Development And Alumni Relations Office

How to be a social media ambassador


What is my goal?  Be clear about what you are trying to achieve.

Are you trying to promote an upcoming event at the University?

Encourage people to visit the University?

Report about an event or talk at Queen’s?

Recruit people for a Queen’s club, society or association?

Spread awareness about your research at Queen’s?

Encourage people to help Queen’s achieve more impact in the world?

Your goal is important and will affect everything from the platform you use to the message you spread.


Which platform should I use?  There are many social media platforms, but you don’t need to use all of them. Choose the platform that best suits your message and is popular with your audience. Don’t spread yourself thin by trying to use all of the platforms available to you, as it might not be the most effective way to spread your message.


Facebook: Most Facebook users are 35 – 55 years old. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, with 1 billion users worldwide. Posts have no word limit, and you should include a visual element to the post, such as a link or photo. Also consider adding a link to a Queen’s webpage, for more information.

Twitter: Twitter attracts a slightly younger audience than Facebook and there is a 280 character limit per tweet. Information should be short and very relevant. Hashtags are a great way to become part of a conversation; if you are using social media to promote Queen’s, make sure to include widely used hashtags like #LoveQUB or the hashtag specific to an event or campaign, for example, #TEDxQUB.

Instagram: A younger and growing demographic in the 18 - 35 year old range. This is a visual platform - each post must have a photo or gallery of photos. Popular with lifestyle brands and photographers. There are many add-on features which allow you to create small animated clips and collages. If you are using this platform for professional businesses, the image or video should be the most striking part of your post.

LinkedIn: A platform that connects professionals together. Your profile appears like a digital CV and you can publish posts or articles on your profile. You can also publish posts or articles on relevant groups. The most important thing to remember when using LinkedIn is to be professional; do not publish anything on your profile that you would not include on your CV and ensure your posts are relevant to a professional audience. Highlight what resources and experiences at Queen’s have best shaped your career; you could also mention particular academic staff and faculties.


What tone of voice should I use?  As you can see, each platform is unique and requires a slightly different style of language, however, it is preferable to ensure all of the posts you create on a specific platform speak with a consistent voice. If you are using a personal account, let your own voice shine through. If you are using an official account, make sure that all active users agree on one tone of voice.


How to I create more engagement on social media?

Start a conversation: Begin your tweet, post, or photo caption with a question. This will intrigue readers and make them think about their own experiences.

Call people to action: This is basically an action that you want your audience to complete, whether it be to sign up for an event, make an application to Queen’s, get involved with a club or become part of the conversation.

Speak with purpose: Don’t just write. Aim to be inspiring, informative and practical.

  • You can be inspiring by using exciting and invigorating words. Use key memories or details to make your story interesting.
  • You can be informative by describing what you are promoting and why it is relevant to readers.
  • You can be practical by providing a link to more information, laying out the venue and time for a specific event, or inviting people to get in touch with you.

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Remember to keep your message relevant.  It may be tempting to use an official platform to voice an opinion on something you find interesting, but keep all information relevant to your audience. If you get involved in a trending conversation, make sure it optimises your strategy. For example, it might be useful to get involved in a conversation about protecting our oceans if you are an ambassador for marine biology, oceans, or water conservation, but it might not be useful to talk about human rights. Avoid confusing your audience and make your ambitions clear.

This is also relevant for personal accounts set up to promote research. Try to get involved in a conversation that is relevant to you and be specific in your opinions and experiences.


When do I post? Timing is important and can affect the scope and reach of your message. There are multiple resources online that indicate the best times to post on different platforms, depending on how many users are on the channel at that time.

For example, Wednesday morning is typically a good time to post messages relevant to university students.


How do I take a great photo on my phone?  Images are powerful. You don’t need a professional camera or tripod to take a good photo, you already have a great piece of kit in your pocket.


Use lighting to your advantage: If possible, take your photos outside or in a well-lit area; avoid direct sunlight shining at you or your subjects. Take care with your light source and avoid having it behind your subject, unless you want to create a halo effect, or other photographic effect. If you are indoors, do not put your subjects in front of a window.

Take action shots: If you are promoting an event, make sure you take a photo of the activities or speakers in action, to make your online audience part of the experience.

Use your grid: Most phones have a feature which allow you to see a grid pattern on your screen, when taking a photo. This makes it easy to take a straight angle photo and eliminates the need to edit the photo later. To make your photo stand out, position people so that they appear at the cross sections of the grid, rather than inside the boxes.

Make it personal: People are best photographed when they are acting naturally, so make them feel comfortable and encourage them have fun!

Rights: Remember, you must get permission from a person before you include them in a photograph - and be sure to ask them if they will allow you to post the photo on social media. There are two exceptions to this rule, generally. You can take a back-of-head shot without permission and you can capture a large crowd, making sure no one face is recognisable.


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