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 communications strategy. Before you create a social media account, please schedule a consultation and consider these important questions and tips.
What is your strategy?
Identify the purpose of the social media page you are developing. Who will be your audience? Just as you would for other communication channels, identify and prioritize your social audiences. Before you launch a new page, and even if you've already established one, ask yourself these strategic questions:
- What do you hope to achieve through your social media page(s)?
- What social media platforms will best reach your audience and help achieve your goals most effectively?
- What types of content will you share and how often?
- Do you have the necessary resources and bandwidth to manage your social media platform(s)?
- Are other related entities doing something similar?
- Do you need multiple channels? Would fewer, stronger channels have more impact?
What are your goals?
What exactly are your trying to accomplish with your social media page? Do you want to create awareness? Host a campaign? Connect with alumni? Create a community for fans? Promote your entity?
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. Goals for your social media account(s) should be S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Relevant and Trackable. Clearly define your goals and develop a social content strategy that supports these objectives.
How will you measure outcomes?
Strategic social communications and marketing plans should always include an assessment component. Develop a set of measurements, select an analytics tool and follow and assessment schedule. Plan to analyze your results, identify trends and apply lessons learned to your communications strategy.
Who will manage your account?
Fresh content is imperative in order to thrive in social media communities. 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 media administrator must be attentive to their community.
Identify a primary social media administrator and at least one back-up administrator as well. Agree to a monitoring and on-call schedule. Work with Human Resources to ensure that after-hours social responsibility is handled appropriately.
How will you handle a social crisis?
It's inevitable: someone will post something negative on your social media page. Or, you may have to communicate bad news through social media. If you have questions – particularly about employee relations, student relations or legal matters – contact the Division of Communications & Marketing 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.
How will you communicate the DU brand?
All University of Denver social media accounts must follow brand guidelines for use of colors, logos and other visual assets. Your social media account will 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.
Don’t have all the answers?
We're here to help. Email Nik Scott to schedule a consultation.