a photo of Kafadar, food or both, so describe what is in the image.
For tips on writing effective alt text, use this resource.
Here’s more information about how to make posts on each platform accessible.
Ensure Long-Term Account Access
Graduating or leaving Mines? If a Mines-affiliated profile is attached to your Mines email, make sure to transition the email address on your account to someone still at Mines BEFORE you depart.
If the profile is attached to a non-Mines email, make sure that more than one person has the password at all times (for student organizations, this includes your faculty/staff advisor). The Office of Communications and Marketing and ITS have limited ability to help if you lose access to a Mines-affiliated account.
Need Ideas for Content?
Here are a few ideas you can take inspiration from when you are putting together your social media plan:
- Have a department/group/club event? Make graphics and share them out beforehand on social media and then take videos and photos at the event to share afterwards
- Highlight the accomplishments of a student, staff member or faculty member
- Join in on social media holidays like National STEM Day, National Miner’s Day, International Day of Women and Girls in Science Day or World Computer Day by making a post. Typically there is a hashtag for the day, like #nationalstemday, so make sure to use that hashtag in your post.
- Highlight a fun research project happening in your department
- Share relevant news related to your industry and get in on the conversation
- Interview people in your department/group about a learning experience or project
- Recognize major campus events like commencement or E-Days by sharing photos of your students at these events
- Follow and engage with other accounts in your industry
Dos and Don’ts
⚒️ Be authentic and human.
⚒️ Be accurate and helpful
⚒️ Tag Colorado School of Mines so we can see and share your content
⚒️ Engage in conversations
⚒️ Report or block others who you believe are posting content that violates our policies or who you believe have been hacked (see comment policy below)
⚒️ Post as regularly as possible. Once a week is a great baseline goal!
⚒️ Use Mines hashtags like #HelluvaEngineer, #MinesLife, #FutureOredigger, #Orediggers and #MinesAlumni
⚒️ Get logo use approved. Any use of the Mines logo on affiliated accounts must be approved by email@example.com.
⚒️ Use Colorado School of Mines when naming the account to help distinguish your organization or club from those at other universities. Mines is also appropriate.
- Try to avoid acronyms in the account name. If the organization or department name is too long, abbreviate as necessary, but include the full name and Colorado School of Mines in the description. Do not use CSM.
⚒️ Use appropriate accessibility tools including closed captions on videos and Alt Text on images. Learn more on the Mines Accessibility website.
⚒️ Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to any new social media accounts you make.
⚒️ Have fun with your content!
⚒️ Impersonate others or imply a connection with a person or organization with which you are not associated
⚒️ Share emergency communications that have not been verified by our primary accounts or distributed through Mines Alert
⚒️ Share personal or political views.
⚒️ Use threatening, demeaning or obscene language
⚒️ Post commercial material. You cannot distribute or otherwise publish any material containing any solicitation of funds.
⚒️ Disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the institution or to any third party that has disclosed information to the institution.
⚒️ Delete comments unless they violate the Mines Code of Conduct or the comment policy described below
Social Media Comment Policy
Social media is a powerful tool to tell the Mines story and connect directly with Orediggers around the world. While our goal is to encourage civil debate about important ideas and respect commenters’ freedom of speech, Colorado School of Mines reserves the right to remove comments from our social media channels that we deem to be:
- Discriminatory or hate speech based on a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability status
- Obscenity or profanity
- Threats or personal attacks
- Sexually explicit or pornographic material
- Personal, identifying or confidential information
- False, misleading or deceptive
- Spam or advertising/solicitation
Repeated abuse of this policy may result in removal from our social media channel(s). Any questions about the moderation of comments on Mines social media channels should be directed to the Office of Communications & Marketing at email@example.com
Need More Assistance?
If you have questions about social media best practices or need guidance, insight, photos, graphic designs or other assets, we’re here to help! Send your questions to the Mines Office of Communications and Marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org. One-on-one consultations are also available by request.