On Small Teams and Facebook

Let’s get real. The fact is we don’t all have social media managers. Smaller institutions often have a very limited staff for communications. So, what to do when you are part of a small team but still trying to leverage the benefits of a Facebook presence?

First, my recommendation is always that you do only what you can do well. The positive impact and results of a small number of platforms done really well is more important than the negative impact that comes from mediocre and spotty work within multiple platforms.

Second, don’t be a victim of BSO Syndrome. Don’t know about BSO? Google it.

Third, it is important that the central communications office manage, in fact “own,” the official social channels for your institution. No matter how small you are, there will be multiple Facebook pages. In addition to a top-level institutional page on Facebook, we often see one for Alumni, one for Admissions, and one for News. I also think it is appropriate for official entities within an institution (colleges, schools, etc.) to use Facebook in a way that supports the needs of their unique audiences.

Finally, Facebook is so pervasive that much of your institutional presence there is going to be outside the purview of your central communications office. And that can be good. Think of all of the potential brand advocates out there using Facebook to talk about you in a positive way! Your small team can influence these multiple Facebook pages by offering guidance, policy, visual identity standards, and advice to those managing social channels that are tied to your institution. After all, the way that your students and faculty use Facebook for the photo club or the biology department can have an effect on your reputation and you should have some minimal standards that all need to follow.

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