Before launching a social media presence, make sure your time will be well spent. Create a social media plan by writing out answers to the following questions:
✓ Responsible people
Who will be responsible for populating, maintaining, and monitoring your social media presence? Do they have skills and time? List the team members. Avoid relying only on students. A UO faculty or staff member must have administrative privileges to all accounts and is responsible for controlling permissions and security to the accounts.
✓ Goals and strategies
What do you hope to do? Launch a campaign, promote your department, communicate externally? Who is your audience? Alumni, members of the media, the campus community, donors? Define your goal and list promotion tactics; for example, “We will list our Facebook url on all print materials.”
✓ Defining and measuring success
What do you hope to gain? How will you know when you’ve achieved it? Do you want increased traffic to your website? More energetic give and take with prospective students? Do you want to reach out to new colleagues on campus or around the world? Define success, how you'll measure it, and the tools you need to measure it, such as Google Analytics.
Who do you want to come to your party? Targeting specific groups, like prospective students, English faculty members, or the class of ’95 will help you tailor your content and conversation. List your primary audiences. Do you have secondary ones, too? How will you reach out to them initially? Remember, simply setting up a Facebook page isn’t enough. You have to invite people there, and have a plan to keep them interested.
✓ Engagement and conversations
Nobody likes it when you talk constantly about yourself. It shows bad social skills. In social media, you need to be a good conversationalist. Sometimes small talk is more valuable than messaging. How will you engage informally with your audience? For example, the most active conversations on the UO’s Facebook page often center on topics like the best things to do on a sunny spring day. Pepper your presence with questions. It is, after all, social media.
✓ Before you talk, listen
What are people saying in similar spots? What are people saying about you? Who is talking? List who’s talking, about what, and where.
What content will you share? Is it news or engagement based? Images? Video? List the content you will be sharing via social media and the kinds of things you think are successful. Remember, it’s social, so it shouldn’t always be about you. Sometimes, it should be about your users. Will you solicit input from them? How will you foster the loyalty required to keep them interested?
Schedule regular evaluations of your effort’s success based on the plan you outlined by answering these questions. Set out your timeline. Be ready to recast your content and strategy. It’s okay to fail on some things. This is not a project. It’s an ongoing effort.