As facilities departments build out more formal communication channels with campus stakeholders, they are increasingly using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This trend has led to questions around how to effectively leverage these channels, including what information to share and who can post. To support efforts to strategically deploy social media posts, EAB offers a six-step process to establish a social media policy.
Step 1: Outline policy goals
First, identify your goal in establishing or building a social media presence. This will help the communications director and facilities leaders determine which information to share. It will also help determine what sort of audience and followers the accounts may accumulate. The chart below maps sample institutional priorities to social media goals.
Step 2: Choose channels to monitor and post
Determine which social media channels to monitor and post on. Institutions may not have the resources to have multiple social media accounts, so it’s important to strategically align which platform you use with previously identified goals.
When monitoring social media, communication directors should aim to gauge the campus mood about facilities-related activities and to look for time-sensitive notifications such as utility outages, active threats/lockdowns, and unexpected construction impacts. The bandwidth of the communications director to create and share content is a major consideration when determining which channels to actively post on.
Step 3: Allocate posting permissions and responsibilities
Identify which staff members in the facilities department are responsible for posting. Regardless of the content or designated poster, institutions should ensure professionalism by emphasizing style rules, format, content rules, and a proofreading process.
Below is an example from the University of British Columbia Twitter page. It is well-branded and has a tweet pinned to the top that emphasizes the purpose of this social media platform.
Step 4: Create a process for handling feedback
Establish a protocol for responding to social media feedback or comments. A work-study student or intern can sift through tweets or comments and when a response is required, flag those for the communications director or appropriate staff member. Generally, replying to comments via the method the comment was received is appropriate.
Key social media metrics: Download our communication toolkit for social media tips
Step 5: Determine how to measure social media effectiveness
Choose metrics to track success and set realistic targets. Social media analytics typically track how many people have viewed your content and how many people have engaged with it (retweeting, liking, sharing, etc.).
Step 6: Codify the completed social media policy
Lastly, put your new social media policy in writing. Save a copy in an accessible place for current and future staff to reference and create consistency in your facilities social media brand.
Craft a social media policy
Get the full communication toolkit and see our Guide to Crafting a Social Media Policy.