The ever-colourful and edgy WSU Facebook page has reached a significant milestone after finally securing 100 000 likes from the platform’s community recently.

Established in 2012, the page has formed an integral part of the university’s communication strategy in its endeavours to widely and effectively disseminate information, engage with and solicit input from the internal and external community, as well as promote the image and reputation of the university.

“Reaching 100,000 followers on Facebook is a big deal because it allows us to have instant communication and conversations with various stakeholders. Whether organisations are officially on social media or not, the reality is that people are having conversation about those brands, it’s best to be part of the conversation,” said Executive Director for the Department of Marketing, Communication and Advancement, Yonela Tukwayo.

Essential to the success of the page has been a dedicated team led by a magnanimous and effervescent young man who launched the page as an intern almost eight years ago.

Having since ascended to the catbird seat, the now WSU head of communication, Sinawo Hermans, looks back in admiration at the strides made since the launch of the page.

“A lot of work and concerted effort from the team was put into creating content that would appeal to a wide demographic of not only our current students, but prospective and the alumni of WSU as well,” said Hermans.

A mixture of vibrant, timeous, informative and relevant content has been the cornerstone to capturing the audience’s imagination over the years.

Graduation ceremonies have arguably been the most significant institutional events that has fully captured the ends to which WSU implements its Facebook communication strategy.

“Graduation ceremonies are always a major highlight. To capture and share the joy of students, most of whom are first generation graduates in their families. The ululations of parents are always a pleasant haunt after each ceremony,” said Hermans.

The page has proven invaluable in turning the tide of negative publicity from the media and dispelling unfounded ideas and perceptions about the university, and in turn helped promote and protect the WSU community.

Though overwhelmingly beneficial to the WSU strategic cause, Tukwayo was quick to point out the responsibilities of each user.

“Given that social media law has taken centre-stage nationally, users who make comments and share content must realise that they can be held to account for the words they utter. We have seen countless times people being fired from their jobs based on what they say on social media.

Similarly, when most companies do background checks on prospective employees, they also do social media checks to assess the characters of potential employees,” said Tukwayo.