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Social Media & New Technologies in Higher Education


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This presentation explores how the explosion of the Internet and social media tools have changed our society...and how in turn that affects marketing and promotional strategies, both personally and organizationally speaking. With a focus on higher ed institutions, innovative uses of Facebook, Twitter, and RSS to increase university constituency engagement are also discussed.

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Social Media & New Technologies in Higher Education

  1. 1. Social Media & New Technologies<br />…innovative uses<br />in higher education<br />by Lauren McSwain-Starrett<br />Friday, September 4, 2009<br />
  2. 2. Topics<br />About Me & About You<br />Who’s Searching for You Online?<br />How Social Media Has Changed Our Society (as well as Marketing & Promotion)<br />Types of Popular Social Media Tools<br />What Social Media Can Do for You<br />Social Media Tools Provide Universities with Constituent Engagement<br />Some Social Media Tools in Action at Higher Ed Institutions: Facebook, Twitter, RSS <br />Where to Go From Here<br />
  3. 3. A Little About Me…<br />Getting your “vanity URL” on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or buying your own domain name, if applicable, is not vain – it’s just smart. Search terms in URLs come up higher in search results, so doing this helps you control what comes up when people search for you online (whether that’s you, personally, or you, your institution or organization).<br />
  4. 4. A Little About You…<br />Survey Results: Which Tools Are You Using?<br />
  5. 5. A Little About You…<br />Survey Results: What Are Your Reservations about Social Media?<br />
  6. 6. A Little About You…<br />Survey Results: Your Feelingsabout Social Media<br />“I&apos;ve used lots of these tools professionally, but I’d love tobe more effective.”<br />“I’ve used these, but don&apos;t have the time to stay heavily involved.”<br />“I don&apos;t buy into the ‘hype’—as fast as you learn one social media, there&apos;s another one.”<br />“Social media is very necessary professionally, so I&apos;m open to learning more.”<br />“I’m not interested. I have work to do.”<br />Ok, but know that social media tools can help you do the work!<br />
  7. 7. Who’s Looking for You Online?<br />Personally – Everyone is…<br />People aresearching your name; what are they finding?<br />An extension of your resume; does it help or hurtyou?<br />Organizationally – Potential customers are…<br />Can your audience/customers find your org?<br />An extension of your marketing; if you don’t own your brand online, someone else will!<br />And, be aware of the flip side, too…<br />And yes, spammers, stalkers, and criminals may be looking, too.So just be smart –here’s what not to do. Don’t:<br />Upload pics of your sweet new flatscreen TV.<br />Post your home’s cool floor plan.<br />Update your status to tell everyone you’re going on vacation.<br />Your TV just might not be there when you get back! Be judicious in what you post and you’ll be fine.<br />
  8. 8. The World Has Changed.…<br />Social media tools and the Internet have “democratized” opinions, giving everyone a voice and a channel for grievances.<br />United Airlines learned this lesson the hard way: ignore social media sites at your peril! The hit song “United Breaks Guitars,” posted on YouTube, did some serious PR damage to the airline, and demonstrates the power of the Internet when things “go viral.”<br />“United Breaks Guitars” became a topcountry music download on iTunes<br />
  9. 9. And So Marketing Has Changed…<br />Then…<br />Now…<br />Personally – Self-promotion is unnecessary or even braggy; people will pick up on your achievements on their own, and you’ll earn the recognition you deserve<br />Organizationally – Marketing is direct; a carefully-planned, one-way transmission with you talking to your audience, in hopes they’ll be convinced<br />Personally – Self-promotion is essential to making yourself findable, owning your accomplishments, and framing how you and whatever you care about is seen<br />Organizationally – Marketing is engagement; a two-way conversation, talking with your audience, building brand awareness, so if something “goes viral, you have advocates<br />
  10. 10. Types of Popular Social Media Tools<br />
  11. 11. What Can Social Media Do for You?<br />Make you more valuable at work.<br />Inform you of industry news, trends, movers & shakers<br />Enable you to share resources, news stories, etc.<br />Find you new, better work<br />Extend your sphere of influence.<br />Promote services, events, or causes you believe in<br />Maintain a recruiting channel to find needed talent<br />Broaden your audience.<br />Build awareness of your issue or service<br />Ensure “the real you” is easily found in searches<br />Create a two-way dialogue with your customers/users<br />Foster collaboration.<br />Connect geographically separated staff, customers<br />Share presentations, documents, images, resources<br />
