The following Top 10 list is for those interested in creating social media accounts for their facility.
1. Don't Panic
Social media can be intimidating. Don’t let it scare you away! Having active social accounts allows you to not only increase exposure to new opportunities and individuals, but it allows you to create a closer relationship with your audience, who want to see updates from you – they will “follow” you for a reason!
2. Set Goals
What are your goals for using social media? Do you want to reach new people, or stay connected with current customers? Set goals that will align with your business objectives. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals to get started.
3. Start Simple
Does your facility already have social media profiles? Your best option is to ask the marketing/communications department, if your facility has one. If there are existing accounts, talk with the department about how you can contribute or if you can create separate accounts for your own department.
4. Pick the Right One(s)
Not every social media platform may be the right option for your facility. Consider who you are trying to reach. If they are on social media, which platforms are they using? Facebook? Instagram? Analyze research to understand your audience and how best to reach them.
5. Determine How Others Socialize
How are others in your industry utilizing social media? Scan social sites of others, including your consumers and competitors. What does (and doesn’t) work for them may help you gauge what works for you.
6. Create a Content Calendar
Consider what you want to share and how you will present it. Are you selling a product or service? Do you want to share photos of your staff? Write ideas down and develop a schedule of your posts – this will help maintain consistency and allow you to manage your time efficiently.
7. Create Your Accounts
Once you've decided which account(s) to create, visit the home page (i.e.: www.twitter.com), and fill out the form to create an account. Be sure to use an active e-mail address as you will receive updates, notifications, and more about each account as you use them.
8. Dive in and Learn
Start by naming the account and uploading a profile picture. Does your facility or department have a logo that you can use? Or a picture of your team? After adding a photo, be sure to update your profile information, including your web address, phone number, and other information your followers may find helpful.
9. Get Comfortable
Familiarize yourself with the account(s) by viewing the settings and options within it. Use step-by-step instructions from Constant Contact for assistance. Learn how to create a post on Facebook, send a tweet on Twitter, or upload an image on Instagram. The more familiar you are with the different settings and capabilities, the more comfortable you will become!
10. Share Your New Site(s)
Inform others in your department and facility of your new account(s). Work with facility staff to add links to your account(s) in the monthly newsletter, on the facility website, and anywhere that may help you increase engagement and gain followers from your intended audience.
11. Bonus - Post, Share, Retweet Often
Share content often so your followers can engage with you and have a reason to follow your accounts. Whether you are posting your own content, sharing content from outside sources (articles, websites), or are retweeting a trending tweet, find information that is relevant for your followers, and share it often.
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