Social media has changed the way we communicate—both as an institution and as individuals. With tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, and Flickr, anyone with an Internet connection now has the ability to create a dynamic Web presence, update it from wherever they are whenever they want, and share their content instantly with friends and followers around the world.
Social media has given UTC and our various departments the opportunity to interact with on-campus audiences (students, faculty, and staff) as well as off-campus audiences (parents, alumni, fans, and friends) about what is important to them. We can better understand and respond to them, and in doing so, share the sense of community present on campus with a much broader array of people.
UTC supports the use of social media by departments and units in the course of their work to connect with students, fellow faculty and staff, alumni, fans, colleagues, and more. However, social media should only serve to supplement and not replace the official channels of communicating with your audiences. This document is designed to provide guidance, advice, and tips on how to do so effectively, safely, and within university guidelines.
What is social media?
Social media refers to online tools and services that allow any Internet user to create and publish content—from stories and short updates to pictures, video and more. The heart of social media, and what makes it "social," is the two-way communication, interaction, and sharing of information that takes place between users of the sites. Social media is not about talking at people, it's about talking with people.
Popular social media services include Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr. Social media is an increasingly central part of people's lives, with the sites above registering in millions or sometimes tens of millions of users. The dynamic created by social media allows people to get information from trusted sources in ways that previously were impossible. For a university, that means new opportunities to share and new challenges in ensuring that the messages we communicate are not only heard, but acted on, as well.