Marketing Your Student Organization
Website and Social Media
Students may elect to host a website and/or create social media accounts for their registered student organizations. While the accounts represent the views and opinions of the student organization and not the university/college, such accounts and web pages representing a Texas Tech/Rawls College-affiliated student organization are subject to the terms and policies of Rawls College Marketing & Communications and the Center for Campus Life. All students managing a web page or social account must adhere to the Student Code of Conduct, and are subject to disciplinary action individually and/or as an organization.
Website Best Practices
While not required, a website can be a great resource for student organizations that desire a central point for prospective/current members to find relative information. Creating an on-brand, accessible, mobile-friendly website requires regular maintenance and attention. These best practices are suggestions designed to help Rawls College student organizations create an effective, engaging website.
Before creating a website, all student organization leadership, alongside your faculty advisor, should identify who will be responsible for managing the site and updating content. Additionally, processes should be in place for transferring responsibility upon graduation of members. It is important that the website is always managed by someone within the organization and kept up-to-date.
Website Hosting and Domain Names
Student organizations are responsible for hosting their own websites. As part of choosing a hosting service, organizations should consider the cost of the platform, features offered, and user-friendliness. Web platforms you might consider include Wix, Squarespace and WordPress. Additionally, student organizations should consider investing in a custom domain, so that the web address is easy to recognize and share.
An effective website is well-organized and allows users to quickly find the information they are seeking. To help with organizing your content, consider what information you should share, such as:
- Your student organization's mission, vision, values, history and/or goals.
- Detailed information for prospective members such as how to join your organization, dues, recruitment events, and membership requirements.
- Your organization's leadership structure including faculty advisors, officers, bylaws and/or constitution.
- Current contact information and directions for those who have questions or want additional information.
- Event calendars, social media links, newsletter sign-up, member testimonies, updates/news and photos.
Additionally, keep these best practices in mind when creating content:
- Use the inverted pyramid style, starting with the most important information.
- Make text easy to scan by avoiding lengthy paragraphs, utilizing effective headings/titles, and including bulleted lists.
- When using images, ensure you have the proper permissions and that they are the correct size/format.
Social Media Best Practices
Social media, when used effectively, can help student organizations with recruiting new members, communicating with current members, advertising programs, initiatives and events, and spreading general awareness. These best practices are suggestions designed to help Rawls College student organizations find success in their social media efforts.
Create a Strategy
It's important to have a strategy that outlines your organization's social media goals, target audiences, content and management processes. When creating your strategy, consider:
- Who are you trying to reach? Target audiences might include prospective members, current members, alumni members, employers, and/or industry leaders.
- Who within your organization will manage the accounts, and what is the process for transitioning ownership as students graduate?
- What types of content do you plan to share? Who will create the content, and how often will you post?
- Rather than spreading yourself too thin across every available social network – which can result in dormant accounts – focus on being active on one or two networks.
Publish Consistent Content
Your target audiences will engage with you through the content you post. When creating content, consider:
- Proofread for spelling and grammar errors. If sharing about an event, double-check the date, time and location.
- Create a content calendar to ensure consistency and utilize a free scheduling app to assist with posting.
- Keep content engaging by utilizing different posting methods: text, photos, video, animated gifs and/or infographics.
- Share relevant industry news, events around campus, and user-generated content from members.
- If the content you are posting is not owned by your organization, be sure to credit sources. Copyrighted content might include information, quotes, music or photos.
Engage with Others
- Include your organization's contact information in your profile description.
- Ensure you are responding to messages, mentions and comments in a timely manner.
- Never respond to comments/reviews in anger or frustration. Have a policy to follow when responding to negative or offensive comments.
Additional Marketing Resources
Rawls College has a digital signage matrix across the building consisting of professional line LED-LCDs used for informational display, thus keeping printing, paper, and color inking to a minimum. These displays are set to automatically run from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM for 10 seconds and will be set into player rotation in no particular order, other than an order of reception. Images will be scheduled to run from the date of reception through the date of the event, then automatically removed from the player rotation.
All submissions must include a high-quality PNG or JPEG image that will fit within an aspect ratio 16x9. Images can be created in programs such as Canva, PowerPoint, Paint or Photoshop and must include the Rawls College logo. When creating your image:
- Use fonts that are easy to read, large text and choose a font color that stands out against the background
- Include only pertinent information: dates/deadlines, call-to-action, contact information
- Avoid using low-quality or distorted backgrounds
- Proof-read to ensure there are no grammatical/spelling errors and double-check that all information is accurate
The official college calendar, Events@Rawls provides a consolidated listing of official events happening at the college. Approved events are featured on the website calendar and included in the weekly Rawls Events email sent to students during the spring and fall semesters. All events will be reviewed by the Marketing & Communications staff before approval. Best practices when submitting an event, include:
- Submitting your request at least two weeks in advance of the event date
- Use a descriptive title for your event
- Provide a detailed description of your event
- Double-check the date, time and location of your event