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Tips for faculty

Do you have your own personal social media account or use social media to communicate with your students? Maybe both? Here are some tips for WVU faculty members when using social media. 

For those of you who use social media on a profession and personal basis: Keep in mind that even if you haven't included a reference to WVU in your bios, you may still be recognized as a University employee and therefor represent WVU. 
  • Establish a strong and consistent voice. If you're going to use social media, you should be active and engaged with your colleagues and students, especially those interested in your research and teachings. Reach out and collaborate with peers across the world, as well. 
  • Share your perspectives, insights and updates ... your followers are following you for a reason. They want to know what you're up to. 
  • Focus yourself through small goals. When you're preparing a post, ask yourself if it matches your goals ... If not, maybe there's a different platform to better communicate what you're trying to say. 
  • It's OK to showcase your personality - if you want. Many people believe a 75/25 balance of work/personal provides the best social media presence. At WVU, we recommend closer to 50/50. 
  • Do not discuss a personal situation about a student or fellow employee on a social media site without person's permission. 
  • If using social media, particularly Twitter, for a class, develop a specific hashtag that you can keep an eye on and your students know to use when talking about the class. 
  • If you want tips for creating specific posts, click here for a checklist to producing the perfect post.
  • Share your accomplishments, but others' accomplishments - especially WVU students - as well. Get permission, of course. 

  • Shares don't have to be just text. Snap a photo of your lab (if it doesn't violate privacy) and share your notes! Make a Vine of your walk to campus. Think of clever and creative ways to show your life as a Mountaineer. 
  • Post in-progress work. Have dialogues about your in-progress work, and show us what you're thinking about. 
  • Do more than post. Consider following WVU-related accounts, and interact with them. WVU folks should consider interacting with other WVU folks, to show a strong online community. Plus, you never know what others' social networks can do for your own scholarship.
  • Check out this op-ed from WVU Communications Studies Professors Nicholas Bowman and Elizabeth Cohen on social media-based research tactics and tips.