Colleges and universities are using social media more than ever before to connect withalumni, students, prospective students, and their communities. But deploying social mediawithin a university isn’t easy, and the challenges faced in higher education are verydiﬀerent from those faced in other industries. We asked the experts to provide theirinsights on how to manage the challenges and take advantage of the opportunitiesthat social media provides.Access the full webinar and slides at ar.gy/socialuniversity.Benchmarking your audienceSocial media statistics that focuson higher education are hard tocome by, so we did some of ourown research. We looked acrossthe Top 125 Universities as rankedby US News and World Report in2011 to determine the averagesize of their audience (TwitterFollowers and Facebook Fans).Insitutions are broken down bysize, and it should be no surprisethat larger ones have largeraudiences. In this graph, “Small”refers to institutions with anundergraduate population of lessthan 5,000, “Medium” is 5-15,000,and “Large” is 15,000+.How does your university stack up?
Best Practices of Social UniversitiesBest Practice #1: Balance content. what they are posting on social media.Every university has campus points of pride to report, UNC’s Social Media Mission Statement:such as Higher Education accolades, professors’ The Social Media committee exists to create apublished research, and campus facility updates. But as presence for Carolina Development and itsyou craft your social media strategy, it’s important to programs in social media in order to educatebalance content we call “broccoli content” with the alumni, students, parents and friends about development and its programs and why giving issweeter, more shareable “cake content.” Zack Barnett, of important. Content posted by the committeeUniversity of Oregon, continues to grow U of O’s social will be curated news about the University and itspresence by, “feeding them enough cake to sneak in students, alumni, faculty and staﬀ that issome broccoli from time to time.” Quickly assess your entertaining or enlightening with an emphasisbroccoli to cake ratio and adjust as necessary: on content that promotes giving. Broccoli Cake Best Practice #5: Show your fans, don’t tell. awards human interest pieces Campus icons, landmarks, and published research crowd-sourced content images are powerful reminders of campus pride. Higher Ed. news contests Use photos and video to show your fans what’sAnother factor that plays a large role in Facebook happening on campus. Sunnymarketing is EdgeRank. EdgeRank is the algorithm that days and snowman shots aredetermines whether and what content appears in your sometimes the most widelyfans’ newsfeed. It is designed to show your fans the shared!content they like when they want to see it. Best Practice #6: Defend your social properties. Aﬃnity x Weight x Time Decay = EdgeRank Both internal and external pressures challenge theTo learn more about EdgeRank, including best integrity of your social properties. Whether it’s boringpractices, access our free webinar and slides at ar.gy/ content passed along to you by a colleague (internal)edgerankwebinar. or misinformation posted on your page (external) , have an actionable plan for dealing with threats.Best Practice #2: Show the big picture.It’s not unusual for schools to have hundreds (yes, Best Practice #7: Share resources acrosshundreds) of social properties across Twitter, Facebook, departments.and LinkedIn. Make sure students, faculty, and alumni Share checklists, guidelines, and policies across teams.can find and access all of your properties by listing The U of O was inspired by Vanderbilt University andthem in an index on your site, like UNC and University created a Social Media Checklist that covers content,of Oregon, or by creating lists within Twitter, like defining and measuring success, main goals, strategiesHarvard. and more. You can access the list at ar.gy/ socialmediachecklistBest Practice #3: Coordinate across channels.Just as you synch your direct mail with your phone-a-thons, email blasts, and newsletters, it’s important tointegrate social media into your campaigns. UNC’s “TheCarolina Way” campaign included ways to participatevia email, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Meet your Argyle Social helps businesses drive results throughaudience where they are and invite them to participate. social media. Publish, engage, and measure your socialBest Practice #4: Set Guidelines. media eﬀorts with an intuitive and powerful tool.Set guidelines to avoid mission creep on your social Learn more at argylesocial.com.properties. UNC’s Oﬃce of Development crafted a Follow us on Twitter @ArgyleSocialMission Statement to guide why they are posting and