Social Media Best Practices

Once you have worked with your Social Media Coordinator to start your official page or account, use these resources to help take your social media outreach to the next level.

We'll be adding more topics over time, so be sure to check back often. If there is a specific topic you'd like to see covered here, please send feedback. If you have questions, please get in touch with your Social Media Coordinator.

Creating Content and Writing for Social Media

National Wildlife Refuge System Guide (PDF)

Social Media Troubleshooting Guide (PDF)

Improving the Accessibility of Social Media -

The complete guide to Twitter lingo - Mashable

The New Facebook Insights - Social Media Examiner

Monthly Content Tips:

Additional topics coming soon:

Keeping your audience engaged

  • How often to post
  • Keep it simple (short, easy to read)
  • Examples of successful posts
  • Identifying content your audience is interested in
  • Identifying times and days that are good for posting

How to develop and stick to a solid social media plan

  • Field driven goals
  • Thinking year round
  • Admins and back ups


  • What are they?
  • When and how to use them

Dos & don'ts for growing your social media following

  • Do: Coordinate with partners and other pages
  • Don't: Post asking people to share / invite people

How and why to properly share a post

  • Overall benefits
  • Best practices and how to
  • What shouldn't we share?
    • Don't share politics, business promotions
    • Go with your gut, pay attention to all details tied to the content

Photos & Multimedia

What is considered a USFWS photo?

A Service employee does not own the rights to an image, video or audio recording created under any of the following conditions.

  • It was created as part of official or collateral duties.
  • It was created during work hours.
  • It was created using government equipment or supplies.
  • It was created on Service property in a location not normally open or accessible to the general public.
  • It was created under circumstances made available to the employee due to her/his employment with the Service, even if it was done on personal time.
  • To learn more, read the directive (PDF)

USFWS Graphic Standards Guidelines

How to take a good photo - wikiHow

Photo Releases

Photo Credits

  • Write as: Photographer Name/USFWS
  • Benefits of credits
    • Motivate people to take better photos
    • Make a human connection

Video Resources

Video and Photography Training

Additional topics coming soon:

Using music in multimedia

  • What can we use?
  • Creative Commons
  • Tips for searching

Training from NCTC

Social Media, Facebook, and Twitter for FWS Employees Courses (PDF)

Watch Recorded Sessions from the Digital Communications in Conservation Workshop
(April 9 - 11, 2013)
*For employees only: visit the internal website

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guidance for Employees

Hatch Act guidance

Additional topics coming soon:

Facebook privacy settings for employees

  • The line between professional and personal
  • Connecting with the community without giving up privacy
Last updated: June 23, 2016