Essential Questions to Ask When Branding Your Illinois Social Media Accounts


As communicators, it’s crucial to navigate the complexities of branding on various social media platforms. Here are key questions to guide you through the process, ensuring a consistent and impactful representation of the Illinois brand platform on social media.

Target Audience

  • Social Media Managers

Brand Guidance

1. Creating branded messaging


2. Understanding our audience(s)

  • Do we prioritize university’s key audiences when thinking about target audiences?
  • What is the age range of our target audience?
  • Where are they geographically located?
  • What are their interests, preferences and communication styles?
  • Are there activities or trends that resonate with them?
  • What social media platforms do they use regularly?
  • When are they the most active on social media?
  • What types of posts or content generate the most engagement?
  • How can we tailor content to resonate with them?


3. Setting strategic goals:

  • What are our primary objectives for our social media account(s)?
  • Do we want to increase awareness, drive engagement or direct traffic to our website?
  • How do our goals align with broader university priorities and the brand platform?
  • How do our social media goals reinforce the brand voice and identity?
  • What specific metrics will we use to measure success on social media?


4. Choosing the right platform(s)

  • Which social media platforms are most relevant to our audience?
  • How do our social media goals align with the features and strengths of each platform?
  • Does our content focus on photography, videos, written content or a combination?
  • Which platforms best support the types of content we plan to create?
  • How important are data and insights to our work and what platforms can provide it?


5. Staying informed

  • How can we stay current with social media trends and platform changes?
  • Are there emerging features or content styles that align with our strategy?
  • How often are we participating in trends or new platform features?
  • Do we have a network in place to consult with other social media experts on campus?


6. Maintaining consistency

  • Do we have a consistent naming convention across all platforms?
  • Is our visual style consistent with the brand style including colors, typography and graphic elements?
  • Have we communicated our social media strategy and plan to all relevant team members?


7. Crafting compelling bios

  • What key information should be included in our account bios to attract and retain followers?
  • Can we incorporate brand essentials into our bio to align with the brand identity?
  • Does our bio include a clear and compelling call-to-action, such as visiting our website?


8. Visual identity

  • Are our profile and cover photos aligned with the established brand design standards?
  • Have we downloaded and used the brand templates available to ensure visual consistency across platforms?
  • Are our social media graphics consistent with the brand graphic elements and iconography?
  • Is our social media photography and videography visually aligned with the brand guidelines?
  • Do we prioritize accessibility in our social media visual content?


9. Anticipating challenges

  • Do we proactively plan for potential crises or negative feedback on social media?
  • In a crisis, what steps will we take to respond promptly and professionally?
  • Do we have a list of contacts to alert when a crisis arises?
  • Do we have mechanisms in place for monitoring social media channels in real-time?


10. Continuing to evaluate

  • Do we regularly review and adjust our social media strategy based on performance and changes in objectives?
  • What metrics and tools can we employ to measure progress toward our goals?

Additional Resources

For additional guidance on how to align your social media presence with the Illinois brand, visit the social media brand guidelines webpage.

To explore successful examples of branded university accounts, refer to the Illinois Verified Accounts Directory.


Lea Peck, Associate Director of Social Media & Digital Strategy,