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Advanced Resources and FAQ

Because social media is ever-changing and at this minute there might be the next big thing coming out, this guide will be ever changing as well. Please let us know of your questions, and we will do our best to address them and put them here.

Advanced Resources: For those looking to take the next step in using social media, click here for more resources to help you move forward.

FAQ

Why should I have to use social media?

  • You don’t. Here is a survey done by Huffington Postthat found the top three reasons people use social media are:
    1. Connecting with friends
    2. Checking product reviews
    3. For entertainment

Why is it important?

  • Social media is more than a trend. It’s the way the modern world connects and communicates. It’s even becoming possible to receive a faster customer service response via a social media site than via a more traditional vehicle such as the telephone — a device some people once thought of as a newfangled nuisance. Think of social media as a tool. Use it to your advantage.
  • Social media has become a part of daily life for many Internet users. Social media is primarily a venue for personal communication between individuals; however, many social media sites have evolved to have people use them for business purposes as well.  Therefore in a university setting, if we are to meet students where they are, then we must start to find ways to engage student online.

How I do know which social media platform is the best for my department?

  • The social media site(s) you decide to use will depend on your department’s size, resources, intended audience, goals, and the type of information you are trying to distribute. Take a look at Web New Media’s questions on setting up social media.

What is the best strategy in reaching the most people in starting a social media site?

  1. Decide what you want from social media. Come up with a specific idea of what you hope to gain from social media. Usually it involves generating a lot of traffic, but traffic in itself is worth very little. This traffic has to be converted to something useful, such as subscribers or engaged followers. Everyone’s approach and reasons for
    marketing a site are different, so there is no right or wrong answer.
  2. Pick two or three social media sites to target. Again, start small. One of the biggest reasons social media sites don’t work is that departments are spread too thin.
  3. Start using these sites EVERYDAY. Get in the habit of visiting these sites multiple times a day. And be active with them.
  4. Brainstorm and plan for post ideas.

How should I manage my areas’ social media sites?

  • That is a good question. At the end of the day, the social media manager for the respective department should be the “gatekeeper” of what is happening in social media. That doesn’t mean they have to do all the work or labor. Student managers are key, and since most of the audiences we are trying to reach are students, who better to reach the students than students themselves. It is important to come up with a plan and basic structure to how that is to be done.

How much responsibility should I give students?

  • So you have decided to have students manage the social media sites. Now what? Well, this will depend on how well you trust the student managing the social media. And this will change, of course, as the students change. Training is key as well as explaining expectations. Bottom line, go with what makes you feel comfortable. Make sure to discuss with the students appropriateness and expectations for your department’s social media. You will need to check the social media site regularly also.

What is the difference between CMS and blogging?

  • CMS is “content management system” and it controls the content on each of the department websites. A blog is not related to that system. It is an independent “commentary”. See the section on WordPress.

How much time do I spend on social media sites?

  • How much time depends on what you want to accomplish. Outside of work, if you’re using social media primarily for fun and for connecting with others, there’s nothing wrong with being on these sites a lot (multiple times daily). However, if your main purpose with social media is to promote a program or department, you should limit the time you spend. Other activities like content development and site management should not be sacrificed due to the time you spend on social media sites. Generally, you may need to use social media sites a little bit more at first in order to get familiar with the site, its users, and to build a profile. But later you should be able to cut back on the amount of time that you spend, but still be active on a regular basis (daily posts/interaction).

Our area has multiple sites, how can I use them in tandem?

  • Just starting, start small and basic. There are more options than you think, take a look at one collection of social media sites (http://traffikd.com/social-media-websites/). Most students use Facebook and Twitter, so try starting there. See our best practices section for more.
  • Set up a schedule to monitor all your sites/pages on a regular basis, or use a social media program such as HootSuite or TweetDeck that helps you organize and optimize usage and level of engagement. If you don’t want to set up a dashboard, you can follow the general rule of checking your sites in the morning, afternoon, and evening (or at least daily). Any schedule will depend on your needs and the level of engagement you wish to attain. Power users track notifications of interaction so they can respond immediately. Casual users might check sites once a day or once every few days.

Should our department post all the news all at the same time?

  • No. Followers dislike information dumps. Space and plan out posts.

When does it become too much information, content?

  • It is important to be active with your social media outlets, with daily interaction. However, as stated above, do not do massive information dumps. Give your users time to breath.

How do we engage?

  • Think of yourself as being in conversation with a friend. The difference is that you are talking online. Comment on their posts, photos and videos, and like or share them. Ask questions, follow trends, share interesting news.

What are the benefits of using social media to market my department/area?

Someone is fraudulently using my name/LMU’s name/our department’s name, what do we do?

  • It’s possible someone else has the same name. But if someone is fraudulently using your identity, report the infringement right away. Most social media sites have avenues for this. If you notice that someone is using the LMU name fraudulently in social media, please alert LMU Web and New Media.

How do I know social media is working/what people are saying

  • You can check the stats on most social media to see how many people have viewed specific content or have liked your page. Keep track of those types of stats.
  • For certain iniatives, events, programs, you can create an evaluation that asks if people used social media to hear about the event.
  • Keep track of your traffic and see if you are being referred as a result of your involvement in social media.
  • Set up a Google Alert. It’s free and easy. You’ll receive daily Google Alert reports via email that will list mentions and provide links. For real-time tracking, suggestions include socialmention.com and icerocket.com.

How should I respond to posts/responses/questions?

Individual Social Media outlet FAQs:

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