Have a plan.
When considering using social media for your department or program, keep in mind that it should be one of several tools used toward achieving your departmental goals. Identify how social media can contribute to your department’s goals and then create a plan that will keep you consistently engaged in social media throughout the busy academic year.
Choose a coordinator.
Know who will be primarily responsible for coordinating your social media presence, and have the support of your department manager. Have someone in your department trained and granted access to backup your primary social media coordinator at all times. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Communications and Public Affairs to help you set up social media admin roles.
Start small and grow from there.
Creating a social media presence can be fun and exciting — it will also take time and dedication. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — taking on more than one social platform at once can be overwhelming. Start small: Begin with one platform, and evaluate how well your department is able to maintain that channel. Then, roll the others out over time. Building a foundation on one channel will make it easier for you launch the next one by providing a stock of content and an audience to grow from.
What platform should I use?
Use the social media tools that will help you reach your goals. Are you looking for a platform to engage with prospective or current students? Do you want to share department news and accomplishments with alumni? Does your department want to draw the public to events or activities? Your goals and your audience will help determine the best social platform to start with.
Facebook: An excellent platform to engage in conversation and build a community
Twitter: A fast-paced, news driven feed good for sharing information, news and events
Instagram: This highly visual social channel is popular with a younger audience
LinkedIn: The strength of this platform is its ability to engage alumni and professionals in networking and community building
If you are interested in information about another social media platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Communications and Public Affairs. We are pleased to be a resource for you.
Setup a Facebook page
Setup a Twitter account
Setup an Instagram account
Setup a LinkedIn group
Ready to Launch!
Now that you have a social media account in place, you are ready to post exciting, meaningful content and build your audience. Here are a few tips to help you launch and strategically cultivate your social media presence:
- Create a schedule for posting that reflects the best practice for your platform. Having a schedule in place will keep you on-track, especially during busy times.
- Post 3-5 times throughout the week on Facebook to reach your audience regularly without overwhelming them with content.
- Twitter is faster-paced. You can post daily or multiple times a day, but always be sure you are adding to the conversation and not just repeating the same message.
- Keep your Instagram photos and videos fresh and exciting, you can post a few times a week or daily. Think of this as a window into what’s going on in your department.
- If you are moderating a LinkedIn group, post information that will inspire a conversation and ask others to start conversations as well.
- Ask permission to tag others in your posts, and ask them to tag you.
- Post links that will drive readers back to your website for more information.
- Share posts from others that are relevant to your followers, and give credit to the original author — it’s a respectful way to acknowledge them and to cross-promote your common interests.
- Ask questions to encourage others to comment, share and like your posts.
- Monitor your posts daily and respond appropriately. Encourage conversations.
- Be a valued member of the social community within your field: Like and comment on pages and posts that are relevant to your department or program.
Once you have your built out your social media channel with content and you have a plan in place, invite students, alumni, friends, colleagues, and others to like or follow you. Include social media links in emails, other correspondence and on printed collateral.
Measuring your success.
Reporting on the progress of your social media efforts will help determine the value of your time spent in this area, and it can give you a sense for what works and what doesn’t. You will also be able to see how your social media presence is serving the Stanislaus State community and how you can improve.
Consider tracking some of the following measurements, and determine which ones can indicate if you have been successful in achieving your goals. Create a timeline to review your analytics regularly.
- Growth: How many new followers do you have? What is the rate of your growth? Do you see an increase or decrease in the overall number of likes, comments or views on you content?
- Timeliness: When is your audience most active? Did your posts perform better at certain times?
- Top-rated content: What did your followers like the most? What posts generated conversation? What content was shared the most?
- Key messages: Did your content share your department’s key messages and goals? How many times were those messages liked, clicked or shared?
- Key interactions: Was there an online interaction where the help that you provided to someone made a difference? Share those key interactions with screenshots or links to demonstrate how your work is helping the Stanislaus State community.
- Trends: Is there a certain topic that drives conversation on your page or feed? Does a certain subject consistently show a spike in questions or comments? Think about ways to tailor your content for these trends to best serve your audience.
- The big picture: What is the meaning behind your social media presence? Are you bringing about awareness or education? Measuring your analytics can help show people why having a social media presence is valuable.