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Social Media Toolkit - a practical guide to achieving benefits and managing risks

The Social Media Toolkit from the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) is a terrific resource for the higher education community.

This Toolkit stems from growing interest in the use of social media within the UCISA community. With institutional stakeholders looking increasingly to their information services departments for support in this area, our members sought a reference guide to help them answer a range of questions on related topics. More than that, however, they were seeking practical, contextual examples of use that would inspire others within their institution to take advantage of the affordances of a set of tools that offer new forms of engagement and ways to enhance many aspects of everyday business practice. We hope the examples given here will encourage many more of you to try new approaches to supporting core university functions via social media tools.

Created for (and by) the UK higher education sector, the toolkit is perfectly suited for US-based practitioners even with its UK-centric focus. This is due to the universal consistency and overall impact of social media as vehicles for communication, engagement, teaching, learning, and support.

Described as "a practical guide to achieving benefits and managing risks," the guide is 73 pages of high-value information on social media strategy, tactics, and resources.

Released in mid-December of last year, the Social Media Toolkit provides relevant information for institutions and individuals at all levels of social media fluency.

Segmented into thoughtful categories, the guide (created by UCISA with an epic supporting cast) represents a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to know more about using social media in higher education.

  1. Purpose of this toolkit
  2. Social media: what is it?
  3. Delivering benefits
  4. Social media strategy and policy
  5. Choosing the right tools
  6. How are we doing so far?
  7. Managing your digital presence
  8. The right to have your say
  9. Legal issues
  10. When it goes wrong
  11. Guidance for users from professional services
  12. Guidance for individual staff
  13. Guidance for staff involved in supporting students

In addition to being available as a web-based publication, The Social Media Toolkit is also available as a downloadable PDF document.

Lastly, any social media guide worth reading will have an element of ephemerality due to the constantly evolving nature of our digital channels. Ideally, the Social Media Toolkit was written with this fact in mind. A toolkit focused on digital communications and engagement is only as good as its iteration roadmap. Read the toolkit today for tactics, strategies, and guidance even if some of the tools ebb and flow.


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