Kansas State University



2016 Social Media Image Sizes

Facebook Image Sizes

  • Cover photo: 851 px wide by 315 px tall
  • Profile image: 180 px wide by 180 px tall
  • Highlighted image: 1200 px wide by 717 px tall
  • Shared image: 1200 px wide by 630 px tall
  • Shared link thumbnail image: 1200 px wide by 627 px tall

Twitter Image Sizes

  • Header photo: 1500 px wide by 500 px tall
  • Profile image: 400 px wide by 400 px tall
  • In-stream photo: 440 px wide by 220 px tall

LinkedIn Image Sizes

  • Background image: 1500 px wide by 425 px tall
  • Profile image: 400 px wide by 400 px tall
  • Career cover photo: 974 px wide by 330 px tall
  • Banner image: 646 px wide by 220 px tall (minimum)
  • Standard logo: 400 px wide by 400 pixels tall (maximum)

Pinterest Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 165 px wide by 165 px tall
  • Board display: 22 px wide by 150 px tall
  • Pin sizes: 236 px wide

Instagram Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 110 px wide by 110 px tall
  • Photo size: 1080 px wide by 1080 px tall
  • Photo thumbnails: 161 px wide by 161 px tall

YouTube Image Sizes

  • Video uploads: 1280 px wide by 760 px tall
  • Channel cover photo: 2560 px wide by 1440 px tall

Google+ Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 250 px wide by 250 px tall
  • Cover image: 1080 px wide by 608 px tall
  • Shared image (on home stream): 497 px wide by 373 px tall
  • Shared image (on feed or your page): 150 px wide by 150 px tall

10 Questions to ask before starting a social media account

Before starting a new account or adding new channels to your social media presence give some thought to the questions and answers below.

1.) What should my college/department or unit aim to achieve with social media? Consider how you will engage with current and prospective students, alumni, parents, community and corporate stakeholders with informative and creative content. Consider how you will share news and information to support the K-State 2025 visionary plan. How will you provide excellent customer service and drive traffic to your website and blogs?

2.)  Who is your target audience? Before building a social media strategy, understand and define who you’re trying to reach. Include content that is balanced and appealing to all segments of your audience. Different channels speak to different audiences, and what works for one channel might not work for others.

  • For example, Instagram has a younger audience demographic than Facebook and Twitter. At K-State, the university Instagram account content is targeted to prospective and current students and young alumni.
  • Also, consider if your messaging is for an internal or external audience. If your messaging is more for an internal audience consider other forms of communications and social media including K-State Today, direct email campaigns or private Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Understanding your audience will help you create engaging content on the best channel to yield the most effective results.

3.) What are the risks associated with starting a social media account? Social media is changing constantly. Plan to attend university social media roundtables to network and learn about new social media trends.

Risks to consider before starting an account:

  • Errors.
  • Fake or hacked accounts.
  • There are no filters or gate keepers.
  • Legal issues.
  • Trolls. Trolls are people who post inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

The best solution to minimizing these risks is having a solid plan in place prior to setting up a social media account. This blog post will help you get started, but the K-State social media services staff is here to help you. Here are basic solutions to risks listed above.

  • Post content that encourages positive interaction and feedback.
  • Identify hot button issues in your department/unit/program and stay away from posting about them. Have a plan of action in case these issues are posted on social media from an outside account.
  • Make sure you have all the facts before you post. Double-check everything for accuracy, spelling and grammar. Double-check links to ensure they are going to the right web page.
  • Link to your sources when possible and give credit to other university units when you include their updates on your site.
  • Correct errors quickly and visibly.
  • Think twice before retweeting. Be sure the content is relevant to your audience, check to make sure the links are correct and examine photos.
  • To respond to a “troll” on social media, express that you would like to help them and direct the conversation offline. e.g. Thanks for your feedback. Please contact social media@k-state.edu with concerns so we may better assist you.

4.) When will you find the time to manage social media? Consider if  you or other staff members can carve time out of your schedules each day to post, monitor channels and measure outcomes. It will take more than one person to make a university account successful.

5.) Who should set up and maintain our social media accounts? One of the biggest mistakes when launching a social media account is underestimating the amount of time required to respond and moderate discussions.

Designate at least two administrators for each social media account. This makes it easier to keep the social media account active and up-to-date. Create a flexible schedule for posting timely content that is relevant to your unit. To develop a consistent flow of content, determine in advance when and what you will post. Inactive social media accounts reflect negatively on the university. Social Media Services may require that inactive accounts be taken down.

