Shaking Up Social Media in Higher Ed

When you think of someone who’s shaking up social media, who comes to mind? At Campus Sonar, we think of Liz—our founding director. Lucky for us, so did this year’s Movers and Shaker’s Advisory Board. Liz was honored as a 2018 Social Mover and Shaker—an industry thought leader in the use of social media for their brand or client. We couldn’t agree more!

One of 50 award winners, Liz was honored for her cutting-edge perspective on social media and her agility in quickly changing gears. Liz zeroes in on a deeper strategy for how social channels can produce results and return on investment. “At Campus Sonar,” Liz said, “we provide services and solutions that have a strategic impact on enrollment management, retention, marketing, media relations, crisis communications, alumni engagement, and development outcomes.”

Liz has been revolutionizing social media in higher education for the past ten years—most recently writing and speaking about social listening in higher education. If you’re not familiar with the Campus Sonar story, learn how it’s changing the conversation for colleges and universities and providing them with real-time insights about their institution, directly from their audience.

This year, two other higher education social pros are shaking up social media, too. Nikki Lockhart, the Director of Public Relations at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), and Megan Rowe, the Online Marketing Specialist at University of Virginia Health System, were also among the winners.

Liz Gross and Nikki Lockhart at the Social Media Movers and Shakers award banquet
Dr. Liz Gross and Nikki Lockhart at the Social Shake-Up awards luncheon.

Nikki grew Facebook reach and engagement for LMU, creating a social media blueprint that streamlined the university’s range of digital channels and accounts. She also developed a strategy to grow the main Facebook page that included high quality content and more engaging posts of the campus and community.

Megan is a one-woman show at the University of Virginia Health System. She focused on increasing Facebook and Twitter followers, and is proud to resolve 90% of social feedback within 24 hours. She’s also made a big impact with some of the successes she’s had responding to patients and assisting them with answers to questions on a number of topics—even donating an organ!

Liz, Megan, and Nikki, along with the other Movers and Shakers, met this year at the Social Shake-Up—one of the largest social media gatherings held every year in Atlanta. The three-day conference is designed for marketers, communicators, content creators, and business leaders who are helping shape the social strategy at their organizations. It features interactive sessions, case studies, panel discussions, fireside chats, clinics, and more—all covering topics such as social strategy, customer experience, data, content marketing, podcasting, blogging, paid and organic social, SEO, and more. Plus, there were lots of organized networking opportunities to make actual (in-person) social interaction between attendees and honorees easy.

Speakers from various industries shared examples of out-of-the-ordinary social media successes with conference attendees. Many of the presentations are still available on The Social Shake-Up’s website. One of Liz’s favorite sessions was presented by Danica Kombol about influencer marketing. A key takeaway is that influencer content is organic content—and it has a much bigger impact than anything you do to promote your brand’s owned content.

The highlight of the event was the awards luncheon for the 2018 Movers and Shakers Winners. This year’s event was a sold-out crowd and the awards were presented in front of an audience of more than 700. According to the Social Shake-Up and PR News, the winners were “recognized for their leadership in social media marketing and, in particular, their willingness to take risks and reshape perceptions as they attempted to reach new people on behalf of their brands.” I think we can definitely say that’s true of Liz, Nikki, and Megan—and all of the Social Shake-Up Winners. Our hat is off to them for taking risks and shaking up social media in higher education and beyond.

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The post Shaking Up Social Media in Higher Ed originally appeared on the Campus Sonar Brain Waves blog.