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Building your social media strategy.
How much time do you have? What assets do you have? Do you have staff or volunteers who can dedicate time to social media? Establishing your time constraints is key to your strategy; even the best strategy won’t lead anywhere if you don’t have time to implement it.
Most importantly: Choose a content owner and a back-up moderator. Content owners should dedicate at least ¼ of their work hours to social media management.
Even if you have only a few hours a week, you can still participate in social media. Below, we’ve listed 5 simple activities that make up a social strategy. We’ve also included what percent of your allotted social media time to spend on each.
Keep reading to learn about each step.
Don't panic about what to post! Remember that promise you made in the Setting Social Media Goals section? That’s all you need to figure out what to post—a mix of what your audience wants and your key priorities.
So for Mavis, our neuroscience enthusiast, we would want to post mainly about neuroscience, with a few requests for donations. We can also round things out with a mix of general content, including:
Choose a strategy topic below to see more detailed information.
To streamline the content creation process and avoid decision “fatigue,” it can be helpful to plan regular themed days.
Your actual posts do not have to include the titles of your themed days, so feel free to get creative and cheesy with your themes.
For social media, simply write as you would speak aloud to your friends. Stop thinking about “writing to an audience” or “accomplishing a goal,” and simply talk to your friends. Pretend you’re talking to your audience personas if that helps!
We encourage users of DGSOM-branded accounts to cultivate their own unique voices, designed to please a specific audience. We simply ask that users represent the DGSOM community by keeping our core values in mind.
All DGSOM-branded posts should reflect the school’s core values of:
When considering tone—word choice that indicates your views on a subject—please keep the following points in mind:
When you put a number symbol (#) in front of a topic or keyword, it becomes a social media hashtag, a “flag” that tells channels and audiences what your post is about.
People often search hashtags to find conversations of interest. Hashtags help get your posts in front of the right eyeballs.
Mavis doesn’t feel like reading a million posts about cats, food, or football when she grabs her phone for a quick social media break. She just wants to hear about neuroscience. So she can do a simple search for #neuroscience to find the right feeds.
If you’ve included the hashtag #neuroscience in your post, Mavis will be more likely to find your post, read it, share it, and start following your account.
Here are a few hashtag pointers:
Share and share often—it’s practically the Golden Rule of Social Media. And we’re not only talking about pressing the “Share” button and calling it a day; there are lots of ways to share on social media.
If you want to share another user’s post without adding a personal spin, then you can:
This kind of sharing is a little more personal. Follow the same steps listed above, but add some of your own words to the share. You can compliment the original poster, ask a question (use @username so they’re sure to see), explain why you’re sharing the post, and more.
If you’re browsing a colleague’s blog or website and come across an amazing accomplishment or new bit of research, consider giving a shout out on social media.
There’s a bit of etiquette involved in this type of sharing:
Social channels make it easy to express appreciation for others’ content. Reacting to posts is an amazing option if you’re short on time; with just the touch of a button, you can build a social media presence.
Commenting is the perfect way to dive into the social media conversation and start engaging with users you would never meet otherwise.
The world of social media commenting is a wild one, and there are virtually no rules on what you can and cannot say. The best way to learn the ropes is to start doing it.
Stay positive, inclusive, and authentic, and comment on posts from users you want to include in your network.
Responding is just as important as posting.
Here are a few pointers:
If you’ve received an overly negative or hateful comment, feel free to take some time to consider your response and discuss it with your colleagues. In some cases, it may be better to ignore a post rather than start a social media battle.
UCLA designed this helpful response guide to assist you in tricky situations. Download Social Media Response Guide.
DOWNLOAD RESPONSE GUIDE
Monitoring is a key piece of any social media strategy. In just a few minutes a week, you can gain enough insights from your activities to inform your next steps. And once you have a few weeks of monitoring under your belt, you should notice some patterns. These patterns will help you get into a social-media stride.
You do not need fancy tools or detailed dashboards to get a basic sense of how well your social efforts are being received.
You can monitor your social success daily or weekly, whatever suites your schedule. Here’s what to look at when you sign in to your accounts:
Now spend a few minutes considering your most liked and shared posts. What are these posts about? Why do you think audiences like these posts more than others? Record your insights for future reference. When you’re done noodling, it’s time to move on to planning!
Use the hyper-aware moments after a good monitoring session to figure out what to post next. Simply ask yourself: Did my monitoring reveal anything I should incorporate in my next posts?
Maybe you’ll post about topics similar to the ones in your most-liked posts. Maybe you’ll use the same hashtag. Maybe you’ll post different topics at the same time of day as your most-liked posts.
Figuring out why your audience responds to certain posts is part of the fun and excitement of social media. Treat your social media involvement like a fun experiment, full of trials, tests, and repetitions.
If you’re short on time, simply save your ideas for later. If you have time and want more structure in your social media strategy, consider creating a monthly post calendar. Here’s how:
When you’re ready, you can even schedule posts ahead of time using a free tool called Hootsuite.
As you plan your days, weeks, and months, keep the below frequency recommendations in mind. *
FacebookUp to 3 posts daily
Twitter Up to 7 tweets daily
Instagram Up to 5 posts a week
* As a general rule, we strongly encourage fewer, high-quality posts over a specific number. The above numbers are only for beginning ideation purposes.