  12. 12. Social Media Tools ProvideConstituent Engagement<br />For example: At the University of Virginia, you can…<br />Become a fan of UVa’s official Facebook Page<br />Follow UVa on Twitter<br />Join UVa-affiliated departmental or alumni groups<br />Watch UVa’s official channel<br />Check out UVa podcasts & vodcasts<br />Get UVa news & events delivered to you via RSS<br />News Multimedia Social Networking<br />
  13. 13. About Facebook…<br />Everyone knows Facebook is popular with college students.A 2006 study found it’s the 2nd most popular thing among undergrads, tied with beer and sex, ranking lower than only the iPod.<br />What you may not know is that it’s wildly popular with everyone else, too! Despite pubic perception, just 12% of Facebook users are teens.<br /><ul><li> 4thmost visited website in the world
  14. 14. 60% of users are over age 26
  15. 15. Fastest-growing segment: women over age 35</li></li></ul><li>Higher Ed Uses of Facebook:Public Profiles (“Fan Pages”)<br />Highlight positive media coverage (PR)<br /><ul><li>Showcase student/faculty work and awards</li></ul>Reach prospective students (Admissions)<br /><ul><li> Create official groups for specific classes</li></ul> Build alum/donor relationships (Development)<br /><ul><li> Publicize successful alums</li></ul> Promote university-affiliated centers, facilities, libraries, museums, schools, offices, campus events, athletics, etc.<br />
  16. 16. Higher Ed Uses of Facebook:Flyers for Advertising<br />UVa used a Facebook flyer to drive student interest in a 2008 campus event during the Official Google Bus Tour. <br />For less than $20, Facebook let us carefully target our ad to our desired audience. We got ~65,000 student impressions, an incredible return on investment for a tiny ad buy!<br />
  17. 17. About Twitter…<br />Growth<br /><ul><li> Fastest-growing social </li></ul> networking site in world<br /><ul><li>55M monthly visits
  18. 18. But, only about 40% of users</li></ul> stay active after about 1 mo.<br /><ul><li> Twitter’s largest user </li></ul> group: ages 35-49<br />The Lingo<br /><ul><li>Microblogging, Tweets
  19. 19. Followers, Stream
  20. 20. Handles – e.g., @mcswainstarrett
  21. 21. Hashtags – e.g., #grapevine</li></ul>But…<br />Isn’t It Mundane??<br />Well, it can be…But, tweets can also be very pertinent.You choose who you follow; you build your network around others with similar interests. If you’re following the right people & organizations for you, they’ll often clue you into websites you should check out, new trends you should know about, relevant news stories, etc. It’s true that your stream will also include non-professional things. But you may still reap benefits from hearing a good joke or learning about a cool new restaurant opening or something.<br />
  22. 22. Higher Ed Uses of Twitter<br /><ul><li> Distributingemergency messages
  23. 23. Facilitating classroom discussions
  24. 24. Publicizing good news coverage
  25. 25. Promoting major campus events</li></ul> and building real-time community conversation around guest speakers,<br /> conferences, or commencement (using hashtags like #uvagrad09)<br /><ul><li> Giving busy campus figures who don’t have time to blog regularly a </li></ul>channel to communicate<br />
  26. 26. About RSS…<br />In a nutshell, RSS is the difference between BlockBuster and Netflix. That is, would you rather:<br /><ul><li> Get in your car, drive to the store, and scour the shelves for that new movie in hopes they have it in stock? or
  27. 27. Hang out at home, open your mailbox, and get the movie of your choice, delivered right to your door?</li></ul>Except that RSS has to do with surfing the Web and keeping up-to-date with the news!<br />vs.<br />RSS Provides…<br /><ul><li>Timely news you can read
  28. 28. Whenever & wherever you like
  29. 29. Privacy protection
  30. 30. Updated info with no need to</li></ul>surrender your email address<br />You Can Subscribe to RSS…<br /><ul><li> In your email, on your mobile device, in a Web browser, or on a website tailored to your interests – whatever works best for you!</li></li></ul><li>Higher Ed Uses of RSS Feeds<br />University news headlines, calendar events, sports, even planned computer downtimes can all be posted as news via RSS. Find out what other offices and departments at your school are offering as RSS feeds.<br />You can pull together the various RSS feeds available on your campus onto one convenient University-wide webpage, so your constituents can see what all their choices are and subscribe to the university’s RSS feeds of their choice.<br />
  31. 31. Where to Go From Here…<br />0. Get on social media sites now, if you aren’t already.<br /> Don’t fail to leverage a major communication vehicle!<br />Keep your personal & organizational profile page fresh.<br /> Update your resume, post a recent image and/or status update, share useful links, news, rich media, etc.<br />Be patient; it’s a long-term investment.<br /> Think slow & steady—viral marketing takes time.<br />Keep safety in mind.<br /> Think before you post. Check default privacy settings.<br />Make the most of your limited time.<br /> Use RSS!!! De-clutter your News Feed. Set Friend Lists. On more than one site? Use tools to post to all at once.<br />Keep experimenting and learning more.<br /> Visit for more detailed tips.<br />
  32. 32. Contact Info for Questions<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />