5 Interesting Social Media Uses in Higher Ed

Andrew Shaindlin is an independent advancement consultant with more than 22 years of experience in advancement.

There are as many ways to deploy social technology as there are opportunities to do so.

Today I’m highlighting five approaches to social media that I thought noteworthy. I also mention what I think is the key benefit of each approach.

WVU connect
1. West Virginia University: Gigantic social media icons

I don’t know if bigger icons are more effective, but they make an unforgettable impression on the first-time visitor.

Key Benefit: Impossible to miss the institution’s presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Foursquare. Plus, thoughtful social media Do’s and Dont’s – if anyone reads them.

2. Johns Hopkins University: Hopkins Interactive

This service helps prospective and admitted students to connect with the school “by offering them open, uncensored information about student life on campus and in Baltimore.”

Key Benefit: Exemplifies a communication culture of openness.

3. University of Oregon: Social Media “Best Practice” page for campus communicators

This page is a clean, simple to use guideline and link resource for campus wide consistency. Policing social media usage is hard, but clarifying common guidelines and policies will go a long way toward helping a decentralized institution be more consistent and compelling.

Key Benefit: Centralizes and focuses social media best practice across a decentralized institution. Compare this with the thorough, but hard-to-read document from the University of Texas.

4. University of Delaware: Social Media Portal

A simple, very clean page that hosts direct links to the University’s various official presences.

Key Benefit: One-stop shopping for official social content from the institution. It’s a good visual reminder that a manageable number of official commitments allows the staff to focus on content, instead of worrying about covering every possible social website.

5. Webster University: Commencement social media summary

This recap of graduation activities includes a Twitter hashtag (#webstergrad), video from Ustream, alumni comments and more.

Key Benefit: Event-based organizational scheme curates and aggregates content for easy scanning by alumni, students, faculty, staff and families of graduates. The Storify.com platform provides opportunities for the creative communications professional (thanks to Patrick Powers for the pointer to this).

Have you seen other creative, original or experimental uses of social media in educational advancement? Leave a comment.

Note: This article is cross-posted to Alumni Futures.

One response to “5 Interesting Social Media Uses in Higher Ed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s