USF’s Identity Crisis
If there isn’t already a Guinness World Record for most Facebook pages (or Twitter or YouTube, for that matter), the University of South Florida has got to be close to hitting it. Just see for yourself. USF has 99 “legit” Facebook pages, which doesn’t account for the hundreds of, albeit unavoidable, user-made groups, events, etc. The good news is they make them all easy to find on this handy-dandy social media navigation chart.
That being said, I don’t want to single out my very own alma mater (GO BULLS!), as they aren’t the only higher-ed identity crisis culprit. I’m talking about the other two honchos here in the Sunshine State: Florida State University and University of Florida. We tend to focus on USF here in our office because we are just a bit partial, but upon further investigation, FSU and UF are just as guilty of the crime. FSU is the proud parent of 63 Facebook pages and UF has even got USF beat, with 107 Facebook pages. But winning they aren’t. More is not always more when it comes to a brand’s social media accounts.
So, What’s the Problem?
Social media has surpassed bandwagon status and has become a necessity, but some of us are still feverishly jumping on and all over the place. The sheer number of pages a brand, company or corporation has does not indicate their success. How their pages are groomed, managed and organized makes all the difference. USF can have their 99 and UF their 107 pages, but if many of these are not well-maintained, they aren’t serving the purpose of being social. Instead, they just look unorganized and sloppily social. It may be hard for users to locate the pages they are looking for, pages may be stagnant, there will not be consistency, and properly managing the pages can become difficult.
Fix the Problem from the Start
When brands (in this case, universities) decide upon creating multiple pages, they should probably ask themselves a few questions first. Here are a few suggestions to see if you really need that 100th fan page.
- Is there an audience? If there isn’t an audience (Hi there, USF Pre-Education Advising Facebook page), then the page may not be worthwhile.
- What will be its purpose? The page needs to establish a purpose straight from the start, so there is consistency in posting. Will it be a forum for announcements, a place for department news, a place for event postings or something else? Make sure you know the page’s purpose and ensure that those doing the posting stick to it.
- Will it be updated? And often? Social media accounts are designed to be ongoing channels of communication and therefore should only be created if they can be maintained. A good rule of thumb is that a page should be updated at least 2 times per week. See image below for what NOT to do.
- Is there enough to say? How much can really be said about Pre-Education Advising at USF? Right. If you don’t have anything to say, you’re going to have a hard time being social.
- Will it be easy to find? Is there a website that links you to the page? Will the page be promoted by the department, college, or subcompany? If the page can’t be easily found, it’s not going to serve its purpose.
Too many social media accounts can lead to inconsistency, abandoned pages, lack of engagement, and let’s face it, it can just be annoying. When searching Facebook for “USF,” hundreds of pages pop up, from USF Recreation to USF College of Arts and Sciences, and it can be hard to sift through all the junk to find what you’re really searching for. Streamline, people, streamline! And sorry for picking on you, USF, but it helps to get the point across. Nothing but love for the Bulls!