12 ⁄ 10 2016
Benefits of an Intelligent Social Media Program
Increased visibility for you is perhaps the most immediate benefit of an organized social media campaign. Regardless of which platform you choose, consistent efforts make you immediately more accessible to colleagues, faculty, alumni, students, and fellow executives at other institutions.
Greater visibility on an individual level leads to increased visibility for your institution. What’s good for your college is good for you, so freely share press releases or information about upcoming events and new programs. You’re all in it together, so generously recognizing the work of your colleagues is a great way to foster an all-hands-on-deck approach to promoting your school through social media.
Consistent effort in the previous two areas will have the added benefit of improving your standing as a thought leader among your followers. As you build on your network of contacts, you also position yourself for professional opportunities such as media interviews, speaking engagements, and career advancement. If social media feels like something of a soapbox at times, it’s because it can be a very effective one if not overdone. So speak up and champion for your personal cause, be it literacy education, diversity, women in STEM fields, or community service. It’s a great way to establish deeper connections with your followers and build an engaged community of educators, students, and administrators.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for Educators?
Now that you’ve seen how a social media presence can benefit you as an administrator, your next step is choosing the right platform. It’s important understand going in that the social media landscape is constantly changing; new platforms come and go and the big players are always updating and improving their services. All have their strengths, but for the goals we’ve laid out, Twitter and LinkedIn rank among the best.
Twitter is great for casting a wide net. You can follow whomever you like, but it’s best to start with colleagues in your institution and peers in the broader higher education community. Twitter searches using hashtags let you tap into relevant topics and conversations and engage with your growing audience. Consistent, organized posting will also help increase your following.
LinkedIn is geared for a professional community, from recent college graduates to established leaders. This is where you can really focus on making very specific professional connections. With almost a half-billion registered users, it might seem daunting at first, but among LinkedIn’s many advantages is the “Groups” feature. Users can join (and create) groups to connect with others who share a common interest, including higher education administrators. It’s a fantastic way to share ideas and expand your professional network.
Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn has a basic “status update” feature for sharing content and short statements, but there is also an option for publishing longer form posts so your followers can stay up to date on your latest accomplishments or big news related to your college. This one-two punch makes LinkedIn a very powerful tool for executives across industries, including higher education.
As a social media writer with a specialization in higher education, I have enjoyed creating and managing exciting campaigns for both up-and-coming and well-established educators and executives. To learn more about partnering with us to manage an intelligent social media campaign, you can view our programs here.
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