This template should be used by individuals who want to create social media accounts that are associated with St. Lawrence University in any way, including departments, staff offices, clubs, organizations and sports teams.
1. Define your objectives. What do you want to accomplish with social media? What problem or issue could social media help solve? Make a list of your primary objectives/goals. For example, a common goal for departments is to increase attendance at events.
2. Define your audience. Who are you trying to reach? When you write down your target audience, deciding on content will be much easier. For instance, you may want to reach students, alumni, employees, community members, fans, or the general public. The more specific you can be, the better.
3. Plan your content strategy. Where will your content come from? Is it content that has been created within your department, content you’ll need to create, or is it from an outside source? What type of content will it be? (Photos, links, video, etc.)
4. Decide which social media platforms you’ll use. Identify the specific social media networks that will best feature your content while simultaneously engaging your target audience.
5. Commit staff resources to the effort. It is necessary to post on a consistent basis and monitor the comments. Administrative rights to the account should be granted to a minimum of two people. If student interns are assisting with the management of your social media accounts, make sure a faculty or staff member also has administrative rights. Remember, students graduate and leave campus! For additional information and training, please contact Meg Keniston, associate director of marketing, who can share resources and examples.
6. Monitor and moderate comments. Encouraging audience participation and interaction (comments, shares, responses, etc.) makes your presence more appealing and valuable, and it requires moderation. Members of your audience may share stories, positive feedback and some may ask questions that require a response. But not all audience action is positive. Some comments require a response that corrects wrong information being shared, while others may need to be left alone but documented and shared with other members of the campus community. Some comments may not be positive, but that doesn’t mean they should be removed. St. Lawrence only removes comments containing vulgarity, attacks on any individual or group, and spam.
7. Measure whether or not your efforts are successful. How do you know if your social media efforts are working? Each social network has its own reporting tools that measure that channel’s engagement, but you’ll want to decide what those numbers mean and which numbers matter for your department. Decide what you want to measure; these metrics should directly align with your defined objectives and goals (e.g., fan/follower count or engagement). You may also need to define other tangible measurements. For instance, if you are looking to increase attendance at events, you may want to include event attendance in your metrics.
8. Obtain departmental and University approval. Please secure the approval of your department or division head (chair of an academic department, vice president of a division) and notify University Communications (or Sports Information for athletic teams) before launching any social media account. For academic departments and administrative offices: Communications will provide you with a profile graphic to use that is aligned with St. Lawrence’s visual identity. Per the University’s Visual Identity Standards, do not modify logos.
University Communications: Meg Keniston; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports Information: Beth Spadaccini; email@example.com
9. Register your social media presence. Once your presence has been approved and you have notified University Communications, create and register the account so it can be added to St. Lawrence’s Social Media Directory.
These guidelines were adapted from Purdue University’s Social Media Strategy Template.