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Social media allows you to reach audiences in ways that were impossible just a few years ago. Like other public outreach, it provides a way for faculty and College units to make connections, establish themselves as a thought leader, and get out a message.

Communicating for a College Office

The University of Texas at Austin has developed a set of guiding principles and strategy for official communicators in Departments, Units, and Programs who are using social media in a capacity that will reflect on the University as a whole. If you are a college communicator, you can also find resources on the University Communications Wiki.

Tips for Effective Social Media Use 

Here are some tips for individuals using social media, whether on their personal accounts or otherwise, as a member of the College of Natural Sciences community:

  • Follow lists and leaders in your field.

Use social media to extend your network and monitor discourse about issues that are relevant to what you do.

  • Remember that social media is social.

Make it a tool to build relationships with researchers, alumni and other key stakeholders, such as science reporters if you are a scientist. Share your thoughts and engage with others. Treat people online with the same respect you give people you meet in person.

  • Equip your favorite devices for social sharing.

Having phones or tablets with your favorite social apps loaded makes it easier to share photos, live reports, and videos with your followers from wherever you are. Scheduling tools (e.g., Hootsuite, Buffer) can help you plan your messages and content to go out over the course of a day or week.

  • Be mindful of what you post

Posting to the internet means posting to an audience of potentially anyone, from students to professional colleagues to a future funder interested in supporting a project that matters to you. Think before posting of whether it's OK for all those audiences and more to see what you're sharing.

  • Social media is increasingly visual.

Pictures are worth 100 characters. Look for the compelling imagery that gets across your message.

  • Use hash tags and handles.

These make your content easier for others to find on Twitter, Instagram and other sites, as well as search engines.


Questions? Contact our communications office staff member Steve Franklin: sefranklin@mail.utexas.edu.