Social media offers a unique opportunity for two-way communication with our constituent groups, such as prospective and current students, faculty and staff, alumni, parents, and others. These tools allow the University to share information with the world, but perhaps more important, to allow our constituents to communicate with us in return. Therefore, listening and responding are key parts of the social media equation. Social media also allows us to share traditional media stories and other online resources with our online communities quickly and easily. Southwestern University supports the appropriate use of social media in support of University communication goals.

Getting Started

Ask yourself?

What does my school, program or organization hope to accomplish through social media? Outline your goals in order to properly track the return of your investment. In general, all Southwestern social media accounts should strive to boost the University’s visibility and uphold its core purpose.

Where is my target demographic? Concentrate your efforts on one platform before expanding your presence. Take the time to engage, educate, and inform. Social media is about transparency and customer service.

Do I have the content to sustain a presence, or am I an initiative that would benefit more from a hashtag and collaborative promotion on central accounts? Successful Southwestern accounts update Facebook three times a week and Twitter at least once a day. Programs that are unable to meet content requirements always have access to central accounts for leverage. 

Do I have the staff to update and monitor my social media sites? Social media is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It requires constant update and monitoring. You must have the staff to be able to respond to questions quickly, solve problems, and keep the conversation going. Social media takes time and should not be thrown together. Your point person(s) should be ready to take this task on and have clearly defined roles.

Do you have the technical ability to produce photos or videos that may be needed for your social media sites? Social media is all about engagement. Statistics show engagement increases when visuals are utilized in posts. If you are not able to produce compelling visuals, social media may not be the right medium for your department.