If you have decided that you would like to start one or more Louisiana Tech University-related social media accounts on behalf of a department, program, event, or other university function or entity, here are some questions to consider before taking on this task.
- What is the goal of creating this account? – Are you aiming to notify students of a particular event? Do you wish to promote research from faculty members? If you approach this with no clear goals in mind, managing the account will be difficult and cumbersome. Instead of goals like “build a follower base,” try “regularly engage with students who have questions about our offerings.”
- Who will manage the account? – Social media cannot function properly as an afterthought. In an ideal situation, the account(s) will be managed by at least one individual full-time, or multiple individuals part-time. Dedication to growing and maintaining the account(s) and its relevancy should be a priority. Account access should be centralized, so that in the event of a departure or position change, the appropriate individuals will still be able to access the account and allow account co-ownership as needed. Account owners should also be willing and able to answer questions, handle concerns, and field comments both positive and negative from their followers.
- What sort of content do we want to put out? – Tying back into your goals, thinking this question through may help you decide if starting one or more accounts is really worth it. If there are only a few things you have in mind, try using the request form here or reaching out to the University Communications social media arm at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how you can collaborate with official university channels to amplify your content without the hassle of creating your own accounts. This can also have the benefit of giving you an idea of how the established Louisiana Tech follower base may respond to the content. This will give you real, actionable analytics and may help you decide which platform(s) you’d like an account on, or if account creation is a viable, sustainable option.
- Do we have enough content ready? – Starting an account from scratch without a plan starts the endeavor off on the wrong foot. Consider preparing a content calendar for the first few weeks of the account’s creation. Try to gather a backlog of content for slow periods as to avoid long stretches of silence and “dead air.” A danger of account creation is a strong start followed by a steady decline in content production and web presence. This results in an account becoming dormant, ineffective, and potentially confusing to the university follower base. This also ties back in to having the right people dedicating time to managing the account.
- How can this account serve the greater mission of Louisiana Tech? – Think of ways that a new account might affect the larger areas of the university: the college it operates under, the faculty it will represent, the cohesive branding it will be required to assume. The list goes on. Even new accounts should keep in mind that they are in the eyes of the public as part of Louisiana Tech University. The cumulative web presence of Louisiana Tech should work in harmony. Take steps to ensure there’s not too much content crossover between your new account and some already established ones. Think of how you can contribute something beneficial to the Louisiana Tech mission and how your account exists in many ways to serve our campus community and our stakeholders.