Setting Up a Social Media Site

October 23, 2012

Start Social

In Public Affairs, we help manage the university’s online presence, including in social media. As social media becomes more popular and widely used, we’ve also helped other campus departments learn about using social media as well as set up their presence.

In our conversations with campus groups, here a few of the top things to considerbefore you set up your social media presence.

Have a Plan

Develop clear goals for your social media site, including target audiences, outcomes you hope to achieve, and an action plan for how you will reach those goals.

Get Approvals

Make sure you have the approvals necessary to create a site that will represent your department. Posts on behalf of the university have raised expectations from the university and its audiences. When your site has been endorsed and supported by your organization, it is much more likely to be successful.

Team with Public Affairs

Social media is about being social. A key part of that is joining a bigger network. That means, contacting Public Affairs so we can add you to our social media directory and connect your site to the Cal Poly Pomona social media sites. This also opens up opportunities for us to “share” materials among our audiences and increase the visibility of our posts. As a part of the directory, remember to let us know your primary account contact and a backup contact.

Have a Clear Identity

NAMING:  In naming your site and writing the introduction, make sure to clarify which department is running the site and note your affiliation with Cal Poly Pomona. Users should know immediately upon reading your introductory statement what department you represent at Cal Poly Pomona and the purpose of your social media site.

LOGO USAGE:  If you use the Cal Poly Pomona logo,it may not be altered and must follow logo usage guidelines, which can be viewed on the Graphic Standards Manual.

Open Your Account

Be future focused when you begin to open your account. Is there a general email account you can use so that your social media presence isn’t confined to one person? This is especially true for departments that are using student assistants or interns, which often means high turnover.

Plan Your Posts

Start thinking about your future posts. You can use free online tools like Hootsuite to schedule out important posts months in advance. But you still need to plan on checking on your social media presence at least once a day. While you can pre-plan your posts, it’s critical to regularly maintain the site, share materials you find online, answer questions, correct misconceptions and facilitate conversations.


If you have any questions about using social media for your department or program, contact Esther Chou Tanaka at (909) 869-3326 or email

(Image courtesy of FrameAngel/