Jason was recently telling us about the launch of their “Connect with UNH” page. Managing multiple social media channels across campus that many of you face daily. Their approach is very ambitious and I asked him to share it with our readers. Enjoy! –@kylejames
The University of New Hampshire offers over 100 majors across multiple campuses and enrolls over 14,500 students who engage in daily discovery … including the use of social media. Research shows that social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter continue to grow. By using these new communication tools, we can better reach out as a higher education institution and give our school a louder voice by creating engagement between the school and the student body, staff, alumni, and surrounding community. Because social media is so powerful and enormous, UNH recently hired me to coordinate and monitor all its social networks and to evaluate the tools that work best.
UNH has many social media outlets, both official and unofficial. Currently, there are more than 30 affiliated Twitter handles, 120 affiliated Facebook pages and groups, 12 affiliated YouTube channels, not to mention our official Foursquare, Google+, Flickr, and LinkedIn Alumni pages. There is also a growing collection of both departmental and student-run blogs. There was no central place to find all these social pages, which led to our new webpage, “Connect With UNH.” By creating this page, we’ve connected all our social networks tab by tab and ask that any program, department, club, or student organization that is not listed send us their information, which gets added to the appropriate spot on the index. It’s categorized and well-ordered, making it easy to navigate and find just what social page you’re looking for at UNH. “Connect With UNH” is evolving. We receive updates and requests everyday, so our social media list continues to grow.
Just because social media is easily available, you cannot assume everyone at your institution uses it or is using it properly. Since I began my new position as social media coordinator at UNH, I have met individually with various departments and organizations looking for tips and tricks when creating a Twitter account or promoting an event through Facebook or Foursquare. I spend a lot of my time monitoring our social networks, creating content, and trying to engage our audience, but I also make time to discuss social media around campus, offering advice through tutorials and on-site training.
If I can offer any advice for monitoring social media in higher education, I would invest in one of the many social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite, Radian6, Sprout Social, Meltwater Buzz, or Tweetdeck. Most of these platforms offer a free trial, which can simply be downloaded from the respective websites. Trust me, these tools make it easier to stay organized and allow you to integrate many of your social media channels for easier monitoring, engagement, and messaging.