While browsing Facebook I found myself checking up on my a recent post in which I tagged my alma mater Plymouth State University. Looking at the PSU Facebook Fan Page it is clear Plymouth State does not have any social media strategy. I would like to know the purpose of having a fan page that you dedicate time updating daily, but don’t respond to comments or suggestions posted on its wall. So, Plymouth State has 3,390 fans at the time of this post, what purpose – how is Plymouth State University (PSU) benefitting from this fan page at all? It’s not.

Before Plymouth continues with their social media efforts the University needs to understand that social media requires use and cooperation of social media sites and platforms internally across the institution. Simply designating one person to monitor all of your social media efforts is ridiculous (unless you’re a small business).

This is an opportunity for PSU to connect with Alumni and current students, including parents. Using their Facebook Fan Page PSU needs to start by replying to comments people make on the page’s wall. This is critical to building a community because it helps you to establish trust and will naturally (over time) lead to more traffic and more ‘likes’ and ultimately down the road increased admissions and overall enrollment! However, before I get ahead of myself remember this takes time.

Plymouth State University is not the only NPO, business, or government that needs guidance. Failing to have a strategy leads to no results. Designing a strategy is specific to your mission or vision. If your organization is serious about optimizing its social presence it must consider, accept, and understand the following:

1) Social media won’t lead to overnight sales success. Success will take time and will come in increased buzz, referrals, traffic, and yes, sales.

2) Social media can’t be totally outsourced. You have to be involved to make this a success.

3) Social media’s not completely free. It’ll take time and/or money to achieve sustained growth.

Still having second thoughts? Click on any of the following social media businesses or industry experts and they will educate you using a similar message. Brian Solis, Dan Zarrella,  After all, the above “3 warnings” of social media I found on Likeable Local the new branch of Likeable Media which focuses on helping small businesses enter the realm of social media the correct and profitable way.