Interview with Liz Allen: #casesmc Brighton Co-chair

Liz Allen (@lizallen), director of online communications at the American School in London, is co-chair of the inaugural CASE Social Media and Community Conference in Brighton, U.K. The conference will be happening concurrent with the CASE Social Media and Community conference in Miami, Florida. In previous years, Liz served on the faculty for the U.S. Social Media and Community Conference.

What do you think the hot topics in social media in 2015 will be?

“How do we measure this?” and “what are we getting out of this?” will be questions more and more vice chancellors, heads of school and university presidents will be asking of social media managers. Finding ways of qualitatively and quantitatively measuring our efforts will continue to grow. We’re at a stage where most people know that social media is important, but not everyone understands the why and the how. We must continue to make the case to expand and grow.

What are your favorite social platforms and why?

It all depends! For personal use, I second my co-chair Steven den Boer—Instagram and Snapchat are both fun. There’s not a lot of overhead involved, both are easy to use and you aren’t bombarded with ads (yet). I like quick ways to tell a story, interact and share. Professionally, I like Twitter to gather news, tips and tricks within the sector. I use LinkedIn to manage my network and make connections. It’s also like a digital Rolodex, but much more sophisticated of course. (Does anyone even know what a Rolodex is anymore?)

Do you have any advice for someone just beginning to use social media in a professional setting?

Don’t be afraid to say “no” to certain tools. It may seem like everyone has started a presence on a particular platform, but that doesn’t mean that your institution needs to follow suit. For example, you may or may not need a Pinterest page for your institution; it depends on your strategy and goals. Only choose those channels that “fit.” This could mean audience, content, scope or even the amount of staff time you have to manage it. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to keep up with the latest and greatest, but don’t do so at the risk of compromising your stronger presences.

You will learn which ones fit by trying them out yourselves!

What are you most looking forward to at the CASE Social Media and Community Conference in Brighton, U.K.?

It will be fun to meet people you follow online but may never have interacted with in person. Sharing ideas and strategies with those who get where you’re coming from can be massively beneficial. And it’s just great to have a good laugh, enjoy yourself and earn something along the way!

Any final advice?

Definitely make use of the #casesmc hashtag. You will get a lot out of it, leading up to, during and after the conference. It’s a wonderful community of practice!

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