Establishing a Social Media Presence for Your Department or Office

Is social media the right tool for you?

Like any communication tool, social media is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Before you get started, answer these three questions:

  1. What is your goal?
    1. Who do you want to reach and engage?
    2. What message do you want to convey?
    3. What action(s) do you want your audience to take?
  2. Is social media the best tool for accomplishing this goal?
    1. What other tools could accomplish the same goal?
    2. Why is social media a better option than any of those other tools?
  3. Do you have the time and resources to maintain an effective presence on social media?
    1. Do you have time to create content?
    2. Do you have the resources to monitor, engage with, and respond to social media activity?
    3. Do you have one person (not a student) who can own your social media presence?

If you would like some help talking through these questions, contact us.

What are the benefits of a social media presence?

  • Immediate
  • Interactive
  • Engaging
  • Viral
  • Two-way
  • Broad, disparate audience

What are the challenges of a social media presence?

  • It takes time.
    • Creating content
    • Curating content
    • Engaging with content
    • Monitoring activity
    • Responding to activity
    • Reporting and analyzing
  • It takes resources.
    • See above
  • A weak or inactive social media presence can be worse than no presence at all.

Social Media Tips

  • Start small: pick one place, probably either Facebook or Twitter, and see how it goes.
  • It’s not the field of dreams; if you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Promote your social media presence in your other communications.
  • It’s not about quotas; worry more about the quality of your content than the frequency.
  • Plan ahead: create a calendar to outline the following:
    • Types/series of content, e.g., student of the month, upcoming events, etc.
    • Who is responsible for creating/posting the content
    • Who is responsible for managing/enforcing the calendar
  • Get help from students, but …
  • … always check student work before it is posted, because …
  • … once you post something, you should assume that it will be out there forever.

If you have any questions about establishing or managing a social media presence for your office or department, contact us.