eBook

Planning a Social Media Strategy

I’ve just published an eBook on a social media marketing in higher education, you can download it here, so have posted a quick extract below as a shallow means of generating downloads.

Enjoy!

 

Rule 1. Plan.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

As obnoxious as it probably is to start a book about social media with a quote from a military leader, particularly one to which I feel morally ambiguous about at best, it is nevertheless a fairly apt philosophy to attach to social media planning.

I know, I know, I just shuddered inside too.

But still, having attended dozens of ‘social media’ events like, al- though not thankfully this one1, and met hundreds of self-professed social media consultants, gurus, ninjas, evangelists, and demigods, the same pseudo-knowing statement is always echoed:

‘A social media plan is vital.’

Yet, except it isn’t really. Well, let me clarify, it is and it isn’t.

“Social media is quite spontaneous, so you need to allow room for things that may just develop on the day,” says Birmingham City University’s Social Media Officer, Sundip Gill. “So much of my time is spent researching; being at a university there are always quite a lot of events, you just have to see what comes up every day. You definitely have to be flexible. You can’t keep to a strict schedule. It just doesn’t work like that; you have to flexible and spontaneous.

“Last week the weather was really nice, I took some photos with my SLR camera of Eastside and of the new Curzon building, and shared it online. The engagement rate on Facebook especially was great, with 350 likes, and a dozen shares, and it’s not something that I’d planned in my schedule. It was a nice day, I had my camera, if I posted anything else it might not have worked so well.”

Continue reading

Advertisements
Standard
eBook

New eBook ‘Learning to Fail: 5 rules for using social media in higher education’ released!

I’m happy to say that my new eBook is finally out, which is nice.

So what’s it all about then? Well, in my day job, I sometimes train staff at Birmingham City University how to blog and use social media to promote or support their professional persona, project or course.

Despite everyone usually knowing the basics (and sometimes much more) of social media, there always seems to be something holding some people back from truly ‘getting it.’ That ‘something’ seems to be fear; ‘what if something I say gets taken out of context?’ ‘What if someone trolls me?’ ‘What if we don’t have loads of followers straight away?’ Continue reading

Standard
Ellie Lovell
Advice

Taking a strategic approach to social media marketing

What was once a small community of techies playing around with a few home-brewed communication tools has rapidly transformed into a multi-million-pound industry over the last 10 years. Social media as a marketing tool, and support for it, is big business now, and a whole industry has sprung up around it to support ‘traditional’ organisations, such as universities, initially slow to understand its potential.

But how does social fit into the bigger picture of online marketing, student engagement and the institutions objectives as a whole?

I recently asked just that to Ellie Lovell, former Online Communications Manager at University of Warwick, and now Head of Content Strategy and Social Media Planning at Pickle Jar Communications – a marketing and communications agency, specialising in the education sector. Continue reading

Standard
Advice

How Aston University use the web and social media

A bit like me, Ben McAree is early 30s, dresses like an indie kid, and gets as geekily enthusiastic about all things digital as I do.

Now Head of Digital Marketing at Aston University, which essentially includes ‘anything with a screen’, we geeked out over all things web, social and techy in Higher Education over a coffee in one of Birmingham’s rising glut of hipster coffee shops.

Continue reading

Standard
Advice

Sprout Social’s advice on getting the most out of social media in a university

In my ongoing quest to speak to as many experts on the use of social media in higher education as I can (I’m working on an eBook about it don’t you know…), I stumbled across this rather useful blog post from Sprout Social’s Michael Patterson. So, through an advanced interwebs technology called ’email’ I spoke to him about all things social within the world of higher ed.

Continue reading

Standard