Social Media

MSU Administrative Access: Why This Helps You

The MSU Web Team must be given administrative access to your social media accounts. Granting MSU administrative access to your social media accounts is purely a cautionary measure designed to add an extra layer of security for you as administrators, and to ensure continuity for your unit. Think of it as giving a spare house key to a family member in case of emergency.

Giving MSU administrative access helps you to:

  • Post when your administrator goes on vacation
  • Recover your account in case of a forgotten password
  • Restore access if an administrator leaves MSU and forgets to pass along the login
  • Lock down the account if an administrator's account is hacked
  • Get technical assistance with your account

MSU will not post anything to your social media account without your permission, with one exception: In the event of a crisis (such as a natural disaster or a campus security issue), MSU reserves the right to disseminate warnings and safety information through every channel at its disposal.

General Policies

  • Your account's affiliation with Mayville State must be clearly indicated. Use "MSU" rather than spelling out Mayville State University.
  • #CometProud is the official hashtag for Mayville State University.
  • You must post on your accounts regularly. Dead accounts will be deleted. For tips on how often to post, what to post and when take a look at the social media best practice guide below.
  • Although the MSU Web Team will not police your social media account, you're expected to refrain from disparaging, harassing or disrespectful comments. Keep it polite.
  • In the event of technical difficulty, the MSU Web Team will do their best to assist you. Email with any questions, or to register a new account.

Social Media Best Practices

These industry standards and practices will help you do the best job in managing and maintaining your social media accounts.

When using social media personally or professionally ...

  1. Think before you post. The Internet is forever. Congress began archiving ALL tweets in 2010.
  2. Write in a conversational tone. Social media is not a press release.
  3. Choose quality over quantity and be platform-specific. Curate what you share specifically to your social network and audience. You don't have to be on every platform; you need to choose one based on your audience and messaging and use it well.


Algorithms show the newest content from the accounts your users engage with most.

Because social media algorithms are primarily based on engagement, the more frequently people like, share and click your posts, the more likely your posts will appear in their feed.

Increase Engagement

  1. Ask Questions
  2. Tag Users
  3. Ask People to Turn on Post Notifications
  4. Ask for Engagement
  5. Pay for Ads

Hot-Button Issues

Know the hot button issues for both your unit and for MSU. Know who is tapped to offer official comments on those issues and be sure to clear statements you may want to make through them.

When in doubt:

  • For your department or unit, contact the head of the unit.
  • For college or school questions, contact your respective communications department/person pm campus.
  • For general MSU Marketing questions or issues, contact Beth Swenson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at 701.788.4750.


Try for at least 5 posts per week.

Content is King

Good content is:

  • Strategically timed
  • Concise and to the point in a friendly, conversational tone
  • Supported by photos, videos or links when appropriate and available
  • Original and relevant to your department or brand

Planning your content:

  • Create a content calendar to plan messaging in advance. Most social media management software has a built-in content calendar.
  • Ask questions or prompt conversations with your audience.
  • Designate specific content creators in your department.

Facebook Page vs. Facebook Group

Facebook Pages are what you're probably most familiar with for a company or business. Pages operate similarly to personal profiles and accessible by the public at all times.

As you may have noticed from personal use of Facebook, not every post published by a Page will show up in people's news feeds, due to the algorithm.

Facebook Groups can be attached to a Facebook Page, and it is recommended that all MSU-affiliated Facebook Groups be linked to a relevant MSU-affiliated Page. The administrators can set up the group to have open membership, membership upon approval, or membership by invitation only. 

Facebook Groups are maintained by the group members. Once someone becomes a member of a group, they can start posting to the group. Members will receive a notification every time another member posts in the group unless they modify their notification settings. The group administrators' role is to moderate the members' posts and to enforce rules as needed.

Facebook groups are meant for niche audiences smaller groups or when you would like to provide a forum for your community to connect.

Which is right for you?

Whether to start a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group depends on what you're trying to achieve.

  • Do you want to use Facebook to make updates and announcements about your organization?
  • Do you want to primarily produce your own content and post updates?
  • Do you want to establish an official, public presence for your organization?

If so, you may want to start a Facebook Page.

  • Do you have a community who is looking for a place to connect with each other and have discussions?
  • Do you want your Facebook to be mostly populated by member content?
  • Do you want to increase the likelihood that your audience will be notified of your content?

If so, you may want to start a Facebook Group.

Pick Your Name Carefully

Use "MSU" instead of "Mayville State University" as part of your name. Make sure to pay attention to the naming of your page or group — names for pages cannot be changed easily once you reach more than 200 likes.

Profile and Cover Images

Profile pictures and cover images should include imagery or logos directly associated with Mayville State.

