It’s Caught on Like a Drug.
Social media is over taking the internet by storm. Everyone has either a Facebook or MySpace. Now, Twitter has jumped into the Social Media mix, and now is the most used word of 2009. Social Media sites were first used as a way to connect people with similar interests. Now, universities are grabbing some of the pie and launching themselves in a different way.
Universities are using these sites as a way to start a conversation with their students and provide them with information. Boston University has done an excellent job at utilizing their Facebook. On their graduate of communications Facebook, they incorporate videos, events, and relevant information on topics on interest.
Twitter is a way to creatively disseminate messages in 140 characters. School’s can use this service as a way to create two-way communication with followers, announce deadlines and dates, as well as post articles of interest.
These schools have taken free services and spring boarded their ways of connecting with students, alumni, and faculty.
You Can Do It!
My suggestions to use these sites effectively:
Turn your school’s page into a “Fan Page” on Facebook. This will allow your “fans” to become advertising tools themselves. A badge is placed at the bottom of their page, in their fan section. They will become viral advertising for anyone looking at their Facebook page.
Don’t be afraid to respond to your fans! It brings a personal connection to them.
Post, RT, and respond.
Post articles of interest
“Re-Tweet” articles of your followers
Respond to posts of your followers.
The most important thing to do is, start a conversation. The more personal of a connection students have with their school, the more they are going to support and enjoy their experience.
It’s Only In It’s Infancy
Social Media is only in it’s infancy. In about 5 years, there will be a new site, and Facebook may become obsolete. Always look around at what’s new and see how you can incorporate it into your life, job, or school. The more you play with it, the more you know!