In the course of this semester, I, along with several others in my cohort, have been categorized as “anti-social media.” In my case, this warrants clarification, because I’m not 100% anti-social media all the time. I’m really against social media that doesn’t accomplish anything. If it’s not valuable or entertaining, I don’t want it.
In my current role as a Marketing Specialist, I am single-handedly responsible for all marketing efforts for five different offices at the university. This includes a total of 15 social media accounts across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. No team, no support. I am a firm believer that managing social media is a full-time job, and needs a full-time staffer to give it the proper care and attention it needs to thrive. So, whether it’s out of spite, or bitterness, or sheer lack of time and resources, I have let (most) of my offices’ social media accounts fall to the wayside (this is bad, I know, I am working on it) while I focus on other more pressing projects.
Because of the responsibility I have on my plate, I’ve been forced to take a very reactive approach to posting to social media. However, one of our recent readings on social media governance gave me a lot to think about. On Charlene Li’s 5 point scale on social media governance, I can tell you – 4 out of 5 of the social media “collections” I manage are 1s across the board. Totally inadequate or non-existent policies, very few processes for posting, etc. The only area I’m consistent in is paid advertising and the measurement and tracking of that data. But managing the social accounts consistently, with clear guidelines and expectations? I’m embarrassingly low.
When I sat down for my annual review this past July, one of my goals for this upcoming year is to put processes in place to make posting and managing our social media accounts more proactive rather than reactive. These readings on social media governance, as well as our recent activity analyzing the social media policies in place for companies like Coca-Cola and Intel, have given me a great reference for how to get started in working towards this goal.
The first thing I’ve realized is that I need to go back to the very beginning. I need to revisit and plan out the actual strategy at the heart of using these social media platforms. Why does the Office of Non-credit and Continuing Education need a Facebook? What value will this provide to potential or current students of our non-credit programs? Is Twitter really the right platform to use to reach high school students for our pre-college programs? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself.
As I start down this path of trying to put better processes in place, I’ll look to the policies shared by companies like Intel and IBM. For example, Intel’s social media policy surely covers the importance of following their rules and guidelines to posting to social media and following the code of conduct. However, it also includes a lot of great advice and suggestions for being transparent, moderating communities, fixing mistakes, and the overall direction of the content – is it exciting? Are you providing value? Are you speaking to users as if it’s a conversation, rather than being too composed or professional? These points resonate with me, and I will strive to touch on these areas as I strategize my own social media policy at work. To illustrate my vision for what my future social media policy will look like, I’ve put together a diagram that includes what areas I find are most important to include in the policy.
While I know I still won’t be able to give these social media channels the attention they need to thrive, I do feel better equipped to tackle the heart of the issue: building a foundation of social media governance and policy.