Six steps to become a facilities social media master

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.

Improve facilities social media

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.

Improve facilities social media

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.

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.

Students want their college to be on social media. See what other innovations tomorrow's students want, today.

It's more than Twitter accounts for campus departments: Prospective students increasingly consume media online and the key to reaching them is meeting them where they are. To figure that out, we contacted 6.3 million students. Download our findings.

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