Using Social Media

The future is a global community of readers and viewers who decide what content they want to see and when and how and where they want to see it.

More than one billion people use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn and other sites to create and publish content to connect, inform and amuse themselves and others. Social media is just a term for any online tool that enables you to engage your audience.

Content can take many forms — words, photos, audio, video or a link. It can be a story that offers insight into research results or brags about public service, an invitation to an event or photos or video of it during and afterward. It can introduce a newcomer to your readers, pat a student on the back or give a retiring colleague a chance to say goodbye.

UAB encourages its employees and units to use social media to reach professional and business objectives, and we’re here to help you understand policies and practices that apply and guide you in using these tools to best serve your unit, audience and the interests of UAB.

The UAB Office of Public Relations and Marketing maintains an institutional Facebook page for UAB at www.facebook.com/uab.edu and Twitter feeds at @uabnews and @uabgreenmail.


Policies

UAB units and departments are free to create and maintain a presence on social media that is professional, technically secure and does not violate university Web policies or laws that govern the dissemination of public information. These include UAB’s Acceptable Use of Computer and Network Resources, World Wide Web Pages Policy and other applicable policies posted in the university Policies and Procedures Library.

These policies are part of the implicit and explicit agreement you make with UAB for the use of its resources. Read them and let them guide you. Direct questions about these guidelines to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

UAB Medicine employees should contact Health System Marketing Communications for the specific Web standards and social media guidelines established for UABMedicine entities.


Practices

Don’t establish a social media presence for the sake of doing it. Think about who you are trying to reach and why. Then develop a plan of action that clarifies your objectives, expectations and conduct and consider these items:
  • Articulate your strategy. Develop a clear plan that reflects the unique personality of your unit and establishes objectives and desired outcomes. Plan your work, and work your plan. Review and adjust as needed.
  • Be transparent about who you are. You are an ambassador. Focus on telling your organization’s story honestly and providing accurate, timely information that is relevant to your readers. This will encourage them to share information with their contacts with confidence.
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Procedures

The effectiveness of social media relies on content, consistency and developing a sense of community and co-operation, beginning with your unit and UAB.

Start by talking to your unit’s communications team. If you’re not sure who they are, contact them here. Work with them to define objectives and plan to support those of the unit and university. UAB’s Strategic Plan and the ones for your school or division are a great place to start.

Plan to manage daily. More than one person should have access to manage and contribute content for any official site. We also suggest you provide a password to your communications leader for exigencies. Otherwise, keep your user information confidential.

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