Social Media Strategy Template

Every social media account that is associated with St. Lawrence University in any way has an impact on the University's brand. Academic and administrative departments interested in creating or reimagining social media accounts should reach out to Olivia White, Associate Director of Marketing and Content Strategy, at least four weeks before a planned launch to discuss plans and to submit their responses to the below Social Media Template.

It is highly recommended that student clubs/organizations and sports teams also use the template when developing their presence. 

1. Define your goals and objectives. 

Social media is just one communications tool that can help you accomplish your goals. What are those goals and how do you envision social media helping you accomplish them? What problem or issue could social media play a role in solving? 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 how you will approach your content. 

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.)

Please submit an outline of a content plan for the first 30 days the account is planning to be active when you submit the template. This should include the date you plan to share the content and a brief description of what that content will be.

4. Decide which social media platforms you’ll use. 

Identify the specific social media network or networks that will best feature your content while simultaneously engaging your target audience(s). 

5. Commit staff resources to the effort. 

It is necessary to post on a consistent basis and monitor the comments, inboxes, etc. 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 Olivia White, Associate Director of Marketing and Content Strategy, who can share resources and examples.

6. Monitor and moderate comments. 

Encouraging audience participation and interaction (comments, shares, responses, etc.) makes your presence more engaging and valuable to your target audience, 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.

These guidelines were adapted from Purdue University’s Social Media Strategy Template.

Last Updated: February 2023