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Social Media Strategy

Situation Analysis

In FY13, the university approved funding for a digital communications director in the Governmental Relations & University Communications division. This investment indicates that the university acknowledges the importance of social media and values its potential. One of the first tasks of the director was to develop a university-wide social media strategy.

Overall Strategy

To coordinate and strengthen the university's social media efforts and to incorporate social media as an integral part of an overall communications strategy.

Goals

  1. Build a collaborative university-wide social media environment.
  2. Strengthen UC's brand and improve UC's reputation.
  3. Recruit and retain students, faculty and staff.
  4. Build a culture of philanthropy.
  5. Establish social media as an official emergency and crisis communication resource.

Build a collaborative university-wide social media environment.

  • Ensure regular communication among those responsible for university-affiliated accounts.
    •  Develop a social media council, led by Director of Digital Communications.
    • Create, implement and enforce social media policy and social media best practices documents. 
    • Create an approval/review process for any new social media accounts or channels. 
    • Conduct a review process of existing accounts to determine whether to merge and/or eliminate accounts. 
    • Share messages from other university-affiliated accounts.
    • Share insights, best practices and success stories. 
    • Develop consistent hashtags to be used to aggregate conversations regarding the university (specifically on Twitter and Instagram). 
    • Develop a campus-wide editorial calendar for sharing university news.
  • Provide resources, guidance and strategies to support social media efforts of campus units.
    • Identify, test and recommend third-party tools, such as social media monitoring platforms
  • Ensure UC branding standards are met across all social media platforms and accounts.

Strengthen UC's brand and improve UC's reputation.

  • Integrate social media plan into overall university communications strategy.
    • Use social media to share top web content created by university units.
  • Reinforce the UC brand.
    • Develop and promote university key messages in accordance with UC2019 and other key university initiatives.
    • Share university accomplishments, awards, rankings, etc.
  • Build relationships using social media.
    • Monitor and respond to all comments, mentions, shares, etc., when appropriate.
    • Create Social Media Monitoring Team to continually monitor channels.
  • Increase likes, fans, followers, subscribers, pins, etc.
  • Increase engagement levels.
    • Use monitoring tools to measure engagement and reach.
    • Proactively engage constituents and join conversations about UC.
  • Monitor regional and national competitors' social media accounts and trends.
  • Increase exposure for social media accounts.
    • Use marketing and communications resources and traditional media.

Recruit and retain students, faculty and staff.

  • Build relationships with prospective, recently accepted and current students using social media.
    • Reply, retweet, share, like student posts
  • Attract prospective faculty and staff and enhance relationships with current faculty and staff.
    • Share key university news and messages.
    • Share university and individual accomplishments, awards, rankings, etc.
  • Increase engagement levels.
    • Monitor conversations and provide information for those seeking UC.
    • Use keyword searches on social networks or third-party tools to monitor conversations and respond accordingly.
  • Push Web traffic to uc.edu, admissions.uc.edu, uc.edu/about.
    • Deliver prospective students information and links to more information at specific web addresses within the uc.edu framework.
    • Direct questions and comments to appropriate UC offices/units (admissions, financial aid, colleges, etc.)

Build a culture of philanthropy at UC.

  • Use social media to increase awareness about the funding needs and priorities at UC.
  • Cultivate relationships with prospective donors including students, alumni, faculty, staff, businesses and the greater community using social media.
    • Reply retweet, share, like posts related to philanthropic UC initiatives.
    • Share philanthropic university news and initiatives.
    • Share university and individual donor and scholarship recipient stories, college and university-wide funding priorities, etc.
  • Increase engagement levels.
    • Monitor conversations and provide information for those seeking information about giving to UC.
    • Use keyword searches on social networks or third-party tools to monitor conversations and respond accordingly.
  • Drive Web traffic to uc.edu/foundation, uc.edu/alumni, etc.
    • Include calls to action in social posts (give now, support UC).
    • Deliver philanthropic information and links to more information at specific Web addresses within the uc.edu framework.
    • Direct questions and comments to appropriate UC offices/units (Foundation, etc.)

Establish social media as an official emergency and crisis communication resource.

  • Include social media in emergency and crisis communication planning and policies. (Note that any social media communication can and may be regarded as official university statement.)
    • Develop a reporting hierarchy for crises.
    • Work with Emergency Planning Committee to incorporate social media.
  • Create an action plan for responding to negative comments in social media.