Choosing Social Media

Clarify your objectives by answering these questions:

  • Why are you using social media?
  • Who’s your audience, and what do they want or need?
  • How will you promote your social media channels?
  • Who’s going to do the work? (Is social media really sustainable given your/your co-workers’ workload?)
  • Can you keep your content fresh?

Understanding Social Media

  • Consider how running a page for your workplace might differ from maintaining your personal social media accounts.
  • Do enough research to understand the medium: How does it work? Does it require participation from multiple parties, or does it function more like a bulletin board?
  • Look for pages by other organizations like yours. What are they doing well? What are their readers responding to? What could or would you do differently?

Maintaining Your Pages

  • Keep your content fresh, but don’t overdo it; too-frequent posts annoy readers.
  • Optimal posting frequency for Facebook is no more than seven posts per week; for Twitter, up to four tweets per day.
  • Peak times for most social media: weekdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a window of particularly strong activity between 1 and 4 p.m. Worst times: nights, Friday afternoons, and weekends. Exception: Blogs like Tumblr, which users are more likely to read in the evening.
  • Make sure you understand how users can respond to and share your posts on the channel you’re considering.
  • Monitor your page continuously and respond to user queries and comments.

Content Ideas

  • Give readers a sense of what it’s like to be here now.
  • Announce upcoming events.
  • Share good news.
  • Tell stories about students’ activities.
  • Keep up with your alumni.
  • Offer congratulations.
  • Show readers our offbeat side.
  • Give readers a sneak preview of events.
  • Remind readers about your services and programs.

Promoting Your Social Media Presence

  • Include “University of Alabama” in your account name.
  • Link to your social media pages via your website, email signature, and communications with your constituents.
  • Tell eTech your social media account name/s so we can connect with you online.

The College’s Facebook page is here:

Our Twitter and Instagram handle is @UA_AS

Participating Thoughtfully

  • Remember that your posts represent your entire division.
  • Reread posts critically before launching them.
  • Be friendly and direct.
  • Proofread every post for grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and factual errors.
  • Keep posts short: optimal length is up to 80 characters for Facebook, 100 for Twitter.
  • Use photos.
  • Use links to provide additional information.
  • Avoid “fluff” — post only when you have info to share.
  • Use humor carefully.
  • Don’t mislead readers with gimmicky language.
  • Avoid memes.
  • Keep your posts clean and polite.
  • Don’t proselytize.
  • Keep your cultural references noncontroversial.
  • Don’t advertise or infringe.
  • When in doubt, leave it out.