Last week, my Social Media Management class received a visit from Colorado State University’s Social Media Director, Kimberly Stern. We learned how spontaneous the field can be and we also learned the importance of social media policy within organizations.
I was actually surprised by the spontaneity of the field. I mean, I understand that social media posting correlates a lot with current events and what’s going on within a community, but I figured there would most certainly be a monthly line up of the frequency of postings.
Turns out — I was wrong. Stern even said something along the lines of CSU social media not even having a plan until a few minutes before a posting. Crazy, but really cool. It shows how social media has revolutionized relationships between an organization and it’s community. Now, instead of waiting a few days to here about something in the paper, we know about it as it’s happening.
Policy seems to be the biggest and most important factor for CSU social media. Stern continued to stress the importance of the CSU community registering their social media accounts. “It is required,” she echoed. Why? Because it is crucial to the upkeep of CSU’s image.
When someone register’s their CSU account, they are agreeing to CSU’s social media policy and guidelines. A social media policy keeps all of an organizations social media accounts in line. It must be followed by all social media accounts and promotes responsible social media usage for all account users.
Social media guidelines are used in a more casual way. As we learned in class, guidelines are typically there to help train users on social media usage, teach them how to resolve conflict, and use social media safely.
Stern says that there is a lot of trust within the CSU community, assuming they will follow the policy and use social media properly to positively represent CSU. However, Stern does admit that they do monitor all social media accounts very carefully, and every once in awhile there have been some slip-ups. It’s rare, but it does happen.
I guess the biggest take away from Stern’s visit is that given the crazy spontaneity that comes along with social media integration these days, organizations are the most successfully represented when following a specific policy that promotes proper social media usage.