Getting Started with Social Media

Before you get started using social media, start by identifying your communication goals and objectives and take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions.

How can social media help my department or organization meet our goals?

Creating an account because it sounds like a good idea would be the worst thing you can do. Determine what you plan to achieve using social media.  Is it to inform, share information, gain feedback, engage with your audience? Knowing your goals will help you make decisions about where to establish accounts, what information to share, and who you will reach.

Who are our audiences and and is social media the appropriate channel for reaching them?

Are there other channels that might be more effective? It’s important to determine if your audience is already participating on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels.

Do we have the resources for content development, execution and maintenance?

What you share on social media will reflect on your department or unit, and will influence how others see you.  It is important that you consider the time and personnel resources available to maintain social media efforts beyond the initial start-up phase.

Don’t start something that you know you won’t be able to invest in long term or intend to do well. If you decide to start using social media, be consistent when posting content and responding. Success will lie in your commitment. If you’re not able to do this, then social media may not be right for you.