Social Media

Social Media Best Practices

To adapt a phrase from Tom Lehrer - social media is like a drainpipe. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.
We have seen chapters do incredible things on social media, letting everyone on campus know about their club and generating a huge buzz. Doing it part-time, though, isn't likely to see amazing results.
The way you market your chapter is incredibly important as you try to reach your peers. The steps below are a mix of practical steps and advice and guidance to help you do that. Ultimately, though, as part of a digitally native generation, you're best-placed to innovate and produce engaging content. So get set up on all the right platforms, and then let your most creative exec board members loose to break the internet as OFTW goes viral.

Short on time? Follow our 5 First Steps on Social Media

Getting set up: sign up for Canva

Canva contains our secret stash of amazing social media materials. We’ve created templates for social media posts related to topics like 1) event announcements 2) Pledge Week updates 3) charity features. Make a copy of these designs, personalize them for your chapter and then get scheduling to let everyone know about OFTW at your school!


Signing up for Canva (read carefully)

  1. To obtain access to the Canva folder, use this link to create a Canva account.
  2. Go to “OFTW HQ” folder> click on “For Chapter Leaders” folder (should be under a heading called "Folders")
  3. Make a copy of “Social Media Templates *COPY ME*” design.
  4. Click on the copy, then ‘move to folder’ then, under the “your folders” tab click create new and make a folder. This is where you will keep your chapter’s designs. But it’s important you don’t edit any of the HQ/template files. You have the ability to edit HQ level content but, again, please don’t. We’ve consolidated the social media content and banners into individual files so it’s easy to copy.

There is a useful 'Canva how-to' video here.

Getting set up: early Instagram tasks

  • Your chapter will need both to set up an Instagram and a Facebook account. Make them business accounts (Insta/Fbook guides) so you can track audience engagement and link the two accounts.
  • Instagram lets you have group chats with up to 32 accounts so we’ve got 2-3 group chats of the chapters for updates, content sharing, etc. Follow and DM the HQ account (@1fortheworld) and ask to be added to a group.
  • Set up a linktree account for your page - use this to create hyperlinks to content that you can share and track across multiple social media feeds
  • Your bio should include OFTW mission statement (see messaging below) and your AVI/photo should be the 'I give one %' circle image.
  • Set up your Instagram Highlights with the content in the Drive. Highlights are Instagram stories that stay pinned to your profile. Some sample highlight/categories are:
    • our pledgers (photos of people who’ve taken the pledge)
    • our charities
    • why 1%
    • what we do
  • You can start a new highlight by opening the Instagram app, going to your profile and clicking the "+ New" sign. However, any images you want to put in your Highlight need to be posted to your story for 24 hours in advance. You can then select them and add them to your Highlight.
  • Begin posting regularly to build out the account/grid
  • Follow people who likely go to your school. Do this by finding school specific accounts and going to the following/followers tab (ideally you'll have a few posts and the highlights before you do this!). This Chrome extension is a super nifty hack to follow all the followers of your exec board.
  • Have exec members regularly share posts from the account and urge their friends to follow the page.

Managing the page: responsibility and routine

  • According to all our best chapter leaders, their biggest piece of advice for a quality social media presence is to establish responsibility and routines
  • Responsibility: ideally, there is a member of exec whose primary focus is social media. Collaboration is great but specialization is likely preferable to a bunch of exec people managing the page and/or the social media tasks being split among different people
  • Routine: the exec. Team should work together to decide on some best practices for social media to ensure you capitalize on what social media offers. For example, decide that everytime you table, you are going to announce it on Instagram twice in the morning, then do a follow up post. Another routine: anytime someone pledges, you take a photo and post it to the grid. Third example: anytime someone pledges you follow them on Instagram. In my experience as a CL, tying these routines to a specific exec member (responsibility) is good practice.


