Clearly defining your goals can help you choose what social media channel is best suited for your primary objective. Think about your organization’s communications and marketing and how these social media channels will help you achieve your goals. Pay close attention to the level of available resources for your social media channel. Although they are free to create, successful social media use requires time and attention. An inactive account that does not have a continuous stream of new and relevant content will atrophy and fail. If you find that you don’t have enough time to devote to the ongoing cultivation of a social media platform, consider instead leveraging another existing account: for example, a small department can funnel their message to the college’s account, a lab to their department’s account or a related student organization, etc. Once you determine your audience and message, you can then brainstorm which site would be most appropriate to accomplish this.
What are your marketing goals and how does social media fit within those goals? Whatever your goals may be, clearly define them so you can always use them as a point of reference while you manage your accounts.
UF Health Goals
- To increase awareness of our products, services, programs, providers and events through engaging content, including text, photos and videos.
- To protect the space with our name and branding that will serve as a reliable source for health and system information.
- To become more transparent to our customers and community and to engage in appropriate two-way communication with them.
- To discover issues that are important to our customers and clients and to develop integrated communications strategies and responses around those issues.
- To assist with development, fundraising and employee recruitment efforts.
- To educate the community about new discoveries, technologies or clinical services in the UF medical community.
- To assist in student, researcher and faculty recruitment for the health colleges.
- To share research findings with the health care community, other research professionals, the general public and the media.
Set Your Goals
What are you trying to accomplish? Identify the top-level achievements that will define success for your unit. These are your objectives. Having objectives will make setting your goals.
What do you want to communicate? This is your message. It’s important to have a primary message for each post.
Social media is loud enough without our updates. If you can’t say things of value to your audience, be assured they won’t pay attention. You’ll be left talking to yourself on an empty Facebook page or spamming tweets on Twitter with no one listening. Add value to your audience to remain relevant.
Common Goals in Higher Education
- Reputation building to raise awareness of the mission and impact of the university
- Build connections to the university across the state and nation
- Recruit students to attend your program
- Retain students from one semester to the next
- Recruit high-quality faculty
- Raise money for your program
- Engage recent alumni with your program
- Engage with current students in your department or program
- Increase awareness of your program, event or new course(s)
Pick A Channel
Who is your audience? Where are they? Knowing your goal helps you define your audience.
Knowing the audiences you want to reach helps you choose the social network to use. Remember that you can’t be all things to all people. Therefore, having an account on every social network is probably not necessary. It is better to choose fewer channels and do them well, rather than adopt many.
Consider where your audience spends time online, what kind of information you want to share with them, and what type of content they expect from the people they follow on the networks you’re considering.