Build Your Audience

Learn how to gain followers and how to engage with your audience in general and during a crisis.

Engaging With Followers

Think of social media as a conversation, rather than just a medium for broadcasting information. That’s why it’s important to try to respond to comments and engage with your audience on social media as much as possible. The benefits of this include:

  • Helping increase awareness of your posts and attract followers
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Helping others feel comfortable engaging with your content, knowing there is a real person behind the account

The most frequent types of comments you’ll encounter are: compliments, complaints, questions, and misinformation.

Refer to our social media decision tree when deciding if or how to respond to a comment. 

Review the Social Media Decision Tree

What to do before replying to a comment

  • Review SFU’s Social Media Moderation Policy
  • Try to understand the perspective of the person commenting
  • Always pause before replying. Ask yourself, “Is this within our area of control?”
  • Expect anything, private or public, to be shared
  • Respond in a tone that positively reflects SFU’s values
  • Don’t delete your content. Repost/edit if it’s a minor issue. If the issue is large, deletion can be seen as disregarding the issue/censorship.
  • Use common sense and exercise discretion
  • Give the user an option to engage privately, especially when dealing with sensitive subject matter
  • Email if you are unsure about a particular approach

Making decisions around deleting and hiding comments

In general, avoid deleting comments. The goal for our social media accounts should be to be as transparent as possible. When you delete comments, you run the risk of eroding the trust of your audience.

Delete or hide comments when they:

  • Break the community guidelines of the social media network. For example, they are offensive, defamatory, or threatening
  • Include confidential information
  • Share photographs or video taken without consent
  • Are spam or of a self-promotional nature unrelated to SFU

Let comments stand when:

  • They are entirely without merit or value
  • Responding would encourage further negative response
  • There is no value in replying to both the commenter and the wider audience

Information shared on SFU social media accounts is shared on behalf of the university. Staff or faculty members managing SFU accounts and sharing information to them are subject to all relevant SFU staff and faculty policies.