Although social media is a fun space to work in, embarking on social communication on behalf of the University should be part of a comprehensive communication strategy.
Before you create a social account for your DU school, college, program, department or club, you should consider these important questions (also available as a PDF).
Who is your audience?
Just as you would for other communication channels, identify and prioritize your social audiences.
Understand how they consume information, and use social tools as one facet of a targeted, integrated communications and marketing strategy that reaches across multiple communication platforms.
The Division of Marketing & Communications can give you audience profiles that will help you determine the most effective way to reach your target.
What are your communication goals?
Social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it's best used as an audience engagement tool rather than a broadcast medium. Clearly articulate your goals and develop a social content strategy that supports those objectives.
The Division of Marketing & Communications can help you develop a comprehensive integrated communications plan that meets those goals.
How will you measure outcomes?
Strategic communications and marketing plans should always include an assessment component. Develop a set of measurements, select an analytics tool, and follow an assessment schedule. Plan to analyze your results and apply lessons learned to your communications strategy.
The Division of Marketing & Communications can help you understand and apply analytics tools and methodology.
Who will manage your account?
Someone must be responsible for monitoring, moderating and managing your account seven days a week, 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays. Social media never rests, and a social manager must be attentive to their community.
You should identify a primary social manager and a back-up manager as well, and agree to a monitoring and on-call schedule. Work with Human Resources to ensure that after-hours social responsibility is handled appropriately, and follow the Human Resources policy for social media use.
The Division of Marketing & Communications can train you in community management best practice.
How will you handle a social crisis?
It's inevitable: Someone will post something negative on your social account. Or, you may have to communicate bad news through social channels. Know and follow the University's social media guidelines and policy> But if you have questions—particularly about employee-relations, student-relations or legal matters—contact the Division of Marketing & Communications or Human Resources for advice.
In the event of an emergency, contact Campus Safety at 303-871-2139; they will implement the University's crisis plan.
The Division of Marketing & Communications can provide you with media relations and crisis communication guidelines and training.
How will you communicate the brand?
University of Denver social accounts must follow brand guidelines for use of colors, logos and other assets. Social accounts communicate the brand in a number of other ways as well, from the voice and tone of your posts to your moderation approach, your response time and the content you share. Know and follow the University’s brand guidelines.
The Division of Marketing & Communications can advise you on visually branding your site as well as developing the brand-appropriate voice, tone and messaging.
Don’t have all the answers?
We're here to help. Email Theresa Mueller to schedule a consultation.