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Getting Started

Step 1: Fill out a "Social Media Brief"

The Social Media Brief is a one-page worksheet that will help you think through the process and resources needed to create and maintain a social media channel that helps you achieve your goals with your audiences.

Special thanks to Queen's University and SUNY New Paltz for sharing their social media brief.

Step 2: Take it for a test drive

Have you ever used Twitter yourself? Have you ever joined a Facebook group, or posted photos to Flickr? If you do not use social media tools yourself, either personally or professionally, it can be hard to see their potential for your office or group. Experiment with the channels you're most interested in. Follow, friend, or like the people or institutions you care about, and learn how others are using the tools effectively.

Step 3: Conduct a content inventory

Most social media channels are updated daily, by either their administrators, their community members, or both. Ask youself: how often do I update my current website now? For example, if you are only posting new content to your website once or twice a semester, what kind of content do you expect to post on your Facebook page or Twitter account or YouTube channel? What content do you create now and what kinds of stories, photos, videos, etc. would I need to create for a social media channel?

Step 4: Decide who in your office will be responsible for managing your social media channel

Most social media channels are updated daily and all are monitored daily. When you create a new social media channel, you are creating a new job for someone or a group of someones in your office. Someone needs to write posts, listen to the conversations people are having, and respond when needed in a timely manner. Know in advance who that person will be. Ideally, the person who is managing your social media channel should know the ins and outs of how that channel works, and they should definitely be excited about participating in it. Social media is not a chore or a task; it's a state of mind.