Effective Use of Social Media
Ashley Hennigan
Asst. Director of Social Media Strategy
Cornell University
Agenda
•
•
•
•
•
•

Why go social?
Building relationships
Platform overview
Consider timelines
Connecting with colleges
Re...
• How are you using social media?

POLL
Are you using
social media?

– For personal use
– For counseling

• What platforms...
Communication technology and admissions tradition

WHY GO SOCIAL?
Counselors are teachers without a classroom.
Social media can be used
as an extension of current
communication practices.

•
•
•
•
•

Face-to-face
Phone
E-mail
Print
W...
Which sites are students
using?

•
•
•
•
•

89% use Facebook
45% use Twitter
30% use Tumblr
28% use Instagram
25% use Pint...
Establish a professional online presence.
Should I have a separate Facebook
profile for work?

No.
Using social media as an extension of
current communication practices.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Counseling meetings
College school v...
What does not belong in
the social media space?

• Personal record
information
– Directory info. is OK

• Individual appli...
Social media for relationship building and educating

RELATIONSHIPS
Opening up two-way communication.
Social, mobile, & on-demand.
•
•
•
•

Reach
Timing
Service
Advocacy
Don’t just broadcast information and
deadlines! Encourage engagement.
• Photos from
campus tours
• Helpful news
articles
•...
Use cases for social media

PLATFORM OVERVIEW
Social media platforms for current
communication practices.
• Facebook
– pages & groups
– posts and messaging

• Goggle+
–...
Facebook groups for counseling.
Your social media classroom.
• Name group
• Select privacy
– Skip inviting
members for now...
Facebook groups for counseling.
Your social media classroom.
• Features
–
–
–
–
–
–

Email notifications
Messaging
Sharing...
Facebook groups vs. Facebook pages
• Use pages for
– Broadcast messaging
– 500+

• Use groups for
– Community building
– L...
Google+ Hangouts for meetings
and college visits.
•
•
•
•

Google+ account
Web camera
Internet connection
Up 9 participant...
Google Calendar for scheduling.
• Public calendars
– Events & Deadlines

• Coordinate with
colleges
• Integrates with
Goog...
Google Drive and Google Forms.
• Google Drive
–
–
–
–
–

Documents
Presentations
Spreadsheets
Forms
& More

• Google Forms...
Blogging made simple with Tumblr.
• Tumblr account
• Customizable
• Social sharing
– Text posts
– Links
– Photos & video

...
Social in the admissions cycle

TIMELINE
A need for information is always
present, but the kind of information
needed changes over time.
• Pre-college search
– Adv...
Social media in higher ed

CONNECTING WITH COLLEGES
Colleges use social
media to connect
with prospective
students.
•
•
•
•
•

Facebook Pages
Twitter accounts
YouTube
Tumblr
...
Connect with colleges on
Facebook.
• Facebook Pages
– University
– Admissions

• Accepted student
groups
• Facebook apps
Connect with colleges on Twitter.
•
•
•
•

College news
Admissions
Create lists
Join the
conversation
–
–
–
–

#EMchat
#FA...
Connecting with colleges of YouTube.
• Subscribe to
channels
• Share
• Create your own
channel and add
favorites
Colleges are
having fun on
Tumblr too.
• Follow
• Share
Social media ambassadors are incredible
assets in the college search.
• Examples from RIT
–
–
–
–
–
–

YouTube channel
G+ ...
Cited in this presentation

RESOURCES
Reports & Policy
Inigral, 2013 Social Admissions Report
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act
(FERPA)
Facebook
Privacy settings
Facebook groups
Facebook pages
Google
Google+ Hangouts
Google Calendar
Google Drive
YouTube
Tumblr
Get started
QUESTIONS?
ASHLEY HENNIGAN
ashley.hennigan@cornell.edu
@ashleyhenn
On the Verge:
Showcasing the Use of
Innovative & Disruptive Technologies
TOMORROW AT 1 PM
Join me!
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Effective Use of Social Media for College Counselors

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Presenting the effective use of social media for high school guidance counselors. Original presentation created for the National Association for College Admissions Counselors, Critical Components: Mastering the College Admission Process conference, 2013.

