Using social media to communicate
Questions to ask before creating a new social media account
Why do you want to create a social media account?
Wanting to reach more people with your message is not a good enough reason. You should be able to define both short-term and long-term goals. It is not advisable to create a page for an event. Events can be supported by other social media accounts that already have an active following.
What are your goals?
Once you’ve identified why you want an account, think about what you want to achieve. Your goals should be specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). A good example might be, “I want to garner 10,000 engagements on Twitter by the end of the year.”
Who is your audience?
This will determine which channel(s) you should focus your efforts on. Naturally, if you’re after a younger audience, something like Instagram or Snapchat might make more sense than Facebook or LinkedIn.
What content is available to support it?
The ability to post consistently is important to social media success. If you don’t have a steady stream of content, then maybe you should reevaluate your options. Social media is a visual medium that requires frequent posting—and images and videos help to increase your post’s reach exponentially.
Who is in charge?
Who will respond if a follower raises a concern or has a question during business hours? What about at 2 a.m. on a Saturday? Who will post content when you’re on vacation? Always have a back-up administrator to any social media account, and make sure everyone is up to speed on IU’s policies.
What is your personality?
Social media is about being authentic. If your accounts are a constant stream of marketing messages or academic speak, followers will disengage. Have fun, be sociable, and engage in meaningful two-way conversation with your followers.
Useful social media tools
When you’re just starting out in social media, the amount of work it takes to be successful can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry! There are literally hundreds of tools available to lessen the load. Here are some of our favorites.
Social media brand downloads
Make sure your posts adhere to the IU brand by using downloads created specifically for social media, including avatars, an event announcement template, and Facebook cover photos.
Social media management tools
- Buffer Create and schedule posts to go out across a variety of social media channels. You can also use it to curate social media content from others in a strategic way.
- Hootsuite Listen to, monitor, and post on a variety of social media channels. There are both free and paid versions.
- IFTTT Create "if this then that" recipes to take some of the work out of social media. Set it up to tweet when you post a new blog post, save pictures to Dropbox, and more.
Content creation tools
- Adobe Creative Cloud Free to IU employees and students on IUware. Creative Cloud includes Express, Stock, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Illustrator, and more.
- Canva Can be used to create a wide variety of images and infographics. It's free to use, but add-ons (e.g., certain art or templates) come with fees.
- Giphy Helps you find the perfect GIF for your social media posts or create your own.
- Imgur Use Imgur too find the hottest memes—or create your own.
- Piktochart Another easy-to-use infographics tool and the preferred infographic tool of IUPUI. Free and discounted paid versions are available to academic institutions.
- Wideo Create custom animated videos using your own images. It's a paid service, but educational institutions get a discount.
- Facebook insights Free, in-tool dashboard of post performance by reach, engagement, and more.
- Hashtracking A paid service that tracks hashtag performance on Twitter.
- Hootsuite Free for basic monitoring, but you can also create custom Twitter and Facebook posts with the paid version.
- Iconosquare Get detailed Instagram analytics with either a free or paid account.
- Sprout Social This paid service gives you custom reports for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
- Twitter Analytics Free, in-tool basic dashboard of tweet performance.
Get social media help
Social media works best when there’s a solid strategy behind it. Let the IU Studios social media team help you get off on the right foot—or correct course—in the social media realm.
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