Social media strategy
One of the most important things to consider before jumping head first into the social media world is to consider your social media strategy. Just because "everyone is on Facebook and Twitter" doesn’t mean you should be too. Your strategy should not be created in a silo; it should be created in tandem with your overall marketing and communications strategy.
To help you get stated, below is a list of questions you should ask yourself:
What are your objectives?
What do you plan to achieve with social media? Objectives should link back to University or office/department goals, such as:
- Recruit students
- Increase customer service (decrease customer service costs)
- Decrease marketing costs
- Increase attendance at events
- Increase sales (if you're a revenue-generating office)
- Gather/improve competative intelligence
- Improve product/service research and/or development
Other social media specific objectives to consider include:
- Increase positive brand sentiment / decrease negative brand sentiment
- Improve brand monitoring/management
- Generate and increase social engagement
- Increase share of voice
- Increase share of conversation
Who’s your target audience?
Who are you trying to reach? What is your target audience's approximate size? Which social communities are they part of? In a university setting, target audiences can be made up of:
- prospective students
- current students
- graduate students
- international students
- faculty and staff
- public officials
What is your management plan?
Creating these accounts requires maintaining them with consistent posting of newsworthy and relevant content and monitoring for feedback and inquiries. Inactivity may cause negative perception of the University. Reports have suggested that for excellent engagement, you must post new content to Facebook every two to three days. Twitter requires several tweets per DAY. Variety is also important. How many hours per week do you plan to dedicate to planning, managing, monitoring and engaging in social media?
What type of content will you share?
What sort of content will you be sharing? Will your content be relevant to members of your new community or to the Brock University audience at large? Creating and using an editorial calendar will help you plan and vary content.
For other content ideas, see social media posting best practices.
What platforms will you use?
Which platform(s) will serve your audience and goals best? For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Does an account already exist?
Does an existing account already cover the distribution of this information? will you be creating a redunancy? Or can you work with other Brock University social media accounts to get your message across instead of creating a new account?
What is your personal experience?
What is your personal experience with the social media property you'd like to propose to use for your unit? It's recommended that you should become comfortable with social media properties on a personal level before managing one for an organization.
Who will administer these accounts?
Who will create and maintain your social media site(s) on a regular basis? Who will be the main administrator of this account? Who will be the secondary administrator in case of illness, vacation, crisis or lost passwords?
It is recommended that all institutional pages have at least two employees identified as being responsible for the management of the account and that one of these employees be full-time, permanent.
What is your proposed page name and account username?
All new accounts should contain "Brock University" or "BrockU" in its name unless otherwise discussed with the social media co-ordinator.
When and how will you evaluate the success of your site?
Social media is more that just the number of followers you have. It’s about engagement and meeting your objectives. How will you measure if your page is successful?