Social media allows people to connect, interact and share information using the Internet and web-based tools with minimal time, cost and resource expenditure. The growth of social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, has been exponential in the last few years.
The College of Arts and Sciences’ marketing and communications team has established a robust social media presence as another way to engage our various audiences. We maintain a variety of social media networks, including a Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and Twitter and Instagram accounts.
When developing a social media profile for your own department, center or office, it is important to identify what you hope to achieve with social networking and choose the type of social media profile(s) to use accordingly. Your social media presence should ultimately provide a means for other users (current and prospective students, faculty across the college, alumni, staff, friends, peer institutions, etc.) to stay connected with you and with each other in an interactive setting.
The College of Arts and Sciences Facebook page was created as a way to further establish the college’s online presence and to enhance the common identity shared by students, alumni, faculty and staff within the college.
To Create a Facebook Page for Your Department/Center:
Options on Facebook: Should I Create a Profile, Group, or Page?
Security and Your Facebook Presence
When you create a new group or page on Facebook, you have the option to allow various degrees of openness in followers’ ability to interact with the group/page. Users may have open access to post on the wall, comment on your posts, add photos and videos or start discussions. You may also choose to block users from posting to any of those features. We recommend keeping all options open to your followers. The benefits of allowing more open, rich networking on your page mean that your online presence will have higher-quality content that is more relevant to your followers. In order to check for unwanted user content and to respond to desirable content, it is important to monitor all of your sites frequently.
Twitter is a great way to broadcast information about activities or opportunities that students, faculty or alumni could actively take advantage of. Examples of such postings could include advertising a student activity or a reminder about registration for an event. Twitter is about connecting and conversation. Think about who you choose to “follow.” For example, the College of Arts and Sciences’ Twitter account follows peer institutions’ Arts and Sciences profiles, higher education news, and University Circle institutions – anyone directly related to the college. Following others helps you get more followers and news updates.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter posts, or “tweets,” are limited to a maximum of 140 characters, including any URLs you might include in the post. For this reason, you may want to use a URL shortener to save more space for text in your posts. There are many URL-shortening sites, but the college uses bit.ly, which is explained in greater detail below.
Instagram is a platform that allows users to share photos with the world. It is an excellent way to engage and connect with your audience because it’s focused on images and not words. The College of Arts and Sciences uses its Instagram account to give followers a glimpse of what it’s like to be on campus and in Cleveland, with photos from events, classrooms, labs, and campus buildings and scenery. Learn the basics here to get started.
Bit.ly is one of several sites that shortens long URLs. Because Twitter posts only allow a maximum of 140 characters, a shortened URL allows more space for text in the post. For this reason, the college created a bit.ly account primarily for use with Twitter. Bit.ly also allows users to link their account to Twitter, allowing users to write a full post with the shortened URL and save a step by posting directly to Twitter from the bit.ly page. Additionally, it allows users to view metrics about interactions from Twitter that Twitter itself does not provide. Bit.ly keeps a log of all links that have been shortened in your account, along with statistics about total hits for each site and how many of the total hits came from the link you shortened and posted.
The primary purpose of the College of Arts and Sciences LinkedIn group is to establish a forum for alumni and others connected with the college to connect in a more professional online setting. LinkedIn is strictly professional, so you may find Twitter and Facebook better meet the needs and purpose of your social media presence instead.
Creating a channel on YouTube can be a useful way to share your own videos with many people. Your videos can be found on YouTube, but by uploading a video it becomes easier to share it on other sites such as Facebook and Twitter. A YouTube channel also includes a “favorites” feature, allowing you to identify and promote videos that others have posted which are relevant to the content of your channel. Learn how to create a YouTube channel here.