How UF uses social media, videos to engage stakeholders

UF promotes videos on Facebook that promote a response.

Dean Tsouvalas, editor-in-chief of, recently interviewed Bruce Floyd, social media specialist at the University of Florida, about the university’s social media strategy. The University of Florida was ranked No. 14 on the website’s Top 100 Social Media Colleges rankings for spring 2012.

UF is a major public land-grant research university. As the state’s oldest and most comprehensive university, UF offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees and more than 200 graduate degrees. It is one of only six universities in the country with colleges of law, medicine, engineering, agriculture, and veterinary medicine on one central campus. UF is also one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belong to the Association of American Universities.

In the interview, Floyd discusses how UF manages more than 200 social media accounts and how it engages followers on various social media platforms. He also shares his advice for social media success.

DT: The University of Florida has over 200 social media accounts between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin—how do you manage them?

BF: Our office is only responsible for management of the top-level accounts. As far as the other accounts representing the University of Florida, we require those accounts to register with us so we know the managers and can advise them as needed.

We also keep the managers updated and informed using listserv eMails and a UF social media managers Facebook group.

DT: With so many Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, how do you grow your fans and followers?

BF: Our growth on Facebook and Twitter is pretty organic. I just try to provide compelling content that is of interest to our current fans and that tends to encourage sharing and an increase in new fans.

DT: What tips do you have for schools looking to get more fans or followers?

BF: Don’t just post press releases—think about content that is more interesting to your audience. Also, be available to engage with fans [and] followers—don’t just post and leave. Even if you say “thanks,” it’ll pay off.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your fans what they’d like you see. It’s free market research.

DT: Why did you choose to have many accounts rather than one, centralized account?