6.) Should we have a presence on all of the popular social media networks?
To begin, build a presence on just one social channel, at least for the first few months. Which channel? Find out what by asking your audience which platforms they use the most.  As your following grows. you may decide to branch out to other channels.

7.) What are the best social networks? K-State has a robust presence on Twitter. President Schulz is very active on Twitter and he and Noel Schulz have been recognized as higher education’s first couple of Twitter.  The K-State Twitter community is collaborative and shares (retweets) news from other departments. Twitter is a great channel to begin on without having to worry about building a following  on channels with limited organic reach.

8.) How often should I post new content on my social networks? Two to five times a day, depending on the channel. Twitter is fast paced and you can retweet content from other users. Your followers visit social-media sites at different times of the day. To reach more of your followers more often, stagger your posts consistently throughout the day. Customize your posts for each channel. It is not considered a best practice to connect accounts and share the same content across channels.

9.) What types of content should I post on which social platforms? Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram are visually heavy. Be selective with images by using high-quality photos that are the correct sizes for various social media channels. Also, find various campus stock photos via University Photo Service’s Zenfolio collection.

Tip: Use the free online service, Canva to design and optimize photos for social media.

On Twitter, aim for a good balance of tweeting about your news and retweeting others’ content. Curate a diverse mix of content types including, photos, short videos, news, tips,  thoughtful questions, etc.) across your social-media platforms to keep things interesting and fresh. See more about creating a Twitter content strategy.

10.)  How can I measure the success and return on investment of my social media marketing efforts? It’s important to continually track your social media marketing metrics in order to gauge which tactics and types of posts work and which don’t.

Most social platforms offer their own metrics. Facebook, for instance, gives Page administrators access to Page Insights data for free. Twitter offers in-depth analytics and a 28-day summary showcasing top performing posts and engagement information.

One of the free tools to view Instagram analytics is iconosquare.com. Use Google Analytics to see how effective your social media campaigns are at driving traffic to your main website or online store.

Snapchat 101 and Best Practices

As organic reach continues to decline on traditional social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, it is imperative to leverage the K-State brand on newer social media channels such as Snapchat.

In the slideshow below, learn how K-State is using Snapchat to reach students where they already are with student-focused content.



How to create a Twitter content strategy

An important first step in beginning a new Twitter account is developing a Twitter content strategy.

First ask yourself these questions:Twitter-Users-Have-Questions

  1. Define your goals for using Twitter. Who is your audience? What do you hope to accomplish? How will you track your successes and progress?
  2. Keep in mind that a successful social media account takes time to maintain and requires staff resources to develop engaging content.

Then consider and implement the following:

1. Listen and observe. Take a moment to see what other K-State accounts are doing on Twitter and develop your own content marketing strategy by deciding what you like about others.  See the official listing of university social media accounts.

2. Write Tweets geared towards your goals. For example, consider the #KState2025 goals and themes. Write content highlighting how your college, organization or program is helping the university reach these goals.

Vet Med Example Twitter 2025

3.  Read K-State Today. This will give you ideas of current events and news to tweet about. Sharing is caring! Be sure to share good news from other places on campus.

4. Ask for what you want. Increase your reach by asking for follows, retweets, replies, favorites or mentions. Use these tweets sparingly between informative, useful and entertaining tweets.

ALumni RT

 5.Seize the moment. Tap into popular conversations around seasonal, cultural and industry-based events. Take a look at these National Days of the year.

National Days of the Year Example

6. When promoting an article or blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just posting a link.

KState Global Tweet Link

7.Share the human side of your department/college/program/unit.

8. Ask questions and answer questionsadmissions-tweet-ask.
ITS question example

9.Get visual and creative. Use branded images, infographics, animations and short videos to accompany a tweet.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 9.46.57 AM

10. Use the 80/20 Rule. Aim to have 20 percent of your content be original with the other 80 percent coming from other sources through retweets and other sharing methods. 80 percent of your Tweets should focus on driving interactions with your followers, such as retweets, replies, and favorites. Once you’ve built some rapport, you can mix in promotions that get followers to take actions, such as clicking on a link or signing up for a program or event on your website.

11. Track and gauge your performance using Twitter analytics.

12. Know when to tweet:

– Early morning: 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
– Lunch hour: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
– Evening: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
– Worst time to post – 8 p.m. – 6 a.m.
– Tweets generally have a feed life of 1-2 hours.

