Social Media Checklist

This checklist was inspired by Vanderbilt University's social media strategy worksheet.

Before diving into social media, you want to make sure your time is well spent.

Create a social media plan by writing out answers to the following questions:

  • Responsible People: Who will have the responsibility for populating, maintaining and monitoring your social media presence? Do they have skills and time? List the team members. AVOID relying only on students. A UO faculty or staff member must have administrative privileges to all accounts and is responsible for controlling permissions and security to the accounts.
  • Main Goals and Strategies: What do you hope to do? Launch a campaign, promote your department, communicate externally? With alumni, media or donors? Internal communications? Define your goal and list promotions tactics, ex. “We will list our Facebook url on all print materials.”
  • Define and Measure Your Success: What do you hope to gain? How will you know when you have it? Do you want increased traffic to your website? More energetic give and take with prospective students? You want to reach out to new colleagues on campus or around the world? Define success, how you'll measure it, and the tools you need to measure it (Google Analytics?).
  • Who's coming to your party?: This is about audience. Targeting specific groups, like prospective students, English faculty members, the class of ‘95 will help you tailor your content and conversation. List your primary audiences. Do you have secondary ones, too? How will you reach out to them initially? Remember simply setting up a Facebook page isn't enough. You have to invite people there.
  • Engagement and conversations: Nobody likes it when you talk constantly about yourself. It shows bad social skills. In social media, you need to be a good conversationalist. Sometimes small talk is more valuable than messaging. How will you engage informally with your audience? For example, the most active conversations on the UO's Facebook page sometimes center on the best things to do on a sunny spring day. Pepper your presence with questions. It is, after all, social media.
  • Shhh… Before you talk, listen: What are people saying in similar spots? What are people saying about you? Who is talking? List who's talking, about what, and where?
  • Content: What content will you share? Is it news or engagement-based? Images? Video? List the content you will be sharing via social media and the kinds of things you think are successful. Remember, it's social, so it shouldn't always be about you. Sometimes, it should be about your users. Will you solicit input from them? How will you foster the loyalty required to defend you when you need it most?
  • Evaluation: Schedule an evaluation of your effort’s success based on the plan you outlined by answering these questions. Be ready to recast your site’s content and strategy. Regular evaluation should also be part of your effort. It's OK to fail on some things. Set out your timeline. This is not a project. It's an ongoing effort.