Social media explained


  • Facebook: I like donuts - : ) feeling full
  • Instagram: Here’s a vintage photo of my donut
  • LinkedIn: My skills include eating donuts
  • Pinterest: The best donut recipe ever!
  • Snapchat: Eating a donut in less than 10 seconds
  • Twitter: I’m eating a #donut
  • YouTube: Watch me eat and enjoy a donut


  • Avatar: Image or username that represents a person online
  • Engage: Attracting a user’s attention and actively involving them in a conversation
  • Follower: A person who subscribes to your account in order to receive your updates
  • Handle: Term used to describe someone’s username
  • Hashtag: #Symbol used to categorize information and make it easily searchable for users
  • Mention: Instance in which a user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet or post to attribute a piece of content or start a discussion
  • Tag: Allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or update
  • Troll: A person who is known for creating controversy in an online setting


  • Facebook:
    • Current students
    • Recent alumni
    • Parents
    • Community
  • Twitter
    • Current students
    • Media
    • Key constituents
    • Faculty
    • Community
  • Instagram & Snapchat
    • Current students
    • Prospective students
    • Some of our highest engagement rates come from these platforms
  • YouTube
    • Primary channel used to house videos
    • YouTube is the second-largest search engine
  • Flickr
    • Primary channel used to house photos
  • LinkedIn
    • Alumni
    • Prospective students (and their parents)
    • Donors
    • Prospective faculty


  • Great way to promote and share the work you are doing
  • Student and faculty engagement
  • Community engagement
  • U.S. News & World Report peer ranking
  • Connection with donors, legislative officials and other key constituents
  • Journalists


  • Privacy
  • Time
  • No gatekeepers

Prepare a plan

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want to accomplish through social media?
  • How do you want your audience to respond?
  • Have you integrated social media into your larger communications plan?
  • Which social media platform is right for your department?
  • Do you have a plan of action for monitoring and moderating conversations on your social media page, positive or negative?

Get ready

  • Attend University-required accessibility training
  • Review your website content– is it up to date?
  • Reach out to the communications team
    • The team will help you understand policies, processes and best practices
    • They'll provide helpful tips and training, and help to monitor problems or glitches
  • Work with communications team to ensure:
    • Appropriate account administrators
    • Appropriate branding, including consistency in account name, profile and other account information
  • Connect new accounts to main accounts
    • Follow College, unit and department accounts
    • Mention them in profiles, about information, posts
  • Assign an individual(s) the duty of maintaining that unit’s respective social media presence
  • Develop content
    • All content should relate directly to College business, programs and/or services.
    • Content posted by administrators should not promote individual opinions or causes that are not directly related
      to College purposes.
  • Assign an individual(s) to track usage
    • Tracking is essential to determine success
    • Most platforms make tracking usage easy
      • An example is Facebook’s Insights feature
    • Establish a process to track usage, and use metrics to measure your success in achieving your goals

Go social

Step 1 | Listen

  • Choose your platform(s)
  • Follow areas of interest
    • Media
    • Industry thought leaders and hashtags
    • Sports teams
    • Celebrities

Step 2 | Establish a social media strategy and your social rules of engagement

  • What would your goals and objectives be for using social media?
  • Who is on your social team and how can/will they help?
  • How will you address issues, negativity, student communication, institutional politics, etc.?
  • Ask yourself: What am I hoping to achieve?

Step 3 | Decide on your social media approach

  • What model will you use for content creation?
  • What style/tone/voice will your social presence take?

Step 4 | “Put a ring on it”

  • Commit to managing your account and to active engagement
  • Don’t forget to put the social in social media
  • Don’t forget it’s a two-way conversation

Step 5 | Accessibility

  • Make your content as accessible as possible within each platform
  • Social media accessibility cheat sheet

Step 6 | Evaluate and Adapt

  • Regularly assess what’s working and what’s not
  • Adapt accordingly

Next steps

  • Social media isn’t for everyone. With openness comes risk.
  • Complete a cost-benefit analysis
  • Decide what you would be most comfortable with

Dos & Don'ts


  • Know what you want to do and pick platforms that highlight your goals
  • Create an identity and be consistent
  • Remember, you are/will be an “expert”
  • Choose 2-3 platforms and do them well
  • Mix professional and personal
  • Schedule content
  • Have fun and be you

Don't be afraid to

  • Take a break and refocus
  • Try out other platforms
  • Play with apps that complement a platform
  • Share the responsibility with others
  • Ask for help
  • Try something new and different
  • “Steal” ideas from other people
  • Boost a post
  • Thank or recognize others as needed (especially sponsors/donors)

What doesn't work

  • Taking on all platforms
  • Expecting others to think your work is as important as you do
  • Ignoring problems and/or comments
  • Trying to be nice and respectful to everyone
  • Trying to make everyone happy
  • Shared content posting responsibility can be tricky – have a plan

Challenges & troubleshooting

Challenges Troubleshooting
Staying consistent Hard to do, focus on quality over quantity
Figuring out how to do something in a platform Reach out to others online
Running out of content to post What are others who do similar work posting/sharing?
Having the ability to always post in real-time Do the best you can, wait until you get service or access rather than throwing something up
Glitches There will always be some glitches, expect them and roll with it