Social media FAQ

What is social media?
Basically, it is a computer-based way for people to socialize with others all over the world. People create and electronically share information, ideas and images. Some social media networks attract those with a common interest, but others, like Facebook and Twitter, have a more general appeal. Wikipedia provides a curated list of major active social networking websites with descriptions.

May I create my own social media page?
You may, but first, please read this entire page and the University's social media guidelines. Note that there are University standards, practices and naming conventions that must be adhered to. If you decide that you do indeed want to create a social media page, before doing so, please email Sara Putnam or Kevin Noonan..

How do I know if should I make a social media account?
  1. You must be willing and able to engage with your audience multiple times a week. "Social" media is all about being social. If you are not looking to establish and continue connections with other people and organizations and trying to engage with your audience in conversation, then what you need is simply a website, not social media.
  2. You must have an audience interested in connecting with you and you must have interesting things, such as photos, articles, tips, contests, etc, to provide them.
  3. You must represent a high-level, long-term group, not an event. Social media accounts are not to be created for events.
  4. You must be prepared to open yourself up to potential spammers or public comments posted to your account for all to see.

Who do I work with for social media?
You'll be responsible for creating, maintaining and running your social media accounts and their content.

  1. To find connections on your social network, see our list of known CAHNR social media accounts.
  2. To be added to the CAHNR social media accounts list, contact Nicholas Hanna.
  3. For up-to-date information on the CAHNR social media landscape, email  Sara Putnam.
  4. For University level social media guidelines, go to
  5. To create a compliant social media account logo, contact Kevin Noonan.
  6. To update the header of your website with social media icons, similar to what you see in the circles on the top of this page, contact Nicholas or Kevin.

Are there rules I should know about?
The University has clear guidelines at

How can I succeed on social media?

  1. Start small. Try a few platforms to begin your venture into social media. Add more as you build experience.
  2. Be social. Reach out to others on that social network, share their posts, comment on things, respond to your followers and ask for their opinions.
  3. Be friendly. While you should remember you are publicly representing the University, successful social media site often has a more casual, personal tone. You want followers to feel like they are talking to a human.
  4. Contribute something valuable. Write tips or articles. Post photos or videos. Give people a reason to connect with you.
  5. Keep to a schedule. A schedule helps you make sure you regularly create content. It also helps your fans add you to their news routine.
  6. Follow the conventions. Each social media platform has norms about how many words to use, what kind of content to post, etc. Pay attention to what others do on that social network and emulate the style of successful members.
  7. Know your audience. If your audience is all current students, don't speak like a recruiter.