Your Page's profile picture:

  • Displays at 160x160 pixels on your Page on computers, 128x128 pixels on smartphones, 36x36 pixels on most feature phones and will appear throughout Facebook at 32 pixels x 32 pixels
  • Will be cropped to fit a square

Your Page's cover photo:

  • Displays at 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones
  • Doesn't display on feature phones
  • Must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall
  • For best results, upload an RGB file less than 100 KB

Your Page's cover video:

  • You can now upload video as your cover on Facebook
  • Videos can be 20-90 seconds and will loop on your Page
  • Videos should be at least 820 pixels x 312 pixels
  • Cover videos should avoid interviews

For profile pictures and cover photos with the MSU logo or text, you may get a better result by using a PNG file. Email if you need access to those files.


Try for at least 7 tweets per week.

Choosing a Handle

Keep it short, unique and meaningful. Include MSU or MaSU in the handle for an official MSU-affiliated account.

If you have a personal Twitter account that you use mainly as a MSU persona, include “MSU” in your Twitter handle. In this case, it is important to clearly disclose your relationship to MSU in your bio.


Bios should reflect what people can expect from the account.

If your College, Department or Program has a specific hashtag, it's a good idea to identify it in your bio.


Profile images must be 400×400 pixels in size with a maximum file size of 10 MB. Please include an image associated with MSU.

Header images should be 1500×500 pixels.


Keep your tweets short and whenever possible add a photo or video. Tweets with media attached are shown to have double to triple the engagement rate over tweets that are text only.

Proofread your tweet before sending, even if you are retweeting.

Tips for Shortening Tweets

  • Use “&” instead of “and.”
  • Condense dates and times and drop any punctuation not needed for context: “February 9th” becomes “Feb 9”
  • Reword with shorter words or abbreviations. Can you drop some text and link out for the details?
  • Use Twitter handles to reference other entities. For example, “MSU Football” would be “@MSUComets_FB.” This also adds value to your tweet by giving exposure to the other Twitter handle and shows up in the account as a mention.
  • Use a URL shortener for links, such as


Unique photo and/or video content is a must if you have Instagram. Your Instagram account should not be used as a bulletin board with poster announcements, events, etc. For example:

When you post, use features like location tagging and hashtags to increase engagement. Tagging your location on posts adds them to the location's feed, boosting discovery and reach. Tagging other accounts on your posts will add your photo to the tagged section of their profile.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories allow users to post ephemeral photo and video content that disappears after 24 hours. The temporary nature of Instagram Stories encourages users to post content as it's captured, rather than the traditionally curated content sometimes posted.

Stories are a great option for behind-the-scenes content or coverage.

Stories should be shot vertical and will display full screen at 1,125 pixels x 750 pixels. It's best to post your story within a small timeframe so viewers can consume it in its entirety rather than in bits and pieces throughout the day.

To keep viewers engaged, post a variety of content from photos to boomerangs and add personality with text and stickers.

How to make an Instagram Story:

  1. Tap on your profile photo in the upper left corner of the Instagram homepage to access the camera.
  2. On the camera screen, there are five capturing modes to choose from:
    1. Live — Broadcast live video to your followers.
    2. Normal — Tap the 'record' button to take a photo or hold it down to take a video for up to 15 seconds.
    3. Boomerang — Record a burst of photos that loop forward and backward (similar to a GIF).
    4. Rewind — Record video that will play in reverse.
    5. Hands-free — Record a video without holding down the record button.

To post content from your Camera Roll, swipe down on the camera screen. Only content saved to your Camera Roll in the past 24 hours can be selected. You can screenshot older content to get around this restriction.

Enhance your post by using the additional features on Instagram Stories:

  1. Links — Only verified users are able to add links to their posts. Viewers can swipe up or tap "see more" to visit these links without leaving Instagram. It is not currently possible to request verification from Instagram.
  2. Filters — Swipe left or right to cycle through available filters.
  3. Stickers — Tap the sticky note in the upper right corner of your screen to add stickers.
  4. Text — Tap anywhere or tap "Aa" in the upper right corner of your screen to add text. You can tag other accounts in your story by typing "@" before their Instagram handle. Viewers will then be able to click on the tagged profile from your Story.
  5. Drawing — Tap the marker in the upper right corner to draw

To remove elements of your post, tap and drag them to the trashcan icon at the bottom of the screen. To delete your entire post, tap the "X" in the upper left corner. To post to your Story, tap the "+" button in the lower left corner.

Open your story and swipe up on the screen to see how many people have viewed each frame of your story.

To save your entire Instagram Story to your Camera, open it and tap the arrow in the upper right corner.