Skip to main content

Using social media to communicate

Social media can be a great way to communicate with your audiences, provided it’s used in the right way, for the right reasons.

There are already more than 600 Facebook accounts and 400 Twitter accounts at IU. So take a few minutes to think through your reasons for wanting to get on social media—and to plan for how you're going to do it.


Questions to ask before creating a new social media account

  1. 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.

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Find social media downloads

Get social media help

Social media works best when there’s a solid strategy behind it. Let the University Communications and Marketing (UCM) social media team help you get off on the right foot—or correct course—in the social media realm.