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  • Hello. My name is Ashley Hennigan and I am assistant director of social media strategy at Cornell University. Before becoming completely dedicated to social media at Cornell, I spent over five years in undergraduate admissions at Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, NY. I want to thank the NACAC Education and Training team along with Joyce Smith for bringing me here to Portland to speak with you today. Lastly, I want to thank all of you for choosing to attend this session on the effective use of social media.
  • My goal for this presentation is for you to walk away with a better understanding of why colleges have moved into the social media as a means for communicating with students throughout the admissions lifecycle, the benefits of using social media with students and parents and perhaps a golden nugget or two that you can bring back to your school or organization so that you too can use social media to your own benefit. What I know about social media I have learned from my own personal use of the tools and from working with university communications. Rather than spending the whole presentation talking about what colleges are doing I thought I would share how you might incorporate similar social media practices in to your own work. Now, I know there are still many barriers and challenges associated with such an implementation, but I ask that we all keep an open mind for the next hour as we walk through – why you might choose to use social media, how to use social media to build relationships, what platforms are most popular with students, how social media fits in the admissions timeline, how you can connect with colleges and then we will leave time for some questions and discussion.
  • Let’s start with a quick poll – Show of hands for how many people use social media in their personal life? Is anyone using social media for professional development or networking with other educators? How many people are using social media with students in a counseling role? – Keep your hands up if you would you be willing to share what you are doing…So I have a sense of what platforms we are all familiar with, quick show of hand for people who you facebook for either personal or work? Twitter…Great! It looks like we have a diverse mix of users here.
  • For those of you who are using social media regularly. Why are you? Put simply, social media is a new communication tool and it has changed the way we communicate with each other. Just as the telephone did, just as email has done, just like text messaging is. With each introduction of a new communication technology, people struggle to find it’s use. We’ve gotten by without it this long, right? I would argue that they only reason you would adopt the practice of using any new communication tool is if that tool is able to increase your efficiency.
  • And I believe counselors need more efficient meansto communicate with their students. Counselors are teachers without a classroom. This is true for admissions counselors at universities also, and in an effort to reach students they have become early adopters of social media and use it in different ways throughout the admissions cycle.
  • Let’s take a look at how our communication practices have changed. Communicationtechnology grown exponentially in the past 20 years and mobile connectivity has been a game changer in the past decade. There are social media tools that can be used to replace face-to-face meetings, phone calls, emails, print publications and flyers, and social media sties can even be used in lieu of a sub-par website. Try not to think about social media as an extra thing to do, but rather a more efficient way to communicate the messages you are already sending.
  • This data is from the 2013 Social Admissions Report from Inigral and this is the kind of data I look at when forming social media strategy for admissions offices.Facebook rules the social media space. Sure, not every student is on Facebook, but consider the reach. What other method of communication do we have that will reach 89% of students? Facebook is the only platform on this list that requires a log in to view all of the content. The rest are open, which is great because your students doesn’t need to be “on Twitter” to view your updates or “on Tumblr” to read your blog.If you have access to your site’s web developer, you can ask them to set up social feeds on your webpage so this content is available to everyone to view there.
  • When social broke out on the scene in the early 2000s. It was scary new technology. It was perceived as too intrusive into student and families’ personal lives to be used in a professional setting. Enhancements in privacy and information security, along with an overall acceptance of the need for personal branding and an online presence, has broken down these barriers allowing educators to leverage social media to better communicate with students.
  • Now, I don’t mean to gloss over this topic, but I do want to share my stance on the use social media in schools. I believe digital literacy is an important piece of college preparedness and that social media is part of that education. While many districts have banned the use of certain technologies during the school day, and have been met with challenges concerning cyber-bulling, I don’t believe a prohibition on the use of social media is the answer. It is possible that the platforms we are using are not appropriate for school. Facebook may be too personal a space. However, I encourage all educators who are met with these challenges to take an active role in the social media space so that they might serve as positive accessible role models, rather than leaving the space to be run by the influence of their peer groups alone. For those adventurous enough to enter this space and take the active role that our students so desperately need, there is another debate – should I have a separate Facebook profile for my work life and my personal life and thanks to information security features on Facebook, the answer is no. I am going to launch my browser quickly to show you a nice feature that I know helps me sleep at night.
  • Here are a few examples of communications that could be leveraged effectively through social media and in a moment I will walk through some of the tools that I have used at RIT and Cornell to accomplish these tasks with great success.
