If you have been tasked with setting up a social media account for your department or service, consult the Social Media Guidelines for Conestoga Employees for best practices as part of Conestoga's larger online presence. To start your department or school's social media account(s), follow the social media strategy found below.
Setting up your social media strategy
Developing a social media strategy is the first step you should take when setting up a presence on social media. Who is your audience? What are your goals? What platform works best for your needs? Considering these questions is crucial to understanding how to run a successful and engaging social media account.
Have a clear purpose
What is social media’s primary purpose for your program/service? Each social media network functions differently and attracts different demographics. Whether you’re looking to spread the word about a lesser known program, network with community stakeholders, or to connect with students over class projects, how you plan to use social media will determine which social network will work best for your needs.
Set measurable goals
What are the goals you are hoping to achieve on social media? How will you measure your progress/success? What resources do you have to dedicate to this?
Know your audience
Being successful takes time and planning. Regular posts, timely responses to questions and messages, consistent voice and audience-appropriate content are all things to be considered when running a social media account that represents Conestoga College.
- Have a clear understanding of who your target audience is and post content that is relevant, interesting and engaging for that demographic. Do you have unique information that users can’t get anywhere else? Is it relevant to your primary audience?
- When you set up your new account, you will have no followers or friends – in short, no one to hear your message. How will you grow your audience?
Engage with your audience
Gone are the days of top-down marketing where the audience is passive. Social media is conversational. Listen and reply to comments, questions and concerns - promptly.
The best engagement is meaningful and authentic. How will you engage with your audience?
- What are the messages and types of messages you want to post?
- How often will you post?
- What kind of original content are you crafting? What kind of content are you sharing?
No one is on social media to be marketed to, but if your content is interesting and meaningful it is okay to add in some promotion as well. It is recommended to follow a rule of thirds:
- 1/3 of content is original content created by you
- 1/3 is shared interesting, educational or entertaining content
- 1/3 can be promotional
Retweeting and sharing posts is a great way to engage with connections on social media. However, be wary of saturating similar content if you’re short on original posts. Many Conestoga social media accounts share followers who can become frustrated at seeing the same content shared over multiple accounts. Avoid being an echo chamber to keep social media streamlined and useful for our followers.
Review and measure
Review your social media strategy annually. Are you achieving your goals? Are you fulfilling your execution and maintenance plans? Is the platform working well with your content and audience?
Social media is engaging and conversational. If your department lacks the time or resources to run an account, social media may not be right for your needs. Contact Corporate Communications if you would like to send out news or promote an event through our corporate channels.