Social media provides platforms for departments and offices across campus to interact with the Volunteer community no matter where they are.
As social media has become an increasingly central part of people’s lives, users are able to get information from trusted sources in ways that weren’t possible before. For a university, that means new opportunities to share and new challenges in ensuring that the messages we communicate are not only heard, but acted on as well.
The heart of social media, and what makes it “social,” is the two-way communication, interaction, and sharing of information that takes place between users.
Social media is not about talking at people, it’s about talking with people. Before creating social media accounts for your department or unit, there are a few questions your office should address:
- Which social platform(s) are you interested in joining and why?
- Are there communication needs that aren’t currently being addressed by the office’s website, newsletter, or other properties?
- Does the office have the resources to maintain a social presence (i.e. someone who can write/create/curate content on a regular basis, answer questions, etc.)?
Top 10 Social Tips
The points below will help guide you as you navigate managing your unit’s official social media accounts.
- Take care of your social media audience the way you would take care of Smokey. Lots of attention; feed regularly.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread.
- Social media can be a fun way to interact with your followers. This does not make it any less a professional avenue of communication.
- Social media accounts managed by campus units represent the unit and the university. They should not be used to express the ideas or opinions of individual staff or faculty members.
- Social media is not an 8 to 5 job, but you should give yourself a curfew—with the exception of emergency situations, if this applies to your office.
- Follow other UT accounts and rely on our campus’s social community for help.
- Know your audience across your platforms. Your Facebook users will differ from your Instagram users.
- Include photos or other media whenever possible. These posts will have more engagement.
- Make the most of your Twitter interactions by adding a character before the @ symbol. Think of this as a reply all, as more of your followers will see them. You also can quote tweets if you want to add a comment when retweeting.
- Tag other UT accounts in your tweets and Instagram and Facebook posts if you think the content may be relative to them or their followers. On Twitter, you can tag other users in photos without using up additional characters.
Social Media Platform Logos
You should always use the most up-to-date branding elements provided by social media companies when you promote your accounts.
Follow the branding guidelines linked to below for each social platform you maintain accounts with.
NOTE: If your site’s WordPress installation is hosted through the Office of Communications and Marketing and you use the “UT Social Media Widget,” the social media logos on your site will be automatically updated any time there is an update.