Tips for Using Social Media

The College maintains an active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We would love to include your news on our social media feeds. Here’s how to help us out:


Because of new algorithms enacted by Facebook, it’s not worth our time to post more than once or twice a day because only a small number of our followers will see our posts.

So, we’re looking for stories that align with our main priorities, which are: 1) The uniqueness of A&S among peer institutions and at Cornell, 2) our commitment to undergraduate education and education innovation, 3) our focus on recruiting, hiring and retaining the best and brightest faculty, 4) Groundbreaking research and creative works and 5) recruiting the students best suited to Cornell.

An ideal post is:

  • Less than 140 characters
  • Includes a call to action
  • Includes hashtags and @mentions that allow readers to find your post in searches and draw people to other Facebook pages
  • Has a great photo or video
  • Offers links to a website where people can find more information.

Have a great story to share? Send the information in the above paragraph to Kathy Hovis and we’ll try to get it out through Facebook.

X (formerly Twitter)


X (formerly Twitter) functions predominantly as a newsfeed for the college, as journalists are prevalent on the platform. We tend to focus our content on faculty research and scholarship.

We typically send at least 3 tweets a day, and often more, so we’re always seeking items to include on this channel.

What makes a good tweet?

  • Must be less than 140 characters. Less than 120 is ideal so that people can retweet without cutting off any of your content.
  • Be clear and also clever, if possible. People are bombarded with tweets, so if yours sticks out in some way, it’s more likely to be retweeted.
  • Include a hashtag to allow people to search for common topics in the news. (examples: #nasa, #AcademyAwards)
  • Mention other people’s x/twitter handles if possible. Find out if your professors are using the platform and include their handle in the post (@handlename)
  • Use photos and videos whenever possible.
  • Add a link where people can find more information.

Want your news on the college X/twitter? Write up a tweet using the guidelines above and send it on to Kate Blackwood for consideration.



This is a photo- or video-only app that’s become very popular, especially with students and young people.

It generally features scenic shots but is also a great place to showcase events, students and faculty. There’s limited room for a caption and hashtags are popular.

Some things to look for in a good Instagram shot:

  • A really compelling photo or video that’s beautiful, clever or inspirational in some way.
  • Hashtags that will allow people to find the photo and start to follow us. #Cornell, #ivyleague #humanities #GoldwinSmith
  • A short caption that clearly says who and what is in the photo.

We are looking for departments/programs to suggest students who might want to take part in our Instagram feed through student takeovers. If you're interested, contact Laura Chichisan. See her notes and Instagram tips from the 12/13/18 Coffee and Communications meeting here. Also view the Instagram guidelines she put together for students.

Establishing your own social media presence

If you’re ambitious and have the resources, your department or program might want to consider starting your own social media accounts.

Questions on how to get set up? Contact us.
Facebook or LinkedIn: Kathy Hovis
Twitter: Kate Blackwood
Instagram: Laura Chichisan

The university has also established guidelines for Personal Use of Social Media. This resource can help you manage your reputation online and assist you If you become a target of online harassment.