University of Vermont

UVM Self-help Web Guide

Social Media

Social media is a great way to promote the activities of your group and generate interest in your offerings. Social media services offer publicity opportunities and are also places to foster online communities. UVM maintains several general accounts, visible on the University Communications page. Your department is welcome to link to any of these. Many groups at UVM have their own social media presence, which is also worthwhile, provided it's maintained regularly.

Facebook and Twitter: When is Facebook appropriate, when is Twitter?

Both Facebook and Twitter have their advantages depending on your group's communication goals.

Twitter: Keep in mind that people often refer to Twitter as "micro-blogging"--it's a platform for you or your office Tweeter to have a voice and to develop a bit of a personality as you promote research, events, and goings-on. People who use Twitter want to be recognized, followed, and stand out from the crowd, and likewise, you'd want to follow others by re-tweeting their comments and generally engaging in the Twitter universe. In this universe, you provide jumping-off points or short updates. Twitter users select who they want to hear from and what they want to hear about. It's somewhat like engaging in various discussions.

Facebook: Facebook is a great way to gather friends for your department/organization and to communicate with them.You also provide a platform to connect your friends with each other. Facebook tends to offer a more inclusive environment--people become your friends or like you, and then they can follow what you make available to them. Facebook also offers space for more unlimited messaging, inclusion of videos, audio, photos, etc. General users of Facebook might choose to write tidbits that are somewhat mundane ("great burrito for lunch!") but as a department, you might use it for showcasing some photos from an event, an upcoming brown bag lunch series, etc.

How to: You get your own accounts on Twitter, Facebook, etc. But how do you offer a link between it and your website?

You can add links on your homepage to your accounts on popular social media sites such as Facebook© and Twitter© using the standardized presentation format seen on several areas of the UVM website including the About UVM and Student Life sections.

To add the links and icons to your home page include your account name or link in your defaultmenu.html or magicoptions.html file as follows:

  • facebook: a link to your Facebook account
  • twitter: your Twitter account name
  • linkedin: a link to your LinkedIn account
  • googleplus: a link to your Google+ account
  • flickr: a link to your Flickr account
  • youtube: your YouTube account name
  • vimeo: your Vimeo account name
  • instagram: your Instagram account name
  • blog: a link to your blog

In defaultmenu.html:

0 My Site,facebook=

In magicoptions.html:

twitter mytwitteracct
Embedding Facebook or Twitter Feeds on Your Site

It is easy to add Facebook or Twitter widgets which display your current updates (or other content) on your site. Simply embed the provided HTML code with desired customizations on any web page in your site.


When to use them: Many can benefit professionally from maintaining a blog. The goal of having a blog is to attract a dedicated audience of readers, thereby creating notoriety for you or the group you represent. This means you also have to commit to being a regular author or people will stop visiting your blog. If you are a professor with an area of expertise, you could attract a following of people interested in you and your work. If you are a department on campus, you might have a designated blogger to share tips about financial aid, applying to UVM, life at UVM, etc. Your blogger would ideally be the same person each time, creating a voice for the blog.

How to get one: WordPress is the blogging tool of choice at UVM. ETS offers departmental support while the Center for Teaching and Learning offers support to faculty using blogs pedagocially. The CTL has made it easy to get started... all you need is your netID. Get started and see a list of UVM bloggers.

Flickr and YouTube

Learn about using Flickr for photos and YouTube for videos on your website.

Last modified August 11 2014 10:05 PM