dent, what kind of content would I want to see from
the facilities department?’ The department does a lot of
things to ensure that the educational experience is seamless and everything goes exactly as it should, so I just
thought of ways that I, as a student, would want to be
engaged by the campus’ Twitter and Facebook accounts,”
says Matt Cruz, Communication Intern for the Facilities,
Engineering, and Planning Department at Rice University.
To get started, ask yourself what you’d like people
to know about your facilities department and consider
the best way to communicate that. Will you be mainly
sharing photos of facility and grounds improvements?
Perhaps some web articles that your audience may find
interesting or some how-to videos? Whether you’ll
be creating your own materials or sharing from other
sources, knowing what type of content you’ll be using
and each platform’s strengths and weaknesses can help
you fine-tune your strategy.
Where Should I Post?
With the multitude of social networks that cater to a
variety of demographics, it can be difficult to ascertain
which platform is the best for your organization. After
all, you don’t want to waste large amounts of time on a
network that your audience may not even use.
Asking your occupants questions about their social
media usage can give you a great starting point to decide
which networks to focus on and which to skip. If your
organization is small, you may focus on creating just one
account on the platform your occupants already use,
whereas if you’re looking to reach a wider variety of
audiences, a multi-platform approach may be the right
One key consideration for choosing a social media
strategy is to clearly delineate your goals for each platform. Will your posts be primarily targeted toward occupants or are you looking to engage with the larger web
community on facilities-related topics? It can be a good
idea to focus one platform’s outreach on communicating with your direct audience, while another platform
is used for more general stories and posts designed to
engage either the local community or other users interested in similar topics.
How Should I Post?
While the various social platforms allow for a variety
of different posting strategies and audiences that can be
reached, it’s important to remember to act professionally at all times. If you’re representing your organization
in an online capacity, follow a few tips.
“Always be professional and respectful, and be careful
of what you’re posting – especially when speaking about
your campus or your business. Regular English grammar rules are a good idea. Be honest but respectful and
certainly don’t go trashing other people or organizations,”
says Lizzie Oderkirk, Digital Content Coordinator for
Michigan State University’s Infrastructure Planning and
Another key piece of advice – keep in mind what types
of content social media users are interested in engaging
with. While text-only updates are the easiest to generate,
posting photos or external links can pay big dividends in
user engagement and tweet visibility.
“We consistently receive more interaction from our
followers when we use photos,” says Martha G. Koontz,
FM Communications Specialist for Auburn University.
“Our text-only tweets may receive around 300 views,
but tweets including photos consistently receive more
than 1,000 views.”
Along with these options for professional outreach,
don’t forget about LinkedIn’s potential to improve your
own professional profile – check out the guide on page
54 to learn how to use its groups can help you find quick
answers to issues.
While you likely have a personal page on Facebook
for interacting with friends and colleagues, the same
network can be a valuable tool for FM outreach. The
platform continues to grow since its 2004 launch and
boasts 1.4 billion active users, making it the largest
social network on the web and one that you should pay
attention to – most people in your audience likely have
an account. Additionally, Facebook’s platform allows a
wide range of media to be posted seamlessly from plain
text status updates to hyperlinks, photos, videos and
To use Facebook effectively, you’ll want to create an
organization-specific page rather than use your personal account to post updates. Creating a specific page
not only helps you grow an audience by appearing in
Facebook’s search results, but also allows you to use
tools designed specifically for page administrators, such
as engagement insights and post scheduling. Measuring
metrics such as Likes, Shares, and post clicks can help
you assess the quality of your posts and help you find
the content your audience likes best. Scheduling allows
you to set the day and time for posts to be published.
“One thing we’ve found useful is a content calendar
set up with the exact wording of the post, which can be
copied and pasted into the scheduler when it’s ready.
www.buildings.com BUILDINGS 51
In case you missed it, Chestnut Road is now open! The road has been repaved with new bike lanes,
crosswalks and sidewalks.
Be sure to check out our detour map to stay up-to-date with road closures and detours: http://ipf.msu.edu/
MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities added 3 new photos
July 30 at 10:07am