If you want to do smart things with social media in higher education, listen to the advice and look at the examples below.
I recently realized that I am a “content strategist”—one day I just looked in the mirror, and I couldn’t lie to myself any more—and social media falls within my ducal lands. I have experience with social media at four or five nonprofit jobs, but I’m not an expert on the subject. Today you get to benefit from my ignorance.
Here are some of the imperatives I find myself underlining in my notes:
- Define goals — No clear goals means no idea what success would look like.
- Decide who you are — A royal “we”? Nothin’ but links? Individuals writers with names? Formal or chatty? Serious or goofy?
- Have a strategy — You know what honorific the Romans bestowed on generals who went into battle with no strategy? Trick question, there was no such honorific. Because those generals fucking lost.
- Find allies — You need support and access to expertise from legal, PR, marketing, IT, media/design, administration, student affairs…
- Commit the resources — Social media is a neverending project, and you need enough people to both create and promote content every single day until you die. Well, that killed the mood.
Social media for non-profits
Ed Cabellon’s blog, On the Go
Swallow your distaste for tech-guru types long enough to find the gold on Ed Cabellon’s blog, dedicated entirely to the place where music and medicine social media and higher education meet. Start with one of these:
- A student affairs social media plan — advice about building a team, defining success, and establishing sustainable processes
- Teaching twitter to higher education colleagues — the list of ideas suggestions for what to tweet about is stone cold useful
Medical colleges using social media well
I’d never steal a social media plan, but I would clean room reverse engineer one.
This US News & World Report article highlights good social media strategies at medical schools:
Mayo not only concluded that its entry into social media was a success, but it also stated that it saved the school tens of thousands of dollars that otherwise would have been spent on traditional team-building orientation activities.
The dean of the USF medical school talks about how much work it is to use social media well in this blog interview.
The rest of Ted Eytan’s blog is interesting, too. The notion of “e-health” is new to me, and it seems to encompass some combination of informatics, online health education, and online health care.
- USF Health social media portal — Looks like a megachurch website, but they know what they’re doing on Facebook and Twitter. Haven’t watched any of the YouTube videos.
- Another post, about med students and social media
Some love for the home team
The Student Union at the University of Arizona does great marketing-flavored social media. I’m not sure of the current composition of the team, but it entirely students when I supervised them at the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. This was one of the first social media projects I worked on, and I contributed absolutely nothing to the endeavor. All credit goes to the students and marketing staff involved.
Still a humblebrag, though. Sorry.