The Medium Is the Message

If I asked you to define authenticity, could you do it? When I tried this myself a few weeks back, I ended up settling on a definition that was something like, “content that is authentic.” Realizing that the word authentic is also subjective, I tried defining that, only to rely on the word original. But what is original? With each attempted definition, I found myself going deeper and deeper down a rabbit hole until eventually my wife jolted me back to reality and commented that I’d been holding the same piece of chicken on my fork for an unnatural amount of time. Note to self: save the work thoughts for a place other than the dinner table. 

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Social Listening on a Budget

Social listening is one of the most important parts of a social media manager’s job. It’s crucial to protecting and furthering the brand, as well as knowing the sentiments of your audiences. When your brand is a college or university, it’s also a great way to learn about trends and, if you keep track, to identify (and hopefully respond to) unusual issues and valuable insights. Another way to look at it is: social listening can be step one in what my fellow guest blogger Erika Boltz calls “issues management.” 

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New Year, New You: Setting Goals

It seemed apropos to write about goal setting as we enter 2020. The end of a decade! For me, it signifies the end of my twenties and entering my thirties with a renewed sense of self, purpose, and grace—to give myself both the confidence in my abilities and the courage to fail. And there’s something about a good goal that really helps focus your behavior over a period of time—both consciously and unconsciously. In fact, studies on behavioral priming, (which is defined as “the incidental activation of knowledge structures … by the current situational context”), indicate that attitudes and other affective reactions can be triggered automatically by the mere presence of relevant objects and events (Bargh, Chen, Burrows, 1996). So set those goals and keep your list handy where you can see them throughout the year, allowing them to seep into your day-to-day decision making. But on to the main act—how do you set goals anyway?

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How to Build an Influencer Program in Higher Ed

We know students' methods for communication evolve regularly. The higher education industry needs to evolve along with those methods so we remain relevant in the minds of students.

Influencer marketing is an innovative strategy that has developed as individuals become more influenced by their peers than by businesses or organizations. Student influencer marketing strategically reaches students through their peer networks. Corporations and big brands have used effective peer marketing campaigns since 2010, but few higher education institutions, especially in student affairs, are taking advantage of this new strategy. In 2017, the Division of Student Affairs at Illinois State University launched one of the only formal student influencer teams in student affairs divisions nationwide.*

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Get Started with a Higher Ed Podcast

When I asked my H·A ThirtyOne colleague and 31Minutes podcast co-host Karyn Adams what kind of guest blog people might want to read from me, she immediately thought of how we launched our podcast last winter. In her words, “You weren’t afraid to jump in.” Apparently, I’m a great actor because yes, I was afraid! But I (we) did it anyway. 

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How to Use Campus Influencers in Higher Ed

Influencers are an important part of the social listening conversation. They create a connection between audience and content, providing experiences their audience can relate to. As more and more people turn to social media to connect with others, share experiences, and search for help in making decisions, influencers have an enormous impact. In fact, a 20 Edelman study found that 53 percent of people trust what influencers say about brands more than what the brands themselves say. 

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