So? cial media in higher ed

05 Jul

How about those “top ten universities on social media” lists?

Sounds like I’m a standup comic and that’s my opening line to a joke. Those lists are.

How not to “engage” … or segue. Source: Mashable

I didn’t consider these lists worthwhile reading when I first entered higher ed communications. Seventeen months later, this stuff is still appearing like it’s news.

Why are we celebrating numbers of likes and followers in 2012 and why aren’t more of us questioning the term “engagement”?


Congratulations, you scored 70 likes on your Facebook post featuring a karate-kicking LOL cat. Not surprising – everyone likes kittens. Are kittens part of your content strategy?

Are you adding value to students’ lives or are you waving shiny objects at them?

If you’re adding to communications noise and count distracting students during exam periods with unmotivational posters as a success, please stop. Get your content strategy and editorial calendar together and lay off the internet memes.

Student needs are why we exist

As communicators working in student affairs, we aim to improve the student experience. This requires being thoughtful before we hit publish.

An improved student experience doesn’t start or stop with social media. It starts with valuable programs and services, which are strengthened by strong in-person connections.

My team supports the amazing work of Student Services and Enrolment Services staff and we equip staff and students to use social media on behalf of their programs.

Without their enthusiasm and vision for these programs and services, communications would be meaningless.

Social media is a medium, not the message. Position social media goals within a complete content strategy and align them with the business objectives of the units you support. Make communications valuable to students and relevant to their academic cycle. Make each message count.


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