Another common misperception is that social media is free advertising or marketing. This is not true. While there are no costs to join and participate in many social media platforms, each department, division or unit must take in account the cost of time that is involved in maintaining and producing meaningful content.
In addition, it is very important to understand that social media is a two-way medium. It is about engaging in a conversation that provides helpful, useful and relevant information and content as an essential component of that conversation rather than just broadcasting information.
It’s not about you – it’s about your audience.
Social media outlets are a way for users to engage with other people and organizations to which they are connected. But those users only stay engaged if the conversations are related to their needs and wants. Know who your users are and pay attention to what they want to get out of being connected to your group. Don’t just assume they want the same things you want to give them.
Bigger may be better.
If your group is part of a bigger organization on campus, you may be better off folding your social media presence into that of the larger group. For instance, USC has 12,689 Facebook fans, while USC Safety & Emergency Preparedness has 229. If you only have a small following, that could be a sign that you don’t need your own specific social media presence.
Facebook is not always the answer.
It’s true that Facebook is the biggest piece of the social media puzzle. But there are many other media, and depending on your goals, some may work better than others. Talk with a web and new media staffer about what is best for you.
Who’s in charge?
Someone needs to operate your Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube channel. Define within your group who has the log-in, whether it’s one person or several, and who makes the call on what content will be posted.
Each social media account should have a social media manager. A social media manager is responsible for posting, monitoring and using content, and maintaining compliance with all of LMU policies and protocols.
Some key requirements to keep in mind regarding the responsibilities of a content manager:
- Social Media Managers must make sure content is timely and accurate. They must demonstrate that they have sufficient content to engage a community on a regular basis.
- They must have a clearly defined strategy that demonstrate knowledge of social media culture and etiquette.
- Social Media Managers must engage in communications that are acceptable in the LMU workplace and respect copyrights and disclosures.
- Social Media Managers must be responsible for gaining the expressed consent of all involved parties for the right to distribution or publication of recordings, photos, images, video, text, slideshow presentations, artwork and advertisements whether those rights are purchased or obtained without compensation.
- Social Media Managers must be responsible for constantly monitoring postings and comments to social media sites, and for deleting postings that do not adhere to LMU’s policies.
- What social media has over the institutional website is that it is interactive and generally less formal. Users can communicate with you, with each other, and in every possible direction. For that reason, it’s better to develop content that involves users, rather than just talking at them. Ask questions, take polls, offer activities, respond to inquiries—it’s all part of interacting with the community.
- Examples: Mediocre tweet: LMU Announces $50 Million Gift to Rename Science Building:http://newsroom.lmu.edu/building. Better tweet: We’re renaming the Science Building! If it was your decision, what would you name it? Best answer gets retweeted here.
- People use social media because it engages them. The content is either fun or crucially informative to their lives. So keep it fun and interesting!
Be a person
- Social media is about being social between people. Even if your posts are coming from an official LMU entity, the content is created by a person. Stay away from stiff or bureaucratic language, and remember your community wants to interact with people, not machines or offices. In doing that, be sure to remember that you are speaking as an LMU employee, so don’t say anything you wouldn’t readily stand by or say in your office.
Frequent, but not too frequent
- A key piece of engaging your community is posting regularly. If you only tweet five times a year, why would anyone follow you? Likewise, it’s overkill to post an event invitation followed by six reminder messages. Stay up-to-date, but don’t wear your users out.
Web Policies http://www.lmu.edu/about/services/wnmd/Policies/webpolicy.htm
Web Authors http://www.lmu.edu/resources/Copyright/tos.htm