Social media refers to any online tool that encourages and facilitates communication and information sharing.

Currently, mainstream social media tools include platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. These are the main platforms our college supports for publishing and support. As technologies and needs change, new services may emerge to help us reach our audience. The social media landscape is constantly evolving, presenting our college with many opportunities and challenges.

Social media should be used in addition to, not a replacement for, traditional communication, such as your website, email and print media.

OMC offers official guidance to those interested in having a social media presence that represents a college unit, department or service. Please review our resources prior to creating an account, or if you administer an account that has already been created.

Why use social media?

Social media helps people connect and communicate with each other quickly and easily, which is why it is so popular. There are several reasons why CAES and UGA Extension should communicate using social media.

It's where our audience is.

Social media platforms are some of the most visited and widely-used websites, with users often staying for longer than just a few minutes.

More than 50%t of Georgians and 90% of college students have a Facebook account. A growing number of Georgians are also using Twitter to get the latest news.

It gives us a way to affirm our importance.

We can put out glossy marketing brochures and official web content about how great our programs and services are. Increasingly, though, what convinces folks to support, donate or use services is the conversations with people they know and trust. Facebook and Twitter allow real people to talk with each other, as well as with us about how we make a real difference in their lives.

It helps us support our goals.

CAES uses social media to promote the college's recruitment, diversity and fundraising efforts, while building and maintaining support for the college.

It lets us talk to the people we serve.

Social media tools allow us to quickly, cheaply and frequently tell the public about how we provide value. Whether we are promoting an event, publicizing a timely resource or providing expertise on a topic, communicating via social media provides us with another outlet to reach our audience.

It lets us listen to the people we serve.

Monitoring social media related to our college gives us an idea of what people care about and would like to hear more about. Questions, concerns and complaints can be heard and addressed by college employees, giving us a chance to demonstrate our responsiveness and address issues before they become problems.

Do I need a social media account?

Before creating an account, think about the long-term management and maintenance of the account prior to creating one. Also think about your comfortability managing a social media account if you are acting as the primary admin.

Other questions to ask before creating an account:

  • Do I have something compelling to share with my audience?
  • Would the creation of an account for a suborganization (i.e. creating an FACS page when there is already an office page for that county) water down my content or cause competition for an audience?
  • Can I clearly describe what I plan to do with my social media account?
  • Can I dedicate approximately 30 minutes a day managing an account?
  • Do I need to identify a person who will be responsible for updating and monitoring the account?
  • Does that person have the necessary knowledge?
  • Do I have a plan in place for dealing with problems?

It is better not to have a social media presence than to have one that is "dead" or filled with spam. If you are no longer keeping up with an account, please close or delete it.