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Social media

Defining The Vidette’s social media presence
u In today’s ever-evolving Ask yourself these questions when defining social media
media landscape, social purpose/processes:
media is VITAL to The Vidette’s
present and future success. 1. What makes The Vidette different than everyone else?
u While The Vidette has seen immense 2. What is its social identity?
social growth in the last few years,
continuing to implement tactful social 3. What is the purpose for the main account?
media strategies will create a greater 4. How can it leverage competition?
relationship between the outlet and its
target audience. 5. How does The Vidette generate users to “stop scrolling and
stare” at its content?
u Goal: Primarily maintain The Vidette’s
social media presence as a reliable 6. How can it utilize interactive content?
news source while crafting fun, 7. How can The Vidette produce more engagement with its
accurate and visually appealing posts target audience?
in effort to maximize user
engagement. 8. What is the outlet’s strategic goals moving forward?
Social Analysis
u Objective: Mirror The Vidette’s
identity as “The student voice of
Illinois State University” via social
media. Our Difference
u Target audience(s): Students, __
faculty, ISU alumni and surrounding
Blo-No residents.
u Social identity: As The Vidette is
often seen as “a learning lab” for student
student-journalists, its social media
accounts correlate to the outlet’s
voice of
overall identity. Reporting on Illinois
students, RSO’s, local businesses, art,
athletics etc. is where it should
maintain focus @The_Vidette. University”
u Finding and utilizing the balance
between newsworthiness and
trendiness is the outlet’s biggest
u Consistency is truly key in strengthening The Vidette’s social
identity. Daily output should at least average 2-3 posts/day. The
Vidette operated anywhere from 3-7 posts/day during the
academic year.
u Purpose(s): Promote stories from, oversee
advertising/marketing social media promotional posts, actively
support other ISU-related accounts by commenting, retweeting
posts, interacting with users through impactful posts and
meaningful journalism.

u Leveraging competition: There’s many student-centric accounts
(i.e. Barstool Birds) that have 10-15K+ followers in which students
strongly interact with. Since The Vidette must maintain a
(2) professional scope of news, sports and features, it can occasionally
contribute to social media trends in proper subject matter, but it is
NOT a priority. Be mindful of this balance as it will set the tone for
the account’s voice and outlook within the Blo-No community.
u Maintaining that “student voice” perspective is key to success; The
Vidette’s identity is its leverage. It has historically (and from 2019-20)
gained significantly more engagement than both TV-10 and WZND, as it
currently trumps other student competitors in both following and
engagement. Competing with local outlets such as WGLT, WJBC and
The Pantagraph is what The Vidette should strive to achieve when it
comes to social presence.
Analysis (3)
u Interaction with other accounts & related posts makes all the
difference. Asserts main account’s inclusion in the community;
that the Viddy’s voice is more than solely news stories and
u Commenting on posts is a huge factor for account interaction.
For example, if @IllinoisStateU tweets out a cool picture of
something, simply replying “Cool photo!” not only puts the main
account in better position to be interacted with by ISU; but builds
a positive relationship with the other account.
u Generating higher engagement: By tagging related accounts
and including hashtags in posts, the main account should direct
users to overarching topics stemming from keywords and related
trends. (i.e. #COVID19, #BloNo, #Redbirds)
u Impactful retweets/reposts: Maximizing interaction from
accounts with high follower counts is imperative in achieving a
broader audience base. Main goal: Strive to be retweeted by
@illinoisStateU or an account tagged in any of The Vidette’s
social media posts. ALWAYS retweet Vidette Sports tweets.
u Interactive content: Polls, videos, photos; Multimedia elements
are a necessity for social growth and increase engagement.
u Graphic designs and gifs should also be implemented for
content that is not news: holidays, special campus occasions
(Founder’s Day) Homecoming, “the big game” etc.
Social Media Duties
1. Must maintain and oversee the overall well-being/aesthetic of The
Vidette’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter (Sports and
main account) and Instagram.
2. Craft clean and creative SM text style; Tactfully implement social
media trends to formulate posts, all while following AP Style
3. Assure that use of hashtags and @’s are used accordingly to
properly link posts, people to other sources of media, accounts.
4. Maintain image and social identity of The Vidette; oversee posting
processes and overall maintenance of social media accounts.
5. Strive to better audience engagement; generate an increase in
following while constantly providing news to the target audiences
The Vidette values: ISU students, faculty, alumni and the
surrounding community.
u Focus on the impact/engagement made with
audience rather than followers/likes/retweets
u Use methods to immerse target audiences of
Vidette content by way of multimedia
packaging, interactive content such as polls,
forums, videos, photos etc.
u BE ACTIVE on Twitter DAILY: posting, liking,
commenting, retweeting. Commenting is
Goals & something that offers the HIGHEST of
engagement, allowing other users to find our
account easier when commenting on other posts.
Expectations This is imperative for success, use it like you would
your personal account, just solely ISU related.
u Allow room for creativity: Allow for generation of
original social media content via graphic design,
live coverage, self-promotion and other organic
u Constantly be informed on issues surrounding the
ISU community. (i.e. use both FB and Twitter feeds)
Account Uses
Ø Twitter: Our social media is revolved around
our Twitter presence. Facebook and
Instagram are great, but our Twitter account
is where we really need to drive most of our
focus since it holds our highest engagement
rates and follower base. It’s the “modern
day newspaper.”
Ø Facebook: Facebook presence should
revolve around meaningfulness content
pertinent to its audience. Alumni are a
HUGE driver of engagement on Facebook,
Posting stories (and multimedia posts via
Facebook) will garner great engagement
complementing The Vidette’s Twitter feed.
Ø Instagram: Photos – emphasize photo
galleries, Instagram exclusive content that
could be scraps of photos not included on
photo galleries from the website as well as
our front page designs every Tuesday.
Instagram stories of live coverage of photos
generate the most impact.
Work with the Photo Editors to discuss specific IG
duties, as they should help.
Post Examples

