Role of the social media manager

Like other internet-based communications at the university, social media accounts are the responsibility of the unit that initiates use. These accounts should be managed in a way that is consistent with the unit’s communications strategy and the university’s strategic direction and objectives.

Each official university social media account should have a designated social media manager responsible for maintaining that account. A backup social media manager should also be identified who will, at a minimum, moderate comments and respond to questions when the primary social media manager is unavailable. 

We recommend that people should have at least 10 hours per week to focus on social media.

Social media managers are accountable for ensuring a professional presence that reflects the values, messages and culture of the university. This includes:

  • Strategy: Having a written plan is essential. See Using social media strategically for more information.
  • Timely updates:  Unlike static web pages, most social media channels depend on regular updates to maintain their usefulness. Sites that go for long periods without updates appear abandoned and should be removed. The frequency with which you update your channel will vary according to audience and content, but for most channels your updates should be made at least weekly.
  • Timely responses: Social media managers should respond to feedback as quickly as possible. Questions and complaints provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate attentiveness and goodwill. Failure to respond in a timely way may be perceived as a lack of commitment to this audience and a failure to take its concerns seriously.
  • Appropriate voice: Many social media channels take the form of a conversation in order to promote a more personal interaction and, as a result, a more informal tone is adopted. While this may be entirely appropriate, be mindful that an informal communications style should still be professional, and that the basic rules of grammar, spelling, etc. should be applied.
  • Moderating content: You should have comment moderating guidelines, make it accessible to your community and enforce it. 
  • Monitoring: Monitoring extends beyond moderating content into networking and reputation management. Social media managers may find it beneficial to watch online conversations on social media that reference the university, their unit or any topics related to their unit. 
  • Reporting: The social media manager should use analytics to track progress towards the goals outlined in the social media strategy document.