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Crisis Centre

Initiating a social media channel

Before initiating a social media channel, we encourage you to develop a social media strategy for approval by your dean or director. Once approved, it should be submitted to the Communications and Marketing department for review. 

  • Strategy development

    Before drafting your social media strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. What are your communications goals and objectives (e.g. foster relationships, be a social thought leader, build a following, promote a campaign, provide customer services/support or align yourself with similar initiatives)?
    2. Who is your audience(s), and what is their need(s) or interest(s)?
    3. Who will create content and maintain the channel (e.g. what type of content will you post and how often will you post it)?
    4. Will social media technology meet your communications objectives (e.g. research statistics on audience reach and specifics re: Facebook versus Twitter, etc.)? 
  • Tips for engaging and relevant social media content

    Facebook:

    • Facebook users want to connect with content from friends and family and be ‘in the know’ about current events.
    • Posts should be lifestyle-friendly, engaging and designed to entertain and educate.
    • Post at least two times per day with three hours between posts.
    • Start your posts with questions like ‘what’ or ‘would’ as these types of posts encourage responses and perform 40 per cent better than posts based on statements.
    • Use images and videos in posts as they receive up to 40 per cent higher engagement.
    • Be aware that Facebook has an algorithm that highly favours engagement (likes etc.); videos uploaded organically (not through Youtube and then shared, but directly on Facebook); new content/breaking news; tagging other brands; and length of time people look at posts.
    • Consider creating and posting Facebook Live videos. 

    Twitter:

    • A micro-blogging platform limited to 280 characters that offers short bursts of information.
    • Users sign up for a Twitter handle or user name to act as their identity.
    • A great research tool that provides a way to connect with influencers, find breaking news and extend customer service.
    • Excellent event asset as live tweeting can be done at meetings/conferences/events.
    • Posts must be kept short and convey the university’s brand and tone to engage with followers.
    • Use hashtags (the pound or number sign prior to a word or group of words that turns it them into a searchable link, allowing you to organize content, reach a specific audience and track discussion topics based on those keywords) in your posts. Don’t go overboard; instead, consider your audience and choose one or two hashtags that are relevant to your content. Location-based hashtags can be beneficial to reach a local audience (e.g. #Oshawa, #DurhamRegion, etc.).
    • Tweet often, keep your account up-to-date and the conversation going. 

To guide your participation through these channels, we've developed a social media framework to help you better navigate social media. This includes a procedure for registering a new or existing social media channel(s) as well guidelines around social media participation for faculty and staff that:

  • Introduce the evolving world of social media technologies.
  • Help you evaluate what, if any, social media technologies are appropriate for your communications needs.
  • Ensure the appropriate and effective use of social media. 
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