Social Media at ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥
All official social media pages are listed in our Social Media Directory. For institutional, departmental and recreational use, all ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ Southern University affiliated pages must comply with the following application steps.
Social Media Policy
Social media is a great way to connect with current and prospective students, alumni, parents and community members. It is an essential tool to drive engagement and encourage involvement.
ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ students and employees should be prepared to maintain ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ Southern University-branded social media accounts as one would with a department web page. Before deciding if a separate social media presence for oneâ€™s program or department is necessary, think about possible content and goals. If content will be limited (i.e., one-time event, biweekly post), then consider asking the administrators of existing accounts to post information instead. Review ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥’s Social Media Best Practices for further guidance.
For the purpose of the following policies, social media refers to, but is not limited to blogs (web-based journals) and microblogs (e.g., Tumblr), collaborative websites (e.g., Wikipedia, etc.), message boards, social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), podcasts (multimedia distributed over the internet), video sharing (e.g., YouTube) and photo sharing (e.g., Instagram).
Keep in mind:
- Any account associated with ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ must register with the Office of Marketing & Communication and comply with all policies or face closure.
- All social media posts contribute to the university’s brand and image.
- Administrators should ask themselves if posts convey a message that is consistent with the university’s mission, vision and Biblical core values.
Social Media Best Practices
Having a well-planned social media strategy is essential before setting up a personal, professional or institutional account. The following information provided by ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥â€™s Office of Marketing and Communication will help you identify your communication goals and map out a strong strategy to launch, grow and sustain engagement on your channels. Before you use social media, consider these three things: permanence, personal responsibility and public forum.
- Use our Hashtags
- Build Community
- Determine your intended audience and identify your community.
- Which communities would you like to engage and communicate with?
- Does your digital community already exist? If so, how can you leverage it?Â
- Asking these questions will help you create aÂ content strategy and identifyÂ which social media channels to use.
- Consider that prospective students use very differentÂ platforms than older alumni, for example. If there are influencers and thought leadersÂ within your department thatÂ have aÂ social mediaÂ following, collaborate with them toÂ activate and include their existing audience.
- Set Goals
- Define your goals and objectives in the beginning so you are able to measure results and refine your content strategy.
- Why do you want to start anÂ account?
- Do you want to increase access to students, faculty, staff and coaches?Â
- SparkÂ digital engagement with a specific community?Â
- Solicit user-generated content?
- Determine your goals,Â write them down and seek feedback from your team.
- Platforms and channels evolve fast and frequently,Â so it is important to map out your goals before you choose a platform.
- Social media allows you toÂ deliverÂ tailoredÂ messages to hypertargetedÂ audiences, so different channels often have different goals.
- Allocate Time & Resources
- For optimal engagement, it’s advised that administrators post at least twice a week.ÌýPosting rarely and inconsistently could lead to probation and removal of your ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥-related social media account(s).
- If you are using more than one platform, define a purpose for each.
- Each platform is unique, so post accordingly.
- Do notÂ start anÂ account unless you have the dedicated time and resources to maintain a consistentÂ content strategy.
- A lot of campaigns fail because there is a lack of commitment to the channel.
- Plan ahead!
- Also realize that social media channels are tools that will help you achieve communication goals, but mayÂ not always be the bestÂ option for every project or goal.
- A lot of successful pages use a content calendar to plan out what posts need to be posted when. Maintain consistent image and voice when having multiple page administrators.
- Conduct Research
- Research similar accounts within your niche for ideas and best practices.
- Create a competitive landscape of your peersÂ and conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)Â analysis.
- What do you see working?
- What could you adopt, apply and augment for your own content and community?
- What do you see thatÂ isn’t performing as well?
- Think outside of the higher education community for opportunities.
- Some of the best ideas and campaigns come from unexpected places.
- Explore communities that have similarÂ goals and see what’s working well for them.
- Drive Engagement
- Become an early adopter and be an active user of the platform.
- Respond as necessary to inbound questions and comments.
- Remember that social media is a two-way street. Engage in conversation with your audience.
- Each channel has its own unique set ofÂ functionalities and requires rethinking traditional engagementÂ fromÂ static websites.
- Timeliness and consistent engagement is expected. Engagement oftenÂ requires collaboration across teams.
- Share information across departmentsÂ and work closelyÂ with your colleaguesÂ on how to best respond to comments,Â engage, and promote content.
- Check your hashtag! Ensure it is not only relevant, but also read it to be sure it cannot be misconstrued for another phrase/meaning.
- Measure Results
- Determine what success means to you and your team.
- YourÂ success metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) should be defined when you map out goals.
- Page Views are no longer the only metric that matters.
- Look at Comments, Video Views, Likes, Shares, Reactions, and content submissions.
- Social media channels are increasingly the primary communication channel for your community and contain a wealth of data.
- Are you delivering and tailoring the right messages on these channels?
- Use all available data, insights and metrics within each platformÂ to measure and quantify engagement.
- Not sure how to respond?
Check out our helpful Social Media Response Chart here.
- Additional Resources
Social Media Application
Applicants must read all information provided on this page before going forward. Applicants need to make sure that all policies and best practices are understood for both social media administrators. If you have any questions, please reach out to the digital content specialist by email.