Social Media Best Practices
I. Establish a point person in your department who will manage your social media accounts. This does not have to be a fulltime marketing position. It could be an administrative assistant or other personnel. This person is not responsible for all posting, but is considered the “primary” on your accounts. If the social media platform has to be tied to a cellphone number, this person is the one who’s number is tied to the account.
II. Have at least one backup staff member with the ability to log into the accounts even if your primary social media manager does most or all of the posting. Do NOT have only one person with access. Staff change over time and you could end up locked out of your departmental account.
III. Be judicious in allowing student staff to manage departmental social media accounts. Having students participate can bring a nice voice to the content, but a lack of oversight can lead to being locked out of accounts and/or inappropriate content.
IV. Change your password often. An excellent rule of thumb would be once a semester, but at least once per academic year.
V. Use all of the security tools built into each platform to safeguard your accounts. These will often include two factor authentication and other settings to keep your account secure. Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram have a “Security/Privacy Checkup” feature. Use them.
VI. Set the email of the account to a department email, not a personal one. In the case of changes in staff, these department emails will not change. Check the email account frequently. Most of the social media platforms only email when there is a security threat or problem.
VII. Do NOT view your account as any sort of permanent record of your departments’ accomplishments. We all tend to view social media in this context. It’s how most of us unintentionally feel about our personal accounts and that tends to translate over to corporate accounts we manage. Social media channels are simply a conduit to communicate and nothing more. Don’t assume that they will exist tomorrow.
VII. Do NOT view social media as your “primary means of communication.” Free posts will only be seen by a small percentage of your followers. You should absolutely be using social media to promote your events and services, but don’t rely on these channels exclusively. Also utilize email newsletters, posters, and various other channels of communication to really saturate the campus with your marketing message.