How is the University of Kentucky Using Social Media?
Increasingly, the University's vested publics -- whether students, faculty, staff, alumni or the general public -- are interacting online. These various groups of people are creating online communities and not only receiving information about the institution, but also creating content about the university. As the web continues to grow in importance, the University of Kentucky understands the impact and value in having a healthy, monitored presence on social media sites.
Social media sites allow the university to not only interact and share information about its community and activities, but to hear from varied audiences about what's important to them.
The primary tools the university is currently using are Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
UK's primary official social media presences are:
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/universityofky
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/universityofky
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/universityofky
- Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/universityofkentucky
In addition to the sites mentioned above, many UK departments and programs have launched official social media accounts to communicate with specific and interested publics.
I want to create a social media account for a UK-related entity. How do I get started?
- Review UK's official policy and guidelines.
- Secure the approval of your department head or supervisor.
- Define your goals. Determine what you want to accomplish, and what tactics and tools you will utilize to best reach your target audience and your goals.
- Identify a coordinator and/or team dedicated to social media. Determine who will be the primary person responsible for updating and monitoring your social media account(s). Ensure they have the time to check in on the site at least once a day, and can handle any problems or events in a timely manner. Assign and train a backup for this person, and make sure the team is not made up of only students.
- Create a plan and strategy. Determine what content you wish to share, and what tools are best for engaging the varied audiences. Ensure there are ways to measure and track the success, or lack of success, of your accounts. Ongoing evaluation should also be part of your strategy. Define your timeline.
- Identify Your Audiences: List your primary audiences and tailor your content and tools to best communicate with them.
- Create Content: Identify the content you have to share. Is it primarily news updates, research developments, or networking information? Can you share photographs and/or video? Identify what your audiences are already saying about you, and build your messages around the topics and information that are relevant to your entity.
- Create a profile name that clearly and concisely identifies your program and its UK affiliation. Do not identify yourself simply as “University of Kentucky.” Instead, identify a simple and descriptive name for your profile that clearly identifies your affiliation with the University of Kentucky. The university has created a family of icons and logos that can be used and adapted for individual schools, colleges and programs - please contact the Public Relations & Marketing Department for assistance in customizing those icons, or if you have any questions about the appropriate profile photo and/or logo.
- Follow the policy and guidelines for approval. Also, UK has a broad audience of students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, fans and more interacting with UK on social media, so we can help expand your reach by sharing it with these individuals.
- Once approved, use traditional means, such as email lists and notices on your website, to notify your potential audiences that you have a social media presence. Also, notify others with social media presences and similar interests that your site is live. One of the best ways to do this is by linking or tagging these sites from yours and mentioning them in your posts. Include easy-to-find links to your social media presence on your website, and cross-promote on social media accounts as much as possible.
- Once your site is up and running, you will find some content is popular, some is ignored, and some is just plain cumbersome. All social media tools come with easy-to-use tracking tools, so you can see which posts are viewed and shared most, which generate comments, etc. Be prepared to re-align your strategy in response to who is viewing your site and how they are doing so.
How do I get recognition on the UK's Social Media homepage and other places?
First, complete the official social media approval process. Secondly, update your site often and tell all audiences - internal and external - about your accounts. Include links to your social media accounts on your websites, customize your Facebook URL (once you've reached 25 fans) and include the URLs on marketing/printed materials. Above all, be sure to give people a reason to keep coming back, and be committed to a clear strategy.
Facebook has groups and fan pages. Which is right for me?
A Facebook fan page can be a great way to promote the activities of your department or program, showcase accomplishments and events, engage with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community, and create a forum for conversation and discussion.
It’s usually better to create a fan page rather than a group for your department or program. The chart, below, compares the features offered by fan pages and by groups.
*Facebook Fan Page vs. Facebook Group
|Allows distinct URLs||Yes||No|
|Indexed by search engines like Google||Yes||No|
|Administrator can access visitor statistics||Yes||No|
|Discussion features and forums||Yes||Yes|
|Can be cross-promoted on other fan pages||Yes||Yes|
|Ability to create events and invitations||Yes||Yes|
|Twitter or blog feeds||Yes||No|
|Visible to unregistered people||Yes||No|
|Fans can leave comments and “likes”||Yes||No|
|Can send out bulk emails to your members’ in boxes||No||Yes|
|Information posted on your wall will appear on your fans’ walls||Yes||No|
|The administrator’s personal information isn’t listed||Yes||No|
*Information from Vanderbilt University: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/publicaffairs/webcomm/vu-resources/social-media-handbook/appendix-b/
What UK logos and trademarks can I use?
How do I monitor content?
Unanswered Questions? Contact us!