Social Media at Azusa Pacific
Social media offers a great way to inform, engage, and educate an audience. In addition to Azusa Pacific University’s core accounts managed by the Division of Strategic Communication and Engagement, many departments, offices, athletic teams, and other areas of the university use social media to communicate with their audiences and help tell the APU story.
If you plan to create an account on behalf of a university department, office, program, or event, or you currently manage existing accounts, please review the resources on this page to help set your accounts up for success and ensure you are meeting Azusa Pacific guidelines.
Using Social Media on Behalf of Azusa Pacific
Before Creating an Account
Prior to launching a social media account that represents an area of the university, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- What is the purpose of this account?
- With whom are you communicating?
- Is this the best place to reach that audience? Does your audience already use this social media outlet?
- Do any other accounts currently exist that are already reaching your audience? In other words, be sure you are not duplicating efforts.
- Do you have the resources/ability to regularly provide content and interact with your audience on this account?
- Who will be responsible for the account? (A full-time faculty or staff member should manage the account, and we recommend establishing at least two managers in case one person leaves the university.)
If you are unsure whether or not you should create an account, or which tools to move forward with, connect with the Division of Strategic Communication and Engagement team to discuss best options for your area. Email email@example.com to set up a meeting.
Creating an Account
Once you decide to move forward with creating an account, please review the Azusa Pacific University Social Media Guidelines (PDF) for naming guidelines and brand representation.
Representing the Brand
The most important thing to remember when producing social content is that the profile represents Azusa Pacific and should therefore be in line with the university’s overarching brand. Keep in mind the university’s mission to develop disciples and scholars to impact the world for Christ. With each post, consider, “Is this true, meaningful, and distinct to our area and APU?” Also, does it reflect one or more of the following:
- Comprehensive, Relevant Scholarship
- Meaningful Access to Transformational Education
- Welcoming, Generous Community
- Selfless Service
Social Media Best Practices
Using social media can expand opportunities to interact directly with your audience—your friends, fans, and followers—whether promoting resources and successes or fielding questions. It’s essential to keep in mind that managing a university-related account brings with it great responsibility. Start by setting goals and building a strategy for what content you will share, how frequently you will share, and how you will interact with responders. Then, use the following best practices to guide you:
Be Relevant: Content should resonate with your audience and be relevant to your area. If you’re ever unsure if content is fitting and appropriate to post, run it by others on your team. When in doubt, don’t post.
Be Authentic: Use words and images that are true to your area and APU, and what the university represents. Ensure content is accurate, and if a mistake is made, acknowledge the error and correct it.
Build Relationships: Content should seek to inform and engage your audience, and extend their relationship with your area and with Azusa Pacific. If a fan or follower posts a question, answer it in a timely manner, or help redirect them to someone who can help.
Show Respect: Everyone matters. Treat those who comment and post with consideration and kindness. Sometimes you may need to remove inappropriate content or respond to negative comments, but you can do this while modeling respect. If you are unsure how to handle a post, contact Strategic Communication and Engagement. You can also review APU’s House Rules on Facebook for guidelines on what may be deemed “inappropriate.”
Acknowledge Sources: If you are sharing content from other sources, be sure to credit those sources.
The following resources can also help as you manage your account.
- University Style Guide: APU’s editorial style guide
- Graphic Standards Manual: APU’s style guide for representing the university through logos and visuals.
- Azusa Pacific Logo Downloads: Download university logos here. For university school, department, or office logos, contact Strategic Communication and Engagement.
Launching Social Media Accounts for your Department/Office/Program
- Identify account managers (this should be at least two full-time faculty or staff members).
- Refer to the Azusa Pacific University Social Media Guidelines (PDF) for best practices for naming your account to ensure it clearly represents your office and the university. Be sure to use “Azusa Pacific” in the name for identification and credibility, and if you must use APU, ensure Azusa Pacific University is included in your profile description.
- Contact the Division of Strategic Communication and Engagement if you need an office or department university logo to serve as your profile image.
- Outline your goals for what type of content you plan to post and how frequently you will post. It’s fine to start small and then build up more posts over time, as long as you are posting consistently.
- Start posting before publicly announcing your account, so that your audience will have content to engage with when they begin following you.
- Notify the Strategic Communication and Engagement team that you are launching a new account, so we can add it to our list of university accounts. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spread the word! Let your audience know your account exists and start interacting.
- Schedule a time to evaluate your accounts to see what’s working and what you can improve.
Social Media Audit
Once an account is up and running, it’s important to regularly review your account to see what’s working and what’s not. Is your audience responding? Are you meeting your goals with the account? Do you need to evaluate the content you share? Are you following the APU social media and brand guidelines? The Division of Strategic Communication and Engagement social media team may provide recommendations if posts are seen that do not align with university goals and values. You can also reach out to the Strategic Communication and Engagement team if you would like an audit of your account for additional recommendations and best practices. Email email@example.com to request an audit.