Popular days – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday

13. Create a weekly Twitter calendar. Here’s an example:

Monday- Share an upcoming event, new program or related department news or an inspirational quote. Here’s an example of of a K-State Sports #MotivationMonday tweet.


Tuesday – Share helpful tips with #TipTuesday. Create a regular series of tweets that are informative or surprising. For example, @KStateJobs’ #TalentTuesday, giving a job search tip once a week.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 9.50.19 AM
Wednesday– Behind the scenes. Showcase a professor teaching in the classroom, dean visiting with alumni or students studying, etc.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 9.51.02 AM

Thursday – For #ThrowbackThursday, share an old photo showcasing a K-State tradition, building, students, etc. Check out the digitized Royal Purple yearbook for ideas.

Friday – Callout university events to promote or university accounts to follow. A popular promotion on Twitter is #FollowFriday or #FF. If you choose to participate, instead of tweeting a long list of twitter handles and the hashtag: #FF. Instead offer value, by highlighting one or two accounts per tweet with an explanation of why people should follow the account.


K-State Twitter Basics

The university’s overall Twitter strategy gives followers a view of what’s going on at K-State right now. The @KState twitter account shares campus events, news, achievements, awards, reminders, campus safety and research. We curate the #KState conversation with shared content (retweets) from campus accounts. We heavily use hashtags to group conversations around the same topic. See hashtag best practices.

Twitter is fast paced and tweets quickly get pushed lower in crowded news feeds. So be sure to post on a regular basis. Overall, successful university accounts tweet 5-10 times a day with a mix of content ranging from educational to entertaining.

Here are some tips to get started on your Twitter journey!

1. We are family! Make sure your Twitter icon is consistent with our university style. Once your icon is created by it really shouldn’t change unless your department, college or program goes through a rebranding. For graphic design assistance, contact us at social media@k-state.edu.

Twitter example2. Choose a visually appealing Twitter header. Your header is the background image that sits behind your profile photo. This is an opportunity to be creative and share an image that expresses your college/department/program/unit. Images should be re-sized to fit the dimensions (1500px by 500px). Canva, is a great resource to create your own Twitter header.

3. Choose a Twitter name and handle. Be sure to use “K-State” instead of “KSU.” Example: @KStateJobs not @KSUJobs.

4. Write an interesting and informative Twitter bio and include a link to your main webpage.

5. Join the #KState Twitter community. Follow and interact with various university official Twitter accounts. See our social media directory. Collaboration is key to a successful university twitter community. As an official university account be cautious of the accounts you follow. Following and or interacting with a local business or political Twitter account could potentially imply an endorsement.

6. Be sure to attend monthly Social Media Roundtable group meetings. These meetings are open to all social media administrators on campus to collaborate and learn about new social media trends.

See Twitter terms to know glossary.

Twitter Faux Pas
1. Too many #hashtags: Three or less is ideal. Read here for information on hashtag best practices.
2. Long links: Use Bitly to shorten links. An advantage to using Bitly is advanced tracking analytics options.
3. Sharing content directly from Instagram or Facebook. If you must share the same content from another social media channel, take a minute to post it directly to Twitter instead of sending people away from Twitter to see the original post.
3. Text speak: Avoid abbreviations and use full words.
4. Starting a tweet with a mention. Here’s why
5. Not responding to replies or messages. Be active with your audience. Exception, it is ok to ignore “trolls”. A troll is a person on the internet that loves starting arguments or upsetting people. The best thing you can do to fight an internet troll is to not answer.

Pinning a tweet to your profile

You can pin a tweet to your profile so that when others visit your profile page, it is the first Tweet they will see. You can change these out every week or so.

Twitter Pinned Tweet

To pin a tweet:

  1. Go to your profile page.
  2. Find the Tweet you’d like to pin and click the ellipsis icon (•••).
  3. Select Pin to your profile page.
  4. Click Pin.

To unpin a tweet:

  1. Go to your profile page.
  2. On the Tweet that you have pinned, click the ellipsis icon (•••).
  3. Click Unpin from profile page.
  4. Click Unpin.

Hashtag best practices

hashtagAs the world of social media continues to change, the popularity of hashtags has proven to be less of a trend and more of a necessity. At K-State we are using hashtags to fuel social media marketing campaigns. Social media posts, including hashtags, drives more engagement, curates a story or event and taps into trends.