  • I strongly recommend planning out your posts! Rather than winging it, take an hour and plan the next month’s content. Remember, you have a bunch of pre-made content for you!
  • Apps for scheduling posts:
    • Plann seems to have a decent free plan
    • Preview: Planner for Instagram also seems good
  • Post at least 2 times per week
  • Best times to post
    • Sunday: 10 AM – 2 PM
    • Monday/Tuesday: 9 AM – 5 PM (engagement peaks at 11 AM and 2 PM)
    • Wed/Thurs/Fri: 5 AM, 11 AM - 4PM
    • Saturday: AM - 11 AM

Pledge/Donor Engagement

When someone pledges:

  • GET A PHOTO OF THEM WITH THE 1% SIGN. Be mindful of background, lighting, and image quality.
  • Have them fill out the impact calculator, download it, save on their phone and then ideally post the image on their Instagram story and tag your account
  • Follow the person on instagram - or just have them follow the chapter account while they’re still at the table
  • A new pledge is a great (main grid/permanent) post. People are likely to pledge and get involved if they see their peers are doing it. At Vandy, the chapter leaders asked the person who just pledged to tell them in a few sentences why they took the pledge, and then paraphrase for a caption. Having that person reshare the post is also a huge plus. If they’re willing to post on their own feed, that’s even better.

Getting people involved through social media

  • Social media is a great way to engage people who are already down with the cause but ideally it can also be used to launchboard pitches and interested people reaching out. Try to incorporate ways and reasons for people to get in touch and express interest.
  • Examples: Use the Q/A function and say “reply to this if you want to learn more about our ambassador program;” have exec members post about OFTW and include a caption/tag “DM if you want to learn more!”
  • Calls to actions are vital. Examples: Join the fight! Get involved! Send this to two friends! Tag someone! Visit our website!


  • Create an Instagram-friendly flier. This usually is less wordy and more square than a flier you would print and hang up.
  • Use Facebook events. Great way to invite people, get the word out, and remind them of the upcoming event.
  • Post your flier on your Instagram account then see if other campus organizations will repost it to their members. At Vandy, the student government’s Instagram page had an option to submit events for their digital newsletter. When getting people to share your content, you always want it going back to your account, so make sure your handle is on the flier and ideally in the repost caption


  • It’s very easy to also post Instagram content to Facebook, so do that anytime you post to Instagram.
  • Facebook is more conducive to article-sharing and there is value in sharing interesting articles, so try to do this 1-2 times a month. Charity blog posts and current event articles work well.
  • Facebook makes it very easy to invite friends to like your page. At an exec meeting, take 5 minutes to have everyone there pull out their laptops and invite a ton of people to like the pledge.
  • Create a filter/frame for profile pictures when pledge week or a big event comes around

Topics for posts/content

  • Events: announcement, recap
  • Pledge week: announcement, progress update, recap, celebration
  • Exec member spotlights, announce recruitment (e.g. student ambassador training)
  • Effective giving information/messaging
  • Extreme poverty information/messaging
  • About OFTW
  • Pledge: appeals, photos of pledges
  • Charity information
  • Impact reporting/examples
  • Article feature
  • Quotes/ideas/thought experiments

In terms of design, try to favor image-heavy posts so that the account is compelling from the macro/grid user POV (although text-dominant posts can still be appealing - see Canva).

Be strategic when choosing a post topic/type/design, e.g. try to have a variety of topics covered, schedule three posts with a similar color palette.

Google Drive Media Hub

In the Drive, you will find:

  1. Social media content. This content is pre-made for Instagram. With some of the folders, the content can also work for Instagram highlight content. All of this was made in Canva.
  2. Charity photos. Pretty straightforward. The brand guide will cover best practices when using photos.
  3. Chapter Pics / Videos Here! These are upload folders. It’s very useful for HQ to have photos of chapters’ pledges, tabling, etc. Every 2 months, the social media manager should upload photos into their chapter’s folder (just create one for your school).

Sources of info/content

One way to gain traction on campus is to get a write-up in your school paper.