  • But first, let’s review what information belongs in the public domain and what does not. Essentially, we are safe using directory information online. What doesn’t work in the social media space? Anything involving FERPA, so we wouldn’t want to publically share a student’s personal record information, speak with admissions counselors about a specific applicant or disclose any individual financial aid awards, etc.
  • Social media is a great tool for messaging, but the reason it out-performs email and text messaging is it’s ability to build relationships.
  • Communication today is social, mobile and on-demand. Students and parents are looking for answers online. College admission counselors are too. For example, you may have sent me a save the date to attend your college fair, but the first place I am going to look for the date of the fair is going to be in a Google search, not my stack of invites. Therefore, by posting important information online we can reach out constituents where they are. Allowing this information to live in a social setting elevate the messaging from static content, to dynamic content, opening up two-way communication where questions can be asked and answers can be delivered in a space for all to see. Updating a website or sending out a letter can take time. Social media platforms allow content to be shared quickly and with little hassle. Social media platforms are also a space for questions and concerns to be addressed. Again, allowing this dialog to take place in a public setting will get answers to more students and families, and will show everyone the level of knowledge and care that you are providing. Last, social media spaces empower users to be active participants. Students and families can share stories and become advocates for others in the college search process. I picked this photo because quality of information is critical in the college search process. Creating a forum for two-way communication can help you monitor the conversations about the college search and dispel rumors or misguided interpretations of the process itself.
  • It’s difficult to build relationships and have a two-way dialog when you are the only person posting to your Facebook group or blog, so here are a few ideas to help drive engagement. Encourage students and families to post photos and reviews of the colleges they have visited. Post helpful news articles about the college process along with follow up questions that students might be asking themselves. Post links to college websites before a school visit and ask students to respond if they plan on meeting with the admissions counselor. And you can always use polls to get feedback from students about what content they would like to see more of. Polls are very popular!
  • For all of those communication use cases, I want to introduce you to a few of my favorite social media platforms.
  • Because Facebook is our most widely used platform by students. I am going to first, show a few examples of effective uses of Facebook to communicate with students. I also want to show a few examples of the free resources that Google provides that can help with workplace organization. Last, I will show you how to set up a blog on Tumblr. It is the most popular blog platform among students, it is free and easy to use, and it can be quickly set up in lieu of a sub-par counseling website.
  • If you have a goal increasingcommunication with your students and parents, try leveraging Facebook groups. Creating a Facebook group is quick and easy. Name your group something fun and descriptive. Consider a pilot group this year with seniors. Then decide who else will be in the group. Will you invite all seniors or just pilot to those you advise? Will you invite your colleagues? Teachers? Community partners? Will you invite parents? You do not have to be Facebook friends with students to interact with them in the group. You can invite students by adding their email address or sharing the direct link to the group with them.
  • Facebook groups are easy to monitor. You can turn on email notifications to receive an email every time a student posts something to your group. Likewise, students can receive the same email notifications for your posts. Groups allow you to send a mass-Facebook message to all group members. This feature should be used sparingly for important announcements and reminders. The sharing features in Facebook groups are similar to the rest of the platform. You can post updates with text or share photos and videos. Facebook groups also allow for polling with the “Ask Question” feature and allow you to upload documents to the group with the “Add File” feature. Groups also integrate with Facebook events, which may be helpful in promoting college fairs, college visits or important deadlines.
  • Just a quick note about Facebook pages vs. Facebook groups. Pages are helpful for building awareness and spreading messaging to the masses. Groups are better suited for communities with fewer than 500 people. If you have a large school, you may consider segmenting your classes into smaller groups for more effective communication.
  • Video is one of the most powerful communication mediums at our disposal today. Google+ released a range of tools in 2011, my favorite being the Google Hangout. Broadcasting on a Google+ fairly easy and requires minimal technology. You will need a free Google+ account, a web camera (less than $20), and an internet connection. Up to 9 people can connect with cameras in the hangout and there is no limit to how many people can watch the hangout online. Hangouts have an On Air feature that integrates with YouTube. This feature allows you to broadcast Hangouts live on your YouTube channel and the entire Hangout will archive automatically and save to your YouTube channel making it easy to share with those who may have missed it.
  • Among the suite of Google products is a calendar tool that allows for public viewing. One of the most challenging tasks for admissions counselors is coordinating travel schedules and school visits. A public calendar of all events and availability would be a great resource for admissions counselors and visit coordinators. This is a prime example of using social media to increase efficiency. Creating a calendar requires a free Google account. It integrates nicely with Google+ Hangout events and offers email and text messaging notifications and RSVPs. Because the calendar is public, viewers can easily add events to their own calendars. You can set notifications to remind you about each individual event or set the calendar to email you a daily agenda. Lastly, Google calendars can be added to your website with a simple embed code. You can make your updates on the Goolge platform and they will update to your website automatically.
