Social media is first and foremost a communication tool. Think about who you are trying to reach and why you would like to reach them. Then develop a plan of action that clarifies your objectives, expectations and conduct.

  • Articulate your strategy. Develop a clear plan that reflects the unique personality of your unit, the audience(s) you hope to reach, 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 unit's story honestly and providing accurate, timely information that is relevant to your audience. This will encourage them to share your information with their own followers with confidence.
  • Monitor and participate in the conversation. Social media sites thrive on sharing and feedback among many users. It is important to monitor discussions that might stem from what you’re sharing and topics related to what you’re sharing to find new content. Following UAB accounts is a great place to start.
  • Anticipate feedback. If you run into an issue, question, or confrontation with a follower that you can’t personally handle, what’s the appropriate path for you to take? You can always reach out to UAB's Social Media Manager with questions.
  • Measure what matters to you. All goals should be measurable. What do you want your social media presence to inspire your audience to do — visit your website? Sign up for your newsletter? Make an appointment? Establish how you will measure success before you start.
  • Guard UAB’s reputation. Remember — online you speak for the university as well as for your unit. Strive for accuracy, correct any errors quickly and visibly, and answer questions. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to write about certain material, ask your communications director or UAB's Social Media Manager. Be mindful of UAB's community standards and policies.
    • Protect 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.