If part one left you wanting more, I’m back for part two of the best higher ed resources to keep you informed and connected. One of the things I love about this industry is the contributions from the community. We learn together, and it's never too early for you to contribute your expertise. To that end, I’ve also included suggestions for ways to share your work and knowledge with others.
Brain Waves Blog
As part of ongoing professional development, it's important to keep up to date and learn from the successes and failures of colleagues in higher education and other industries. I've gathered lists of communities, podcasts, blogs, and conferences I regularly recommend to social media professionals, ranging from free and on-demand, to annual fee-based events. And there are so many fantastic resources, I’ve broken them into two posts so I don’t overwhelm you. First, I’m covering communities and podcasts, then stay tuned for part two: blogs, newsletters, and conferences.
Why followers and engagement rate don't matter and how marketers should measure social media to better reflect campus priorities.
“Getting more followers” or “going viral” isn’t why campuses invest in social media. They invest because it’s a primary communication channel used to increase brand awareness and equity, build alumni affinity, recruit students by increasing applications or yield, or any other number of objectives found in a campus strategic plan. The metrics we use to measure it should assess those goals. Yet many social media managers and their CMOs are tied to vanity metrics like followers or engagement rate without a clear path to change. That’s one reason “Goals and Purpose” is the first chapter of my new book, Fundamentals of Social Media Strategy: A Guide for College Campuses. When campus social media efforts align with campus priorities, the way we measure social media changes.
What comes to your mind when you hear the words measurement or metrics? I've actually asked a lot of people that question and go into some of their answers in our new book. As a community, we need to get serious about measurement. If campus leaders aren't requesting metrics that accurately assess the results of your work, it's up to you to help them understand what metrics actually matter. They likely aren't easy metrics to measure—but they should help us make important decisions.
Although they're not the most exciting part of social media management, well-defined guidelines and policies are essential for a consistently effective social media program. In addition to giving you something to turn to in stressful situations, guidelines and policies have a couple of benefits.
Higher education social media managers operated in crisis mode for at least half of this year. It was—yes, I'm going to say it—unprecedented. It also highlighted, for better or worse, the essential role of social media in campus communications.