UF&Shands and Social Media

Tusk, WyomingThe Social Media landscape is not static. It’s tectonically active, and changes from day to day. That’s why you need to start with a geological survey to make sure what you build can withstand the environment.

Before setting forth on creating an account, it’s important to consider the long term implications of an account and the responsibilities in setting one up. A common misconception is that a social media account is free to set up. Technically, this is true – anyone with five minutes of time can create an account. However, to run a successful account will take planning, resources and time to maintain and grow, and these costs should be accounted for.

In an environment like UF&Shands, there are even more considerations. An account manager has to be cognizant of FERPA and HIPAA rules, as well as other legal regulations. An account administrator has to be fully invested in the strategic direction of their department and the larger ecosystem and to be able to coordinate their messages with others, not only to make sure they deliver a consistent message but that they can cultivate a network to help promote and further their own messages to larger audiences.

This is no small task. It can seem to be overwhelming at times. And that’s why UF&Shands Web Services is here to help.

Social Media Guidelines

As part of the relaunch of the Academic Health Center web presence, the Policies and Procedures subcommittee developed a series of social media guidelines for the use of social media by departments and colleges within UF&Shands. The guidelines provide some basic recommendations and ground rules for running social media accounts and guiding departments on the process of registering an official account with UF&Shands communications and with University of Florida University Relations.

Social Media Consultation

The team in UF&Shands Web Services are available to meet with you to assist in growing your social media’s effectiveness by providing:

  • Long-term content planning to align your social media messages with your departments’ strategic goals
  • Short term strategies to promote events and campaigns
  • Methods for delivering content that builds your audiences and encourages two-way discussion and sharing
  • Best practices on crafting messages that get noticed and shared to a wider audience
  • Trends in the social media landscape and recommendation on other channels to reach your audience

To schedule a meeting, please contact either our social media coordinator, Amanda Austin, or the Web Content Optimizer, Jeff Stevens.

Social Media Training

In the near future Web Services will be rolling out a Social Media training course that will discuss our best practices and look at some of the best – and worst – examples of the use of social media. We’ll also have discussions with the attendees about their current efforts so we can share with one another our lessons of working in social media.

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/people/carfull/

About the Author


Jeffrey Stevens

Jeff Stevens is the Assistant Web Manager for UF Health Web Services. He focuses on user experience, information architecture, content strategy, and usability.

Read all articles by Jeffrey Stevens