Do I Need Social Media?
Want to build a presence on social media? Or strengthen your current presence? It’s time to strategize!
Do you need a Facebook page?
The first step is to ask yourself why you want to establish a social media presence for your department, office, club or organization. What are your goals? Do you require an independent social media outlet or could your goals be met through use of existing social media pages? It is possible that your communication needs could be met through the established, official Washington College social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These pages have established audiences. It is important to remember that building an audience takes work and planning—and time.
What’s Your Plan?
If you’ve determined that you’d like to develop and maintain your own social media presence as a representative of Washington College, the next step is to figure out the process. Ask yourself and your colleagues:
- What will you post?
- How often will you post?
- Who will maintain, monitor and update the site?
- How will you maintain the enthusiasm you have at the beginning of the process?
Think about social media in the long term. Maybe you would like a Facebook page for your organization to connect with students and alumni, generate interest and keep followers up-to-date. You want your page to seem exciting and vibrant. But what impression will visitors have if they go to your page and see that it hasn’t been updated in months? Your organization might be busy and full of interesting endeavors, but if your Facebook page doesn’t show any energy or activity, visitors might perceive the unit as dull, out of touch or even unprofessional. Once you have committed to developing a social media presence, you must also commit to developing relevant content.
Post Photos and Drive Them to Your Website
A few lines of text—no matter how carefully crafted—may be overlooked. Overwhelmingly, photos get the most response. Show, don’t tell.
Your main web presence should exist in your section of our .edu website. Some photo galleries are fine on sites like Facebook, but we encourage you to develop photo galleries and photo essays that can be shared with other groups through our CMS. One way to use both outlets is to have a teaser gallery on Facebook that drives the audience back to the .edu website. Pointing your social media audience to the website also ensures that they can easily find more information about your program.
Verbosity has no place in social media. If you’re accustomed to academic writing, understand that communicating through social media is dramatically different. To be effective in social media, one must embrace the “social” aspect of it. Have a conversation!
Check out Our Guidelines
Our guidelines have the specifics of setting up an account, naming conventions, general content guidelines and more.
Stay Tuned for Sessions
Throughout the year, members of the Social Media Users Group hope to have sessions where we can chat about what is new in social media and provide tips and tricks to those using social media on campus.