Quote Lead/Posts ICYMI/Straight Press Release

This post style drives the most
engagement on the Twitter
news copy style This works best for breaking
account and to the site. news situations if the breaking
These are perfect for if a story is news story is not yet on the site.
ALWAYS strive to find the most a day late or a few hours after If it is a Vidette story, adding a
impactful quote in the story or its original post time, allowing “BREAKING:..” before the copy
something the reporter says in for a repackage. ALWAYS @ the style will work here. Write these
his/her piece. Caters to reporter who wrote the news according to AP style/straight
Features content. story somewhere in the post. news copy.

Podcasts Videos via YouTube Galleries

Tweets for podcasts are written This process is done through Always lead with “Gallery:” with
like descriptions for each both YouTube and Twitter proper @’s and hashtags to
episode. Always ask Media Studio. Once a video is maximize engagement
podcasters for their description posted via YouTube, you can strategies. ALWAYS tag the
take the YT link into Twitter photographers in the photo slot
before posting it onto
Media Studio (available in your where ‘who is in this photo?’ is
TownNews – taking pieces of Twitter menus) and craft tweets marked
their description into Twitter/FB. with an embedded YouTube
link, gaining both views and site
ALWAYS tag the cartoonist and
always ask them for a
description that one can
change/fix in the post

Threads for Covers/Latest

Breaking News Editions
This is always a great tool when These posts should be handled
in the middle of live coverage by the Editor in Chief every
for a prominent breaking story. production day or day of paper.
Look how it is used for JB’s initial Converting PDF files of desired
stay-at-home order pages (does not just have too be
announcement. Use this cover page) into JPEGS are
carefully, finding the right event imperative for success here.
is best for this style.
Other examples
Tips and Tricks for...

