Social media allows you to directly connect with your customers, prospects and brand advocates about everything from offerings to challenges to groundbreaking advancements. The greatest asset that a brand can have is an engaged audience - but do you know how to use each social media channel to solidify and blossom these relationships? Use the best practices below to make the most of your social presence.
Platform-specific best practices for social media maintenance, engagement and measurement are available here:
Social media is all about transparency and connecting personally. Ensuring the information shared is accurate will help brand advocates find value in the community and help establish credibility.
- Think before posting.
- Proof and re-proof everything before it goes live to confirm that information is both grammatically and factually correct.
- Anything shared within social media, even within a closed network, is not private. If content is deleted or modified, older versions may continue to exist online. It can be archived by third parties and shared, stored and redistributed globally.
Since the shelf life of social media content is short, it is vital to continuously make updates. Social media requires diligent attention to remain engaging.
- Schedule time to check site(s) and post fresh content several times throughout the week.
- Be judicious about how often content is posted. Subject matter should be selected carefully.
- Search for and interact with conversations on social media that don’t necessarily address the unit’s page(s) directly.
- Social media accounts should be logged into a minimum of twice per day to monitor and interact where necessary.
Add Value, Not Volume
Listen to the conversation first, and then respond. Offer interesting, fun or insightful conversation that the audience cannot find anywhere else. Give people information they’ll want to share with their friends by creating dialogue and sharing content the audience will find relevant.
- Share or re-post content from other trusted sources to extend the reach of messages.
- Solve problems, answer questions and offer advice. Do the work for the audience, and address people’s concerns straightforwardly rather than directing them to another department on campus to find the answer.
- Craft different messaging for different social networks. While occasional cross-promotion is encouraged, do not post the same exact messages across different platforms. Posting the same content does not accommodate different audience’s tastes, nor does it incentivize people to follow the unit on multiple networks. All messages should be crafted keeping the network’s specific social media audience, language and character limits in mind.
- To avoid discrepancies and minimize the need for updates, social media platforms should not be used to post detailed policy or procedural information (i.e. program admission criteria). Rather, users should be directed to official University websites, electronic resources or publications for such information.
One of the greatest benefits of social media is the ability to share information almost instantly with a global audience. This audience expects this instant gratification.
- Be prepared to move quickly in response to new developments, announcements or emergencies with relevant information. A short amount of accurate information delivered right away will be more valuable than a full report delivered days, or even hours, later.
- It is recommended that the unit’s authorized administrator respond to all comments, concerns and inquiries within 24 hours. If unable to address inquiries immediately, the administrator should inform the requestor that the situation is being looked into and follow up with an accurate answer soon as possible.
Create an online community for advocates of Rowan University. It should be a place where students, faculty and others can interact with one another, ask questions, voice opinions and get pertinent information.
- Social media are public forums and should be treated in a manner that serves as an extension of the University’s customer service experience. Always treat audiences with respect.
- Disagreements and conflicts of interest will likely occur, but responses should always be polite and accommodating. Content should never be written in a manner that can be interpreted as combative, demeaning or otherwise negative.
- Generally speaking, content should not be posted unless it is suitable for all ages. Content should not be posted if it depicts a dangerous activity unless discussed with and approved by appropriate senior University administrators. A legal disclaimer may be required for such posts.
- Do not post content that shows (or may be perceived to show) an individual getting hurt, attacked or humiliated; that might be considered racist, bigoted or demeaning to a particular group of individuals; that depicts activity that is (or may be perceived to be) illegal; or that could otherwise show the University in a negative light.
Nobody wants to interact with a faceless corporation on social media.
- Don’t simply regurgitate traditional marketing messages – post with the main goal of igniting a conversation.
- Be personal and accessible. Infuse a human voice into posts so the audience feels as if they are talking to a real person – one to which the typical Rowan University ambassador can relate.