Social Media

Our goal at GW is to use social media as a two-way communication tool for developing our community. With a number of platforms to use, there are opportunities to connect with your unique audience in a meaningful way. Whether you’re sharing #OnlyatGW moments or building pride as we #RaiseHigh together, social media can be a powerful way to talk to your audiences.

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The Office of Communications and Marketing oversees social media strategy for the university and runs GW’s main accounts. We use social media to:

  • Promote news, events and resources
  • Share photos and videos
  • Livestream #OnlyatGW events
  • Monitor brand reputation
  • Host discussions
  • Respond to questions or problems from our community
  • Reach different audiences
  • Drive traffic to websites
  • Build communities

Our team is also available to help you develop the social media strategy for your office, school/college, center/institute, department or initiative. Support is available to account managers with all levels of experience to help you meet your communication goals.

Email [email protected] to connect with our team and setup a strategy meeting.

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First Things First: Review GW's Social Media Policy

  • Users operating accounts bearing GW’s name must familiarize themselves with GW’s social media policy.
  • Please submit the name and contact information of those responsible for your social media accounts to [email protected].



Posting Music on the Web or Social Media

  • GW’s music licenses do not cover music posted by its community members on the web or social media. There are several different licenses required if you want to post music on a website or social media. These licenses must be obtained from the person or entity that owns the right to that music; the process can be long and complex.
  • Stock Music is available at a low cost (sometimes free) as an option when music is needed for a web or social media posting.
  • For questions about music licensing, please email [email protected].

Accessibility Standards for Social Media

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Know your audience and set your goals.

It’s important to understand who you are trying to reach on social media. Does your target audience consist of current faculty, staff, and students of a particular program? The broader GW community? Is it primarily alumni or community members? Not all platforms reach the same groups, so you need to know where your primary audiences are spending time online. For example, Instagram reaches younger users on their mobile devices while LinkedIn reaches a professional audience.

Next, determine your communication goals. Do you want your audience to complete a call to action? Do you simply want to grow engagement with your community? Do you want to educate or entertain your audience by sharing resources?


Determine how much time you can spend on social media.

Building an engaged following requires consistent posting of good content. While you should be able to dedicate time to cultivating your community, don’t overextend yourself. It’s better to develop a good presence on one network than to post infrequently on every network. Dedicating blocks of time on a weekly basis to strategize content ideas or develop posts for the upcoming week will help minimize time dedicated daily.


Develop your content strategy and select the best platform/s.

When you know your audience, goals and how much time you can commit to social media, think about what content you can provide. Determine what kind of content best suits your goals and capabilities. For example, articles may better serve some needs, while visuals may make more sense for others. Consider different sources of relevant content, like news sites, YouTube channels, or user generated content from your own students, staff, faculty, or alumni.

Think about who you are trying to reach with what kind of content to decide which platforms to develop and spend your time on. Also, consider the different strengths - and limitations - of each network. Long format text, such as articles, are best shared on Facebook or LinkedIn. Instagram requires a visual for each post, and of course TikTok and YouTube are video-only platforms. Learn more about the most common platforms below.

In summary, think about your communication goals, which audiences you’re trying to reach and what content you have to work with. Focus your attention on the platform or platforms that will best achieve your goals.


Quick Tips

  • Be authentic and creative and develop a content strategy that represents your unique voice.
  • Focus on networks/platforms that will be effective for you.
  • Post consistently.
  • Try new things to learn what performs well on each platform.
  • Use high-quality photos and other visuals.
  • Listen to and interact with your followers one-on-one when you can.
  • Keep accessibility guidelines in mind.
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Facebook has more users than any other social media platform, but its audience skews older. It’s the ideal platform to reach graduate students, parents and alumni, and it offers excellent targeted advertising of posts for a small budget. Its longer-form posts are great for sharing news content, and you can include links in your posts as well. Video performs particularly well on Facebook as it can be natively uploaded and automatically plays in your audience’s newsfeed. Live-streaming offers a great opportunity to broadcast to an audience that cannot participate in person and comments sections provide an opportunity to interact with your users and generate conversation. The "stories" feature offers an additional mechanism to connect with your audience.


Instagram is a mobile platform for sharing photos or videos. You can write descriptive captions, but good and compelling imagery is the most important part of a post. Similar to Twitter, hashtags (like #OnlyatGW) are frequently employed by users to find new content, so this is a great tool to get your content in front of new audiences.

Instagram stories—brief photo and video snippets that last just 24 hours—are almost like their own social platform within Instagram. Daily stories can be created with text, polls, Q&A, emojis or our GW gifs overlaying a photo or video. If you’re using Instagram stories, consider developing separate strategies for your stories and your Instagram account.


Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform where people talk about things happening in the moment around the world. In bite-sized messages, it’s easy to get lost in the noise, but it’s also easy to benefit by posting timely content. Keep your messages short. Though the character limit has increased in recent years, users still expect messages to be to-the-point. Use hashtags (like #GWU, #OnlyatGW or #RaiseHigh) to join conversations, but remember to always be authentic.


LinkedIn is a professional development platform. It is used for networking, job opportunities and thought leadership. It is great for creating communities of alumni, practitioners or partners.


TikTok is a short-form video platform with an algorithm that delivers its users highly individualized content. While the video time limit has increased from 10 seconds to 10 minutes, shorter videos continue to perform best. Users expect a rawer form of video on this platform as opposed to the highly produced videos of YouTube. Videos filmed on iPhones are best, with minimal or in-app editing to keep the message and visuals as authentic as possible.

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Suggestions for Social Posts

Just as we're here to help with your social strategy, we need your help, too! We welcome ideas for primary GW account posts highlighting our students, alumni, faculty, or community. Content could include upcoming events, research highlights, student spotlights, etc.

Submit a Social Media Pitch


Social Feed on Website

We offer Flockler, a social media curation tool, to all GW website owners. Flockler allows you to display social media feeds on your websites and digital signage to help increase engagement on your social feeds. The tool works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and RSS.

Learn More and Request an Account