Social Success
Linking makes all Emphasis on Scheduling and
the difference visual content organization
Social is a shareable Use Pictures, GIFS, Videos as Use and abuse Hootsuite when
experience, so really focus much as possible when you have stories that are
when formulating tweets on tweeting. (EX: Xmas break — timeless: Feature stories, ASFs
these things: @‘s, Hashtags and GIF or picture) Find things to and profiles are great to scatter
links to relate content with all of draw eyes! throughout the day when trying
Twitter, not just our feed. So to stay ahead of the day’s
things like #RedbirdAlumni and AWARENESS of the feed is
social slate.
@IllinoisStateU make our essential for success — For
content easier to find. example, ISU basketball
Ø When leading with an tweeted out a pic of the
progress of Redbird Arena
Set a daily routine
account handle, always
have a period before it renovations... comments are Whether it be through
(.@IllinoisStateU) so it shows asking to see what it would look scheduling tweets beforehand
up in the feed. If you post it like when it’s finished. or writing tweets from your
without the period and the Commenting a link to a Vidette phone, find what works best
tweet already has some story with finished for YOU to push out impactful
engagement, retweet and results/progress is key for content consistently.
like it so it’s on our main
traction. Awareness = Success
Tips/tricks cont.
Routine cont. Account regulation Writing
Last year: the main account Constantly regulate the site 1. Do what is best to showcase what
would post anywhere from 3- and Twitter during the week
for new content to Tweet out is included in the story. Posing
5 times a day on Twitter and
1-2 per weekday on — BREAKING NEWS is the questions is great for columns or
Facebook. Instagram was biggest thing for this. If it’s editorials, since it’s an opinion
less used due to lack of breaking news on the site. piece, but for features (quotes
photos more times than not. You can do this via your cell
phone. work best) and news stories
Separate each post an hour (Catchy preview or most
or two hours away from each ALWAYS begin posting in interesting and relevant fact from
other (depending on how between 10AM -11AM.
Posting can end at 5PM-6PM, the article) works best.
many stories you have for the
day) to set precedent to a depending on the amount of 2. 2) Involve hashtags in your
social media schedule. stories per day. Breaking
news or event coverages sentences or things like ICYMI to
Consistency in posting don’t follow this guideline. play into the post, EX) “ICYMI:
creates a higher @NormalIL’s #MakeMusicNormal
engagement rate which in Tweet ASAP. Download the
turn drives both impressions app and set breaking news festival is set to kick off Friday...”
and profile clicks (+ notifications so you’re always
followers). informed. Twitter needs to be 3. Tweets should be short and
where the front lines of our snappy, not run-on sentences.
content lives.
Other tips to
keep in
u Like, Retweet and COMMENT
to keep constant flow of the
feed — people will likely circle
back to The Vidette if they see
the handle posting daily.
u Use to link content on
multimedia posts — saves
character space and looks
great for showcasing photos
on both stories and galleries.
u Instagram has a “Share to
Facebook” feature... doing
this is like killing two birds with
one stone — less to worry
about when something from
Instagram content (covers,
galleries and IG stories)
transfers to Facebook
Ø The Vidette’s range of average
impressions per month/overall
range of engagement/profile
clicks per month and total
followers from 2019-2020 are as
1. Impressions: 200K-265K
2. Engagement rate: 1.69% - 2.09%
3. Profile clicks: 6200-7100
4. Followers: 6,541
Setting target goals for each month,
like these numbers above, will help
you achieve short-term success
when it comes to measuring your
social media engagement.
Nate Carpenter (ISU’s Convergent Media

Director/SMACC Lab) has worked with The
Vidette’s social media accounts throughout
2019-20 and is an extremely valuable source
when collecting analytics. Always utilize him
(2) for questions, guidance or walkthroughs when
you are striving to target specific social media
u Utilizing and recognizing goals.
analytic trends on The
Vidette’s social media
accounts are vital to charting
account status as well as Video: Twitter Analytics for
planning for improvement. Social Media Success
uTwitter analytics is an
important tool to measure
where most of The Vidette’s
social traffic comes from. In The video above
the Twitter menu on desktop, showcases and explains
you can access analytics to the different strategies for
see The Vidette’s monthly effectively using Twitter
statistics. analytics. Pay attention to
the segments about...
u Use the first full month of
data as a target area for Ø Engagement Rate
social media analytics to Ø Hashtag Comparison
reach monthly. This will assist in Ø Tweet metrics via
setting the main account’s
base number of
engagement/goals to hit over Ø Dashboard/ Top
the course of the year. Sept. 2019 Analytics Tweets (Starts at
base engagement stats for 4:04)
2019-20 academic year

uAlways feel free to reach out to

me with any social media questions
you may have! Best of luck!
Jonathan Barlas
Former Vidette Editor in Chief/Social
Media Manager
C: 708-557-0405