A Quick Intro to Social Media
Social media are software applications or tools, which allow widespread communication using user-generated content. In plain English, they’re places where you can communicate online with your peers and friends, colleagues, or other groups such as national organizations, directly and immediately. Some examples of social media include Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and YouTube.
Guidelines for Social Media Tips for Using Social Media to Promote UCF
1. Be Accurate
Are you sure your information is accurate and appropriate? If not, just don’t post it. Social media are fast-paced environments, and facts can be hard to distinguish from opinions or false information. Don’t answer questions on behalf of another department, or questions you aren’t confident answering. Help your reader by directing them to the right department. It’s best to be honest and tell them you don’t know. Finally, don’t guess.
2. Remember Your Audience
Determine your interaction’s level of formality and choose your language accordingly; for instance, write in first-person only if it’s casual.
3. Don’t Misrepresent Yourself
If you aren’t an authority on a subject, don’t represent yourself as one. Also, don’t represent yourself as speaking for all of UCF. Present yourself as an individual, including the uniqueness of your role at UCF. Share your personality.
4. Be Respectful and Thoughtful
Be thoughtful and respectful of how other UCF groups may be affected by your actions. All UCF accounts can be viewed (correctly or incorrectly) as representative of the university as a whole, regardless of your intentions.
5. Notify Your Manager or Boss
Obtain your manager’s or your boss’ permission before you use social media to promote anything related to UCF, including your group or your department. When leadership backs your social media ideas, it can increase the importance of these new media channels to your overall communications plan.
6. Provide Context
Make sure your audience understands the purpose of your site. Be clear to state, for example, that you intend to generate excitement about UCF events, or to provide services and resources to certain student groups.
7. Add Value, Not Noise or Clutter
If you join a social network, such as Facebook, or comment on someone’s site, contribute valuable insight. Don’t post information about topics, such as personal events or a book you’ve authored, unless you’re sure readers will be interested. Self-promotion is viewed negatively and can cause you to be banned from Web sites or groups.
8. Give Private Feedback
Public feedback in social networks is acceptable, but you can also give feedback privately. Give someone private feedback and be willing to receive offline feedback. However, be explicit about the reasoning behind your actions. Always respond to and address any feedback – don’t ignore it.
9. Always Follow UCF Graphic Standards
UCF does not have specific social media logos, personality can also define a brand. Be sure to follow specific graphic standards on UCF trademark use but work to embody the spirit or the UCF brand in your social media endeavors. More formally, the core UCF brand concept can be summed-up in our Brand Value Proposition:
UCF is the university that seeks opportunities, creates opportunities, and brings them to fruition. The university’s culture of opportunity is driven by the diverse people it attracts, its Orlando environment, its history of entrepreneurship, and its youth, relevance, and energy.
10. Be the First to Respond to Your Mistakes
Be up-front about your mistakes and correct them quickly. For example, if you choose to modify an earlier blog or other post, give your readers a reason. If you delete a post and repost it, make that clear too. Also, if a fellow UCF account makes a mistake, let them know offline and help them make corrections.
11. Use Your Best Judgment
Remember that social media can be public, and anything published to social media sites can have consequences. If you are on the fence about publishing any content, then don’t. When in doubt, ask your supervisor or a co-worker for input – ask more than one person. Also, seek advice from your university peers who use social media.
12. Protect Confidential and Proprietary Information
Though our university is a public institution with laws governing the availability of our information, not all content and topics are appropriate for social media. The university is required to comply with the federal Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) when it comes to certain student information; it may also apply to some faculty and staff information.
13. Don’t Forget Your Day Job
You should make sure that your online activities do not interfere with your primary job or responsibilities, and social media should not be the only environment you communicate with your audience. Consider a more balanced communications plan of traditional, online and social media to maximize your efforts.
Resources and Documents Information from the Social Networks Themselves
Facebook Timeline Cover Images Add Some UCF Spirit to Your Facebook Page
To download a UCF image for your Facebook cover image, right click and select “Save Image As…” or “Save Image to Desktop.”