  • Drive is the last Google product I will share today. It has watered down versions of Office products with social media integration. Set up any of the following documents, presentation, or spreadsheets on Google Drive and share them with colleagues to collaborate in real time. No need for multiple versions, they save automatically, and they are available to you anywhere, anytime. One really nice bonus feature in Google Drive is the Form tool. Use can use this for surveys or quick polls or for more complicated event registrations. Google will host the form online or you can embed forms into your website. All of the information collected will flow into a Google spreadsheet and save in Google Drive.Has anyone used Google Docs to review college essays?
  • If your website is designed like it’s ‘99. Consider a quick and dirty fix with tumblr. Why use tumblr than another site? It’s easy to set up, it’s integrates with other social media sites making your content highly sharable, and 30% of students are already using tumblr as their preferred blogging platform. A free tumblr account is required. I recommend creating a school or department account instead of a personal account for this platform. Tumblr has many themes to choose from and is highly customizable. It’s easy to add school colors, mascots and other school branding. Viewers do not need a tumblr account to view and interact with content! If Facebook groups are not a viable option for your school or organization, consider a blog as an alternative platform for your social classroom. Like Facebook, Tumblr allows you to post text, links, photos and videos. Viewers can share, like, and comment on content and tumblr users can choose to subscribe to your page so they don’t miss a post.
  • A quick note about the admissions timeline and what we know students are looking for.
  • We know students are always seeking information, but that over time the kind of information they are seeking changes. College are moving away from static website and using social media because the information search process is dynamic. One website that is supposed to serve all of these needs as they change over time is too difficult to maintain, especially since most of this information needs to be updated annually. Social media site allow us to make updates in real time (and with a time stamp) and the shareabliity of social media allows us to reach our constituents where they want to receive our messaging. This is by far the most efficient means of communication we have to date.
  • Let’s look at how you can connect your students with colleges during their search.
  • Colleges and universities have realized the power of social media to show prospective students what their campuses are really like. Consider following some of the schools that your students most frequently apply to, to get a sense of what kind of information they are sharing through social media. I’m going to show a few examples from the main social platforms and also introduce the fairly new concept of social media ambassadors and how these current college students are innovating to connect with high schools students and answer their questions.
  • Over 90% of colleges and universities have a Facebook and Twitterpresence. Larger universities might also have Facebook pages for their college admissions offices. Consider liking their pages and sharing their content with your student Facebook group. Many colleges have also employed Facebook groups for admitted students. Encourage your students to join these groups. It is a great way to connect with future classmates and stay connected to the college over the summer. Some colleges also offer Facebook apps for a more tailored experience on Facebook. These communities are also highly valuable and should be recommended to students to join.
  • You can also get updates from colleges on twitter. Some admissions offices will have their own twitter handles to follow, separate from the main university accounts. You can organize your colleges on twitter easily by adding them to a list. This way you can only view college tweets when you are looking for their updates or share your list with students. Many great conversations take place on twitter surrounding the college admissions process. You can view and join these conversation by searching hash tags. Emchat is enrollment management chat, mainly admissions counselors. Fachat is financial aid chat. You can also view content tagged for admissions or higher ed by doing simple tags searches with these keywords.
  • Inigral reported that 42% of students used YouTube to aid in their college search last year. Colleges have done really creative things with YouTube videos including virtual tours and student interviews. You can subscribe to college YouTube channels and receive a daily or weekly email with new videos that have been added to any of the channels you subscribe to. YouTube videos are easy to share in your Facebook group or blog. You might also consider creating your own YouTube channel, even if you don’t have plans to create videos yourself or use Google Hangouts, you can add college videos as favorites and they will show up on your channel for your students to view in one place.
  • Colleges are having fun on tumblr too. A feature of the tumblr platform encourages you to follow other tumblr accounts. This is a great opportunity to connect your students with colleges they may be interested in while keeping them connected to your messaging.
  • LAST,Colleges have recognized the power of connecting prospective students with current students online. You too should encourage your students to seek out and follow social media ambassadors at the schools they are interested in. These ambassadors are highly accessible due to the nature of the social media platforms they work in and they provide a highly authentic point of view along with real time updates from campus.
  • last
  • At this time I am happy to entertain questions or facilitate a discussion on any of the topics I’ve covered.
  • Thank you for attending! If you are not on technology overload and want to hear more about cutting edge technologies that are disrupting admissions practices, please join me tomorrow for my second session “On the Verge”
  • Effective Use of Social Media for College Counselors

