Social Media Strategy Guide

Using the Social Media Guide

This Social Media Strategy Guide will help you:

  • Determine the best approach for developing and implementing an institution-approved social media presence for your area.
  • Decide whether a new social media presence is right for your area or to create a content plan for your existing accounts.
  • Ensure consistent branding and messaging while aligning your content to an overall strategy in support of the university's mission.
  • Learn how to monitor and maintain an engaging institution-approved social media presence.

Establish your goals and objectives

Decide primary objectives ahead of time. 

  • What do you hope to accomplish with the creation of your social media presence? 
  • Are you trying to highlight news stories or staff accomplishments? 
  • Promote events? 

Identify your audience

Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to reach through social media?

Connect your audience with your goals to ensure that you’re engaging the appropriate stakeholders to meet your community engagement objectives.

Collaborate to reach larger audiences: Sometimes a small part of a larger area is best served by partnering with the larger area to promote and share content on the resources of the entire unit. Doing so offers the user maximum resources and provides a single source of information. For example, New Student and Family Programs (Orientation) coordinates with the main Student Affairs social media accounts (@LifeatBuffState) to communicate orientation-specific messages to the larger audience for current students—extending its reach and maximizing efforts to support students in all their campus life needs, such as orientation and Weeks of Welcome, as well as regular student-specific communications.


Develop a content strategy

Once you have established your content strategy for your institution-approved social media presence, it is important to understand how to maintain your content. A successful strategy must adapt and provide flexibility in messages and approach to reach increasingly discerning audiences.

Decide where you will pull content.

  • Is it content created within your area or is it from an outside source? 
  • Is the content appropriate based on your objectives and audiences? 

Determine which networks are appropriate

Identify specific social media networks you will use to promote stories and engage with your audience.


Monitor and moderate comments

Successful social media encourages audience participation and interaction. Comments are a main source of that interaction. By accepting comments on your site, you are making your site more appealing and valuable. 

Inappropriate Comments

Unfortunately, not all audience action is positive, and moderation is necessary to protect your site from inappropriate comments. Comments containing vulgarity, attacks on any individual or group, or spam must not be tolerated.

Ask yourself: 

  • How will you monitor comments? 
  • Are you staffed appropriately to handle this critical task?

Measure success

Determine how you will measure the success of your site. Each social network has its own reporting tools, but you should also look for other tangible measurements, such as increased web traffic or posted stories.

Identify specific metrics you will view to determine your social media success (e.g., fan/follower count or engagement). What will determine a successful presence for your group?


Maintain staffing

It is imperative that you dedicate staff resources to maintain your presence and your content. It is necessary to post on a consistent basis and monitor the posts and comments.

  • Do you have staff members dedicated to social media? 
  • How many hours per week can they dedicate? 
  • Have they been trained on how to post and oversee each social media presence you have?

All sites should have at least two designated administrators as a fail-safe should the primary administrator become unavailable for any reason.

Not sure where to start?

For additional information on any of these topics, please contact: 

Marketing and Communications Office
Phone: (716) 878-4201