Take your hashtag campaign from average to viral and see our hashtag best practice guide below.

1.) Do your research. Before choosing a hashtag research using a website such as  https://www.hashtags.org. Avoid competition and dominate your hashtag by selecting one not in use.

2.) Content is King. You’ve got a great hashtag now what? Make your hashtag stand out with great content. Mix in video, text and image posts. Create informative and quality content that will engage your audience. Be sure to tag appropriate accounts in posts to gain more visibility and possibly garner a retweet from key influencers.

3.) Make it visually appealing. Promote your hashtag by adding the hashtag to photos, graphics, videos or any material you are sharing. This includes any tangible marketing materials such as brochures and fliers.

4.) Less is more. Resist using too many hashtags, it just looks spammy. As a rule of thumb, use only two to three hashtags per post. Research and use related and relevant hashtags.

5.) Make it memorable. Use catchy words that are easy to recall and avoid using personal pronouns. It is best for your hashtag to fit well into a post instead of adding it to the end of a post. Test how the hashtag reads by drafting a few social media posts.

Here’s an example from a recent K-State campaign: “Happy almost Valentine’s Day, ! Use the hashtag to tell everyone why you !”

6.) Grammar and spelling count. Watch usage of abbreviations. Capitalization is your friend. It helps with readability. Overall, correct spelling and grammar gives any social media account credibility.

7.) Be consistent. Promote your hashtags across social media channels.  Inform other social media account coordinators about promotions and provide information for them to share your campaign message. Consider creating a social media guide including prepared messaging, images and campaign overview.  Here’s a great example of a social media guide for World Cancer Day.

8.) Keep it short. Make it your hashtag “Tweetable.” You want people to be able to fit the hashtag into a 140 character tweet. As a rule of thumb, stick to 8-12 characters. Consider making the tweet a call to action.

9.) Monitor the use of the hashtag by using a tool like https://tagboard.com. Tagboard is a great tool because it allows you to block negative posts or accounts using your hashtag.

10.) Curate. Use a hashtag aggregator like https://tagboard.com to encourage people to join the social media conversation and also see their posts displayed. There is a presentation mode to showcase posts during a live event. You can also embed the tag board on to a website. Here’s an example of a tagboard embedded on a website.

* Extra tips! 

Where do hashtags work? 

Hashtags are searchable links on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Google +, Pinterest and YouTube. Hashtags do not work on LinkedIn.

Three common hashtag types. 

Content hashtags are related to your post content. Ex: #KState #What2doatKSU #MyKStateVisit #KStateWOW

Event hashtags are related to a specific event. Ex: #KStateSOU #KStateWOW #KStateOpenHouse. Try not to use a date or year in the hashtag. This way you will be able to use the hashtag in years to come.

Location hashtags are specific geo-targeted hashtags to promote your posts to a certain area. Ex: #KState #MHK #KansasCity

But first, let’s take a selfie!

K-State Open House Social Media Guide


Campaign Objective: To create an exciting and relevant way for prospective students, K-State colleges, departments and programs to connect and engage in K-State social media while exploring buildings across campus. With the increased popularity of Instagram, the #KStateSelfieChallenge on Instagram will replace the Foursquare Check-In challenge, while promoting the university’s fastest growing social media channel.

#KStateSelfieChallenge details

  • “Selfie Stations” will be set up at each of the 13 passport locations across Open_House_Selfie-10campus with signage.
  • From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., participants have the opportunitiy to take a selfie with K-State Celebrities, such as President Kirk Schulz, Dean Pat Bosco and Willie the Wildcat at designated locations to be announced via K-State social media.
  • K-State Open House student volunteers will serve as station hosts where celebrities are stationed to greet and encourage attendees to participate and take selfies with K-State-themed Instagram frames.

Signage will read:

  1. Follow @KansasStateUniversity on Instagram
  2. Take a selfie!
  3. Upload to IG and use hashtag #KStateSelfieChallenge.
  4. After visiting designated locations present your passport and or selfies to Open House Staff at the K-State Student Union.

Ways to promote #KStateOpenHouse and #KStateSelfieChallenge: 

Share our Pinterest board for a virtual map of K-State Open House hot spots and selfie stations: http://www.pinterest.com/kansasstate/k-state-open-house/.

Share the K-State Open House invitation YouTube video via social media: http://bit.ly/kstateopenhouseinvite.

