FIU Community Manager’s Weekly Videos

Karine Joly is executive director of Higher Ed Experts, a professional development company, and editor of collegewebeditor.com.

I’m a big fan of Betsy Soler’s “Betsy Reads Your Comments,” YouTube videos. Betsy is the community manager in charge of social media at Florida International University and she hosts this video series.

These weekly videos offer a review of FIU latest news and feature comments from students and other members of the community, comments posted during the week on other social media platforms.

Haven’t watched one of these yet? Do it now!

While the videos are well-produced, fun and engaging, what I really love is the fact that they fully integrate (in a meaningful and smart way) all the different pieces of the FIU social media puzzle.

This is a great example of how to scale community management while keeping the human dimension crucial to the success of any social media initiative.

Betsy agreed to answer a few questions about these videos.

1. Why did FIU decide to launch these weekly videos in the first place?

Our goal was to find a new way to engage our readers and commenters on all of our platforms. It’s another way to show that we are listening. It also provides another avenue to reach people who might not read our news website. We are targeting a younger demographic.

The FIU News website evolved from a faculty and staff newsletter to a university community news site and this content helps address the student audience. Students seem to relate to someone closer to their own age and it offers a different face for the university rather than just administration.

2. How are they produced?

We go over the weekly news stories and select those that elicited the most comments and feedback. We may also include any stories we want to highlight as a university. It is created by a three person team: a writer, a video producer and myself. Our current team includes Sissi Augila (who initiated the concept), Chris Necuze and Doug Garland who alternate video production duties. It’s an in-house production.

It takes us approximately an hour to assess our content and develop a script. Afterward, it can take us anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half to film. Editing and post-production is anywhere between four to five hours.

3. What kind of impact have the videos had on audience engagement on other social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter?

Since we started producing these videos, comments on our news site and social media channels have been steadily increasing. It’s too early to make the correlation between overall comments and the popularity of the series. However, BRYC videos consistently gets more views than our average upload to Youtube. It has made the university more connected, increasing suggestions for news content to our office.  

4. How do you measure your return on investment?

We have been measuring our return on investment by tracking engagement (views, comments, subscriptions, interactions, etc.) and this show is one of the tools to allow us to reach our goals. Our goal for next year is to double views, comments and fans alike.

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