Social Media Best Practices
- Keep it conversational
Social media is a place for audience engagement through sharing and conversation. Ideal: Be fun, friendly, and professional. Good example: Check out the University of Florida’s Facebook page to see how manager Bruce Floyd and team interact with users.
- Add value
Express an interesting point of view and worthwhile information and perspective. When speaking about Warrington, offer your subject matter expertise and contact Communication Services if unsure whether a topic or response is appropriate.
- Build relationship
Focus on engagement with the audience and building trust to develop relationships rather than using your social networking site solely as a marketing tool. Promoting your school/college/program 100 percent of the time is exhausting. Mix it up with interesting photos, video, alternative relevant content.
- Don’t be an island
While we are used to promoting our own agendas, be sure to share others’ relevant content and to interact with others. For example, if you are mentioning another College / school / department / program in your post, don’t forget to tag their social media pages / accounts.
- Mind your manners
Treat past and present co-workers, other personnel, consumers, partners, competitors, stakeholders, Warrington, the University of Florida, and yourself with respect. Avoid posting materials or comments that may be seen as offensive, demeaning, inappropriate, threatening or abusive. Acknowledge differences of opinion. Don’t be argumentative or defensive, but provide thoughtful, informative responses.
- Be careful with personal social media accounts
Make it clear that the views expressed are yours if you use your personal social media account for work purposes. Include a notice in personal social media profiles (ie. Twitter, etc.) that expresses that although you work at Warrington and UF, you are sharing your opinions and not the opinions of the College and/or University.
Be careful when switching from personal to organizational accounts. Always double check each post before and after to make sure it is posted from the correct account and includes the correct link.
- The Internet is a public space
Consider everything you post to the Internet the same as anything you would post to a physical bulletin board or submit to a newspaper. Many eyes may fall upon your words, including those of reporters, consumers, your manager and stakeholders. Assume that all of these people will be reading every post, no matter how obscure or secure the site to which you are posting may seem.
The Internet remembers. Search engines and other technologies make it virtually impossible to take something back. Be sure you mean what you say, and say what you mean.
- An official response may be needed
If you spot a potential issue and believe an official response is needed, bring it to the attention of Communications Services before it reaches a crisis situation. Potential issues can often be resolved more effectively and efficiently if they are identified quickly.
- When in doubt, ask
If you have any questions about what is appropriate, play it smart and check with your supervisor or Warrington’s social media manager.
University of Florida: Best practices in social media
- Content: Post regularly and reasonably often, keep a consistent schedule
- Diversification: Utilize multiple channels to achieve goals. Integrate Twitter, Facebook, Google maps, blogs, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Utilize multiple sources of content, both by professionals within your unit and the University, and by social media audience members.
- Entertainment and Infotainment: Maintain a sense of humor while retaining professionalism.
- Evolution: A social media campaign must evolve to take advantage of new opportunities.
- Measure Results: Really. This is important. [Editor’s note: There are many different methods to measure results on social media. Visit Mashable or Social Media Examiner for tips, or contact Warrington’s social media manager.]
- Demographics: Each social networking site is associated with different audience demographics. Choose the site(s) that best match your social media strategy and
Social Media: Frequently Asked Questions
- How often should I be posting on Facebook/Twitter?
It depends on your social media goals and the amount of content you have to share. On average, plan to post to Facebook at least two times a week, and no more than once a day. For Twitter, it is much more flexible, but try to post or retweet content at least once a day. If you are following the correct Twitter accounts, (relevant to your school / department / program) then there should be content to retweet.
- What percentage of what I post should be about my school / department / program vs. alternative content?
That’s a tough question, but in general, aim for roughly 70 percent promotion, 15 percent relevant shared content, and 15 percent other (ie, UF, gators, etc.) Don’t forget that relevant-to-your-organization photos and videos are very well received on social media and can be an easy way to get a lot of interaction/engagement.
- May I use social tools (both Warrington-sponsored and third party) as it relates to my job and job function?
The professional use of social media is encouraged. You may use social media in relation to your job and job function within the parameters outlined by Warrington’s social media policy. Please remember that if you comment on any aspect of Warrington or the University of Florida on a social media site, please identify yourself as a Warrington employee in a prominent place. For example, if you are using Twitter to promote a Warrington program, clearly state in your “bio” that you work for Warrington and/or UF.
- What is my responsibility as a Warrington/UF employee when I participate in social networking sites externally?
While your conduct online reflects upon Warrington and UF, in most cases you will not be speaking on behalf of either entity, unless you are participating in external social networking sites for professional purposes. Do not post inappropriate, disrespectful comments to your personal social media platforms, or post comments that are intended to embarrass Warrington, UF, your co-workers, students, or others you interact with. Act professionally at all times. If you have suggestions and comments for improvements at Warrington, please state them constructively and leverage the proper internal channels.
- What if I read a post on a Warrington-sponsored or third party social networking site that is not accurate? Should I respond and provide an accurate comment?
You should not always feel the need to be the one to respond to something you see or read online. If you are perusing the social Web and see a blog posting on a third-party blog, for example, and you are not the subject matter expert, you can contact the appropriate person to respond. Also, remember that not everything warrants a response, so be sure you are adding value when commenting, and do not comment just for the sake of commenting.
- What should I consider when crafting a response to a negative comment?
Work to turn the negative comment into a positive discussion, encouraging more commentary. Correct information that may not be factual and be open and honest in responding to negative comments. Be professional and respectful. Thank commenters for their time and for sharing their thoughts. Thanking your commenters shows sincerity and that you appreciate their readership and feedback, both positive and negative. Also, take the time to think before responding, and about what you’d like to clarify or convey. Reread your response before submitting it. Note: Do not hesitate to contact Warrington’s social media manager with any questions.
- What should I be aware of when posting the UF or Warrington logos or trademarks to social networking sites?
Each employee is responsible for protecting and appropriately promoting the brand. Any social media account used solely for personal use may not include Warrington logos or trademarks. Only official Warrington social media accounts may use the UF logos or trademarks. Consult the Marketing and Communications team for all social media logos and avatars for brand consistency.