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.
  • Monitor the conversation. Social media sites thrive on sharing and feedback among many users. It is important to monitor live discussions for off-topic or abusive comments or other inappropriate content and respond quickly following your statement on user-generated comment. You also hear the compliments.
  • Ask for feedback — and listen. Then process what you hear. Feedback will separate the content that connects with your audience and from that which doesn’t.
  • Anticipate escalation. If someone runs into an issue, question, or confrontation that they can’t individually or personally handle, what’s the appropriate path for them to take? Is there a contact chart or other procedures they should follow to report that information or take it to another member of the team?
  • Measure what matters to you. A goal should be measurable. Do you want friends, followers, retweets, likes, comments, site visitors?
  • Guard our reputation. Remember — online you speak for the university as well as for your group. Strive for accuracy, correct any errors quickly and visibly. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to write about certain material, ask. Be mindful of UAB’s Web policies and guidelines at www.uab.edu/ web.
  • Protect everyone’s confidentiality. This is a public arena. Do not post, comment upon or share confidential, proprietary or protected health information about any person, program or entity. All federal guidelines such as FERPA and HIPAA and university policies must be observed.
  • Respect copyright and fair use laws. Observe laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including UAB's own copyrights and brands.
  • Include a user-generated content statement. UAB encourages posts, comments and feedback on its social media pages, but user-generated content does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the university and it is not screened or approved by UAB before it is posted.