Digital Marketing Overview

As a part of Marketing and Communications at the Central Office, the Digital Marketing team ensures the digital presence of CUNY is set up for success. This means setting up the infrastructure for digital operations and providing guidance to social media managers across the university system.

This post is designed to help managers of a CUNY-focused account to get started on social media. The information below is designed to help you with your overall social media strategy.

Should you have any questions, please email


There are almost 300 social media accounts associated with CUNY with an audience of roughly 2.6 million. Our goal is to ensure our messages reach the proper audience segments in a timely manner so that they engage with us over digital. There are about 50 active members of the social media roundtable and two people at the Central Office dedicated to their success.

Below are best practices for social media and things to consider when managing a CUNY-focused digital account.

Best Practices

Does your department need a social media account?

To maximize reach and engagement, social media requires consistency and attentiveness. Ask yourself the following questions before deciding to start a new account for your department:

  • What is the purpose of the account? Identifying your purpose is important to figuring out your audience, developing your digital strategy and establishing performance metrics.
  • Who will manage this account? Social media is a social effort. It requires consistency, planning and monitoring. Without the proper support, you drastically reduce your likelihood for success. Identify the individuals who will manage the account on behalf of your department.
  • Where else could this message live? Maybe you don’t need to launch your own account. Keeping consistency in mind, your message might be better suited on an existing CUNY account.
  • Dormant social media accounts reflect poorly on CUNY. You must consider the responsibilities and time commitment that comes with running a successful account before launching one for your department.

Naming conventions

To maintain a consistent presence on social media it is ideal for colleges and programs to follow the naming conventions for each of their social media platforms.

In the case of CUNY central outlets

  • Twitter @CUNY, Facebook & Instagram @CUNYedu

Colleges should aim to have their full name in the handle and @CUNY somewhere in the bio. Think about how the tweet reads with your handle in the mix.

Examples: @BaruchCollege @GuttmanCC @HostosCollege @Hunter_College @JohnJayCollege @LaGuardiaCC @LehmanCollege @MacaulayHonors @CityCollegeNY

Ideal example: ‘A Forty Year Retrospective of Courtroom Art’ exhibition on public display at John Jay College

Should be: .@Queens-College Professor @ZivaBF discusses the digital transformation of book publishing and her new book, ‘War Widow’

Departments and programs should aim to have “CUNY” at the front of their handle considering how the tweet reads with your handle in the mix.

Examples: @cunyASAP @CUNYCitizenship @CUNYAC @CUNYServes @CUNYRegistrar


The City University of New York provides a vehicle of upward mobility for the disadvantaged through an integrated system of higher education. CUNY is one of the most accessible, affordable and respected universities in the country. Because of this, our digital presence is focused on connecting, supporting and celebrating CUNY stakeholders in their respective segments.

Accounts representing CUNY entities and programs need to be:

AUTHENTIC Make sure the information or comment you are sharing is in line with the audience and tone of your CUNY entity.

ENGAGING Would you, personally, interact with this post? Think about the call to action.

TIMELY Is this something worth sharing considering the relevant topics of the day?


If you are a CUNY affiliated individual running your personal account:

Note your affiliation with CUNY and set a goal on how you’ll be posting about CUNY. This can even be outlined in your bio.

Persona Examples:

Chancellor – Focused on twitter and sharing information from the perspective of day-in-the-life and general, timely information.

Senior Leadership: Vice Chancellors, School Presidents, Provosts, etc. – Generally focused on sharing posts from the main CUNY accounts or their respective college accounts.

Staff & Faculty – General posts about their department and CUNY as a whole.

Students – General posts about their experience at CUNY.

Active Outlets

Focus on quality over quantity. Consider the message you’re trying to deliver and the best medium for it. It is better to focus on one outlet and be consistent than to have multiple outlets that are not updated regularly.

CUNY Startups is a great example of this. They only focus on Facebook because that is where the majority of their stakeholders engage.

Central Office active outlets

  1. Twitter (
  2. Facebook (
  3. Instagram (

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