When considering the use of social media, start by evaluating your need and commitment to the endeavor. The beauty of platforms like blogs, Facebook and Twitter is how they allow you to directly engage audiences to share information and build a sense of community. Doing this with maximum impact takes time, dedication and resources. Weighing the benefits of using social media against a realistic estimate of the time and resources required to use it successfully is essential.
Planning Your SJSU Social Media Presence
Social media should support the larger goals of your department and serve as one of several tools you are using to reach those goals. It’s never too early (or too late) to begin laying out a plan for how you will use social media.
Taking the time to write down how social media will support overall goals will help keep your social media activity focused during the busy academic year, increase your department’s overall commitment to the endeavor and ensure a successful social media presence.
Learn how to Jump Start Your Social Media Strategy with our ever evolving presentation.
Start Small and Build from There
Excited to get started? Great! Just remember that social media can be time consuming and a lot of work. Starting a blog, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages all at once is not a good idea. Start with one platform, assess how well your group is able to maintain the channel, and then roll out the others over time. If you plan to start more than one social media channel, be prepared with a plan and have at least one or two months of content ready depending on the channel. Pace the work of your team by getting a good sense what it takes to maintain these channels one at a time, then expand your social media presence.
As you begin to form your plan, consider which platforms will help you reach your goals. There are numerous social media websites and they all have strengths and weaknesses. Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular along with their primary use.
- Facebook - Great source for building community and having conversations
- Twitter - Excellent tool for sharing a feed of news, information and events
- Instagram - Showcase beautiful images/graphics pertaining to the information you want to highlight
- YouTube - Makes sharing videos easy
- LinkedIn - Powerhouse for professional networking and community building
- Flickr - Showcases photos and can be integrated with Facebook
Exploring trends in social media is key, but when it comes to managing a presence on behalf of the university, it’s more important to use the tools most likely to help you achieve your goals than to attempt to have a presence on every channel.