Before opening a UC ANR-branded account (including accounts for any of our sub-brands like 4-H, UC Master Gardener, etc.), consider these guiding questions. Your answers will form the basis of your social media plan (addressing channel choices, target audiences, tone, featured topics, post frequency, etc.) Since social media takes time and depends on a thoughtful plan, it is important to have your supervisor on board with that use of your time. It might be helpful to view the Strategic Communications channel framework on this page in developing your plan.

  • What is the primary goal of this social media account? How will you measure those goals?
  • Is this the right platform to reach your target audience? Research audience demographics for each platform. Involve audience members in your planning, if possible. What kind of content do they like? When are they active on these platforms?
  • What other marketing channels are you currently using and how are they working? How will social media be used differently?
  • Who is going to manage the account? What happens if and when the selected admin(s) leaves the organization?
  • What content will you share, and what is your plan to schedule and create this content?
  • How often will the account be checked for feedback? Who will be charged with responding to feedback?
  • Will you provide valuable content to users on a consistent basis? Daily posting is recommended on social media platforms. If it is not feasible to post original content daily, we recommend daily sharing of relevant content from others (with context provided) and a minimum of weekly posting of original content.
  • How will you promote the account to gain a following?
  • What is your social media plan for managing a crisis? Who needs to be notified in the event of a public relations emergency?
  • How will you address inappropriate posts by your followers?
  • Are there other UC ANR social media accounts that are already connecting with your target audience? Using established platforms might reach your target audience faster than it takes to build your own fan base. View the social media directory (link to directory) to see what already exists and avoid duplicating efforts.
  • How will you measure success? Establish performance metrics that are tied to your goals. Find out what posts did well, and why, and adapt accordingly. Typical social media metrics include number of followers, number of engagements with the content (retweets, shares, comments, likes, video views) and number of click-throughs to links you include in your posts. You should also analyze which types of images and types/lengths of videos perform best to inform your overall strategy (hint: animals always do well). There are numerous resources available to help you learn how to measure success, such as this article from SproutSocial and this blog post from Hootsuite.
  • View the social media information in the UC ANR communications toolkit for additional information and ideas.
  • Read these platform-specific tips:

Next: Creating and posting content