Follow and share the #KStateOpenHouse tagboard: https://tagboard.com/KStateOpenHouse/159770

Follow and share posts from K-State social media regarding open house.

Remember to use the #KStateOpenHouse hashtag when creating related social media posts.


Increasing engagement with Facebook native video

Screenshot-2015-01-07-11.12.40Facebook native video – uploading videos to Facebook itself rather than posting YouTube video links on the social network – is creating viral success for small and huge brands alike.

The K-State Facebook page has seen impressive results with increased video views and user engagement using Facebook native video.

A perfect example is a K-State Marching Band performance posted on the K-State Facebook page on Jan. 5. Within 24 hours, the video topped 50,000 views and reached more than 150,000 Facebook users. The numbers kept climbing and comments, likes and shares hit 5,000 within two days. It surely helped that the K-State Marching Band had just won the honor of top university band in the nation. Just another example of why content is key on social media!


Above you can see Facebook insights from the same Marching Band video that was posted to Facebook using a YouTube link. The uploaded video received over six times the engagement as the one linked to YouTube.

6 tips to maximize Facebook engagement with the use of video:

  1. Feature your video.  By selecting to feature a video, it is prominently placed above your page’s “About” section and is larger on your videos tab. It’s important to feature a video that is a great representation of your brand.
  2. Use the “Watch Video” Call-to-Action button. The Facebook call to action button allows you to draw attention to a video on your website from your Facebook cover image. This can help drive traffic to your website from people who visit your Facebook page. There are several options for the call to action button, including “Watch Video.”CTAbutton
  3. Make video playlists. The more video uploads you post, organizing them will become more important. You can organize your videos by creating multiple playlists to control the user’s experience navigating through videos.
  4. Create an engaging video that you personally would share. Be sure to choose a video that is entertaining, informative or inspiring.
  5. Interact! Once someone comments on the video, reply back. The more comments on any Facebook post, the higher up it goes on Facebook users timeline.
  6. Use the Learn more button on the video. You can use the “Learn More” call to action button to drive someone to a website for more information about the video’s topic. The button shows up in the left-hand corner while the user is watching the video.


Using Instagram to host university-wide photo challenge


Looking for a way to engage with students on the university’s Instagram account while creating a fun way to integrate social media into the university’s “Week of Welcome” activities is how the #KStateWOWpix photo challenge was created. Keep reading as we share the challenge from a social media management perspective.

Challenge details

At the beginning of each semester, the university hosts a series of events to welcome students to campus. During the Week of Welcome for the Fall 2014 semester, new and returning students were asked to post a photo corresponding to the daily challenge with the hashtag #KStateWOWpix, as well as that day’s assigned hashtag. Any individual who participated on a given day was eligible to win the daily prize of a $50 K-State Student Union gift card. Challenges included selfies displaying the Wildcat hand sign and photos showcasing something they love about K-State, their newly decorated living space, a K-State tradition, their purple gear and a representation of their college, department or future profession.


Daily winners were selected by Division of Communications and Marketing staff along with K-State celebrity judges, including K-State President Kirk Schulz, women’s basketball head coach, Jeff Mittie and Student Body President, Reagan Kays. Five of the top photos from each day’s hashtag were sent to the campus celebrity judges for selection of each day’s winner. Select photos were also featured on university social media channels and the K-State website. At the conclusion of the week, the six winning daily photos were compiled into a Facebook photo album and fans were asked to “like” their favorite photo. The photo with the most likes was named the grand prize winner and awarded an iPad mini. The photo challenge ran from Sunday, Aug. 24, to Friday, Aug. 29, 2014.

Challenge successes


Our university president, Kirk Schulz, kicked off the photo challenge by asking students to participate in the first day of the challenge during the New Student Convocation ceremony. Students appreciate President Schulz’s active social media presence, and the ceremony provided the perfect opportunity for him to promote the photo challenge and to get students excited to participate.

During the week of the photo challenge, the university’s Instagram following increased by 600 followers and engagement increased across all social media channels. The challenge allowed students to share their favorite parts of the university and get excited about seeing their photos featured on the official university social media channels earning hundreds of likes. The challenge provided the university with great content to share and the opportunity for genuine interaction with students. The contest involved many aspects of campus including individual academic colleges, housing and dining, athletics and administration.

See all of the posts submitted for the challenge via the #KStateWOWpix tagboard.