Have respect for all online community members engaging with your content. Never engage in an argument via a University-related social media account. Everything posted is a direct reflection of UA.
What is your audience posting? This could help determine some content you can share that your audience will find of interest. Not only should you listen to your audience, but you should also seek out the conversations people are having about you in order to stay informed. In staying informed within the social-scape, it’s important to check out what your peers and competitors are doing. Find out what makes them successful in their online presence – you may discover something useful you can apply to your own account.
There is no magic formula for post frequency – but in time, you’ll find what works for you. Being active on social media is key, from posting to engaging with your audience, so monitoring on a regular basis is important. The Strat Comm social team recommends posting at least several times a week. This not only makes sure your audience has access to important information you want them to know, but it also lets them know you’re there and ready to help if they have questions.
Timeliness is important! Having a social media presence gives you the ability to instantly communicate with your audience, so be proactive. By sharing information on current happenings or emergencies, you’ll build trust and respect among your audience.
Separate personal from professional
It’s important to remember – most of the time the content you may share on your personal social accounts is not the best content to share on a departmental account. Make sure to be appropriate at all times, from comments made to GIFs shared to posts retweeted.
Engage with your audience
Make sure your audience knows you’re there. This can be done with something as simple as “liking” their comment. The Strat Comm social team checks every notification and strives to respond to/engage with our audience as soon as possible. While this may not be feasible for you to do, we recommend engaging within 24 hours of the initial comment.
You can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to social media! Some platforms allow scheduling of content, but it’s always important to go back and engage once your content has been posted. In terms of deleting comments – Strat Comm takes these situations on a case-by-case basis, and typically hides over deleting on platforms where that option is available. The social team has created Community Standards, which outline the specific types of comments or posts that warrant deletion on our social accounts. We highly recommend becoming familiar with our Etiquette Guidelines and Social Media Decision Tree when it comes to monitoring and responding to comments. Remember: Not all comments will be positive in nature. Just because they have a negative tone, it doesn’t warrant deletion. When managing social media, it’s important to respond to negative comments in an appropriate manner. That may mean you have to leave them be, or if applicable, respond in a way to positively change the perception of that audience member.
Link to Community Standards: https://stratcomm.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2019/11/UA_Community_Standards_2019.pdf
Represent the University well
Remember – everything you do online can and will live forever! Always proofread and take a moment to think before you post. It’s important to make sure you’re sending the right message in an appropriate manner.
Strategic Communications recommends that major University announcements not be leaked through social media. This includes situations where the University is waiting to officially release information to the public and/or members of the press. Use caution before posting “breaking news” to your University-driven social media accounts or speculating on big announcements that do not have details included in official University correspondence.
During the case of an emergency on campus, we encourage the campus community to update their followers by retweeting the @UA_Safety account on Twitter. This tactic will:
- ensure one consistent voice is providing the official message
- limit the spread of misinformation in such situations
- help establish awareness of the @UA_Safety account