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Communications and Public Affairs


Goals & Planning

Your organization, division or academic unit wants to get on the social media train. If you've been tapped as conductor and engineer, we can help you get started and stay on track.

Brand new to the social media scene at the University of South Carolina? We know you’re excited to get started, but push the pause button for a moment. There's work to do before you create an account. Not only do you need to evaluate if your department or unit really needs to be on social media, you also need to think about what platforms will be appropriate.

Ask yourself the following four questions:


1. Can I manage my social media profiles?

Like any other part of your job, your social media profiles demand regular upkeep. Are you prepared to develop a strategy, create and post content, respond to messages, engage with your followers, and assess your performance on a regular basis? Posting once per week is not enough to maintain your social media accounts. Building a strong social media presence takes time, and comes from a steady stream of content, engagement and effort on your end.

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Think Long Term

You don't need to create a new social media account for a one-time or annual event or even (in most cases) a campaign. A specific event or campaign hashtag from an existing account may be appropriate in this case.


2. Can I feed my content through an existing account?

If you want to promote a club, major, department, or area that exists within a larger entity, do some research and decide if an established account can support your message. You’re likely to experience better results feeding your content through an established account with a following, rather than trying to build a social media presence from the ground up.

Collaborating with an existing account also means that you don’t have to worry about account upkeep and management. And, you’re providing content for another account manager. Everyone wins.

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Is Anyone There?

Having no social media presence is bad. Having a poorly managed social media presence is even worse. An organization whose last tweet is from July 2014 loses credibility by appearing to be inactive.


3. What are my goals?

Write your goals down and then revisit them from time to time. Define the goals you are trying to achieve through social media, and what platforms and approaches can help you fulfill them.

Are you trying to:

  • Share news and events? We suggest Facebook. 

  • Tell your story through compelling images? That's Instagram.
  • Engage in conversations? Tweet on Twitter.
  • Show events or the life of your organization in real-time? So Snapchat.
  • Create and share compelling video content? Post to YouTube, embed on Facebook.
  • Curate topic-based content? Pinterest 
boards rule here.
  • Connect with alumni and employers? They're on LinkedIn.

When you’re thinking about the things you want to do on social, think about what the entire calendar year for your area looks like, as opposed to just the events that you have upcoming or your big stuff. Thinking in this way will help you identify where you may see gaps in content and help you guide your strategy.

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Need vs. Want

You don’t need a Facebook page just because another department has one nor do you need a Snapchat account because *teenagers.* Focus on your audience, and where they are most active on social media. It’s better manage a few profiles well than a flock poorly.


4. Who am I talking to?

Before an account is ever created for your office or division, have a conversation about the people you hope to reach. Decide on a target audience and work backwards from there. Research your intended audience. Really get to know them. Then let what you learn about them help shape your strategy on social media — including which platforms to use and what types of content to post. Put your effort where you can have the most impact.

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Know Your Squad

We recommend learning about your audience through personas. Research your ideal target and use what you learn to create a persona of a user. Think about this person — and his or her passions, preferences and dislikes — as you craft your messaging.

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Find Free Insight

Most existing accounts can access free insights about their fans, followers and page interactions. Take the time to learn about your audience and you'll have a good idea about what kinds of content will interest them.