Social on the Go: Why Agility and Creativity Are Key

In marketing, communications and social media, planning is key—but so is being flexible and trying new things. Today’s social pros have to be agile, especially when covering events or campus happenings, says Tyler Thomas.

“We spend 98 percent of our time getting people to our activities, but we miss the opportunity to take our events from good to great by truly capturing the experience,” says Thomas, senior director of integrated content at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

thomas_tyler_headshotsHere, Thomas—chair of the U.S. 2019 CASE Social Media and Community conference (#casesmc) this April in Portland, Oregon—shares the challenges and opportunities of digital storytelling and strategy, and what today’s social pros need to succeed.

How have you seen working in social in higher ed changed?

Tyler Thomas: Communication and audience attention is even more fragmented. There are more channels and more opportunities to tell great stories, but with that comes the bandwidth issues. While the channels and audiences have changed, three things remain true:

  • Establish your goals (review and refine as necessary),
  • Define your audience(s), and
  • Build content that achieves your goals and connects with your audience.

We know that we have to be flexible; we need to adjust our strategies to do the same thing.woman-1209855_1920

At CASESMC, you’re teaching a preconference session about “social on the go.” What do you love about covering campus events? Why is that sometimes challenging?

I am doing a precon on “social on the go” because I think as social media managers from any organization, having a plan and a good set of tools to capture the attendee experience are crucial to the engagement side of social. We spend a lot of time on the “promotion” and “informing” side. Those have processes and planned time.

But what happens when you need to be agile, flexible and try something new? Are we equipped with best practices and the tools to do so? I want to explore that.

Also, campuses and organizations are full of activities. We spend 98 percent of our time getting people to our activities, but we miss the opportunity to take our events from good to great by truly capturing the experience and using social to advance our organizational goals.

Swap ideas about covering campus events during our next #casesmc Twitter chat, hosted by Tyler Thomas, on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

What are the most important traits that make a social media pro successful today?

  • Relationships. You have to know how to build them, nurture them and leverage them in real life and online. You can be competitive but you have to be collaborative too.
  • Know your worth. As a social media manager, you are the front door and the dart board of an organization. Most managers are constantly justifying their roles and trying to stay sane. In my keynote at #casesmc, I’ll introduce a framework and workflow for making the most of your role, staying sane and driving impact in your organization.

What are three words you’d use to describe #casesmc 2019?

Collaborative. Strategic. Tactical.


Swap ideas about covering campus events on social media during our next #casesmc Twitter chat on Tuesday, Feb. 26, hosted by Tyler Thomas.



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