Is your college, department, program, or organization interested in having a social media presence on behalf of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette? Are you ready to lead a discussion online? Read through the information in this social media start-up kit and then fill out the social media request form.
The Office of Communications and Marketing is here to support your social media efforts and steward the overall online presence of the University. We have provided the following tools and resources to help you begin and maintain a university-related social media account.
There’s a science and a strategy to engaging audiences through social media. Accounts should be active environments of two-way communication that reflect the university’s spirit, quality, and brand.
Before you create a new account on every social media platform, think about these questions:
- What do you want to accomplish with your social media account?
- Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter require daily maintenance and steady engagement with others. These type of accounts should only be created if you have a conversation to begin and the desire and means with which to maintain them on a near-daily basis.
- If you are trying to promote an event, start a discussion that has a limited lifespan, or share information about your college, department, etc. to a mostly internal audience, then posting information on a website or in a departmental email or newsletter is a better choice.
- You can always send news and announcements to the Office of Communications and Marketing via email at email@example.com and we will gladly post your information on the university’s official accounts if appropriate. You can also contact the University social media strategist Amy Windsor if you have questions about your account or strategy and she can provide you with the support you need.
Who are you trying to engage online?
Did you know that over 75% of internet users use social media or that Facebook accounts for one out of every five page views in the United States?Do you find it surprising that a higher percentage of women than men use social media? Or that Twitter has the largest division of users with a secondary education?
Each platform serves a different purpose too. Facebook is for building communities, while Twitter is for short, quick exchanges of information. Snapchat is for connecting with your followers through light-hearted photos and quick videos, while Pinterest is for inspiring them.
To have an effective social media presence you have to know who your target audience is—which determines which platforms will best help you meet your goals. If you are unsure which platform or combination of platforms you should use, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is your message?
Before you answer, stop and think for a moment. This is a trick question. Social media is about making connections and engaging in conversation with others, not pushing a message. To be a good participant, you must first be a good listener. Your online community will tell you what they want to hear from you.
Are you up for the challenge?
Social media takes time, strategy, and an outgoing personality. If you have been described as a people-person or enjoy making connections and providing helpful information, you probably have what it takes. In any case, you will need to have some personal or professional experience with social media before hosting an account on behalf of UL Lafayette.