    1. 1. Effective Use of Social Media Ashley Hennigan Asst. Director of Social Media Strategy Cornell University
    2. 2. Agenda • • • • • • Why go social? Building relationships Platform overview Consider timelines Connecting with colleges Resources & Questions
    3. 3. • How are you using social media? POLL Are you using social media? – For personal use – For counseling • What platforms are you using? – – – – – – Facebook Twitter Blogs Google+ YouTube Pinterest
    4. 4. Communication technology and admissions tradition WHY GO SOCIAL?
    5. 5. Counselors are teachers without a classroom.
    6. 6. Social media can be used as an extension of current communication practices. • • • • • Face-to-face Phone E-mail Print Web
    7. 7. Which sites are students using? • • • • • 89% use Facebook 45% use Twitter 30% use Tumblr 28% use Instagram 25% use Pinterest
    8. 8. Establish a professional online presence.
    9. 9. Should I have a separate Facebook profile for work? No.
    10. 10. Using social media as an extension of current communication practices. • • • • • • • Counseling meetings College school visits Parent questions Scheduling Announcements Reminders Correspondence • • • • • • Flyers Newsletters Forms Contact information Calendars Resources
    11. 11. What does not belong in the social media space? • Personal record information – Directory info. is OK • Individual applicant follow-up • Individual financial aid packages
    12. 12. Social media for relationship building and educating RELATIONSHIPS
    13. 13. Opening up two-way communication. Social, mobile, & on-demand. • • • • Reach Timing Service Advocacy
    14. 14. Don’t just broadcast information and deadlines! Encourage engagement. • Photos from campus tours • Helpful news articles • Preview college school visits • Use polls
    15. 15. Use cases for social media PLATFORM OVERVIEW
    16. 16. Social media platforms for current communication practices. • Facebook – pages & groups – posts and messaging • Goggle+ – – – – Hangouts Calendars Forms Documents • Tumblr Blogs
    17. 17. Facebook groups for counseling. Your social media classroom. • Name group • Select privacy – Skip inviting members for now • Add a group description • Invite students via email
    18. 18. Facebook groups for counseling. Your social media classroom. • Features – – – – – – Email notifications Messaging Sharing Polling Files Events
    19. 19. Facebook groups vs. Facebook pages • Use pages for – Broadcast messaging – 500+ • Use groups for – Community building – Less than 500
    20. 20. Google+ Hangouts for meetings and college visits. • • • • Google+ account Web camera Internet connection Up 9 participants on camera. – Unlimited viewers • YouTube On Air
    21. 21. Google Calendar for scheduling. • Public calendars – Events & Deadlines • Coordinate with colleges • Integrates with Google+ Hangouts • Notifications & RSVP • Daily agenda • Add to your website
    22. 22. Google Drive and Google Forms. • Google Drive – – – – – Documents Presentations Spreadsheets Forms & More • Google Forms – Surveys – Polls – Registrations
    23. 23. Blogging made simple with Tumblr. • Tumblr account • Customizable • Social sharing – Text posts – Links – Photos & video • 30% of students already use Tumblr
    24. 24. Social in the admissions cycle TIMELINE
    25. 25. A need for information is always present, but the kind of information needed changes over time. • Pre-college search – Advocacy • College search – Facts & figures • Campus visits – Understanding fit • Testing & Applications – Resources & Reminders • Decisions – Realizing fit • Post-graduation – Transition
    26. 26. Social media in higher ed CONNECTING WITH COLLEGES
    27. 27. Colleges use social media to connect with prospective students. • • • • • Facebook Pages Twitter accounts YouTube Tumblr Social Media Ambassadors • Goggle+ Hangouts
    28. 28. Connect with colleges on Facebook. • Facebook Pages – University – Admissions • Accepted student groups • Facebook apps
    29. 29. Connect with colleges on Twitter. • • • • College news Admissions Create lists Join the conversation – – – – #EMchat #FAchat #Admissions #HigherEd
    30. 30. Connecting with colleges of YouTube. • Subscribe to channels • Share • Create your own channel and add favorites
    31. 31. Colleges are having fun on Tumblr too. • Follow • Share
    32. 32. Social media ambassadors are incredible assets in the college search. • Examples from RIT – – – – – – YouTube channel G+ Hangouts Facebook page #RITstudents @RIT_Erin @RIT_Tanner
    33. 33. Cited in this presentation RESOURCES
    34. 34. Reports & Policy Inigral, 2013 Social Admissions Report Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
    35. 35. Facebook Privacy settings Facebook groups Facebook pages
    36. 36. Google Google+ Hangouts Google Calendar Google Drive YouTube
    37. 37. Tumblr Get started
    38. 38. QUESTIONS? ASHLEY HENNIGAN ashley.hennigan@cornell.edu @ashleyhenn
    39. 39. On the Verge: Showcasing the Use of Innovative & Disruptive Technologies TOMORROW AT 1 PM Join me!

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