Social Media 101

Facebook logoOn October 30, 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that 1.19 BILLION people were actively using Facebook monthly to communicate and stay in touch with far flung friends and family. What does such a statistic mean to you?

Well, it shows that more than a billion people have discovered they can use Facebook for:
  • Instant communication with your most important audiences. In all social media channels, you have the option of building your own database of contacts, friends, followers, and so on. Once you have them, you can communicate with them at will. But note: this does not give you license to pester them constantly. This type of non-stop communication could burn some very important bridges. Just as people have the power to “friend” and “like,” they also have the power to “unfriend” and “unlike.”
  • Conversation starters and relationship builders. By not only putting out information you want people to read, but providing information they want in return, you can develop a reciprocal relationship and build trust over time.
  • Openness with your audience. Part of a truly reciprocal relationship is to allow your users to post up their own questions or commentary to engage them in conversation. If it’s a positive remark or question, it gives you the chance to accentuate the positive. If it’s a negative remark or question, it gives you the first chance to correct any miscommunication or get the university’s position out on the issue. You can shape the conversation.
Which social media channel is right for you?
  • For quick comments about exciting events happening on campus, consider Twitter. A tweet is a 140-character comment that can include shortened links and referrals to other Twitter accounts using “hash tags” as identifiers. (
  • For more expansive postings, go for Facebook. You can share links, images, videos and more. (
  • If you’re all about video, get a YouTube account. A division of Google, it handles the heavy storage demands and gives you a nice, little link or embed code to send people to your video. (
  • If you really want to get expansive with your writing and aren’t so concerned with a conversation so much as a monologue, go for a blog. (

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast currently maintains a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.