Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Content first, then tools.

Social media is quite the topic of conversation these days, and rightfully so. There is no other medium that gives you the level of engagement you can get from social media. Because this has become such a phenomenon many on campus are getting started using it. I get a lot of questions such as “Which social media tools should I be using?” and “Do you have a social media strategy template I can use?” These questions provide a great opportunity to talk through the bigger picture.

I generally begin my response to these questions with “Let’s take a step back and discuss what content you have and what your goals are.” It is so important to realize that social media should be a piece of a larger strategy. Before diving into a tool you need to talk through the fundamentals of a marketing or communication plan. Start with your audiences. Who are you trying to reach? What content do they want or need? What is your department trying to accomplish with each audience? What content do you have, or could you have, to reach these audiences?

As you begin thinking through the fundamentals you will get a better picture of the tools that are appropriate to use. For example, if prospective students are an audience you need to reach then consider what would get their attention. Are you a department with interesting research going on with a student involved? If so, you could do a video profile of that student discussing their work. That video could then be posted to your website, posted on a Facebook page, pushed out on Twitter and uploaded to YouTube. Do you see? Once you have an idea of content the tools to use become clearer.

By the way, this is the type of content IMC would love to have too so we can put on the University social media which gives even more exposure to your content. In fact, there are times when it makes more sense to leverage the main University social media versus starting your own. For example, an annual event does not necessarily need its own Facebook page or Twitter account. This is the perfect example of working with IMC to use the main University accounts for promotion. It saves you the time of trying to build a following on your own accounts for something that happens once a year, and the University accounts already have a very large following.

Let us know if you need help!

‘Tell stories, use all media’… kinda like we do

We consider it an honor when a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student marketing, public relations or journalism groups drop the IMC team a call, email or Tweet and asks a member to share some perspective, career tips, war stories, recipes… you name it.

Invariably, the conversations reassure me the work we do in our shop is with it. 

I had the chance this week to chat with students in the UW Oshkosh student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It was a small gathering of about seven or eight. But was a neat opportunity to reaffirm with folks who could be future colleagues what most of us in this broader biz know to be vital these days: Make media; If you can creatively, confidently and with authenticity write, speak and tell/shout out stories in print, online, audio, video and social media formats, you’re golden. You can get hired. Your talents will be deployed. Be a storyteller and Swiss-Army-knife-of-media while remaining open to opportunities, and you will land a cool job.

One or two of the students I talked with are preparing to graduate and jump into the roiling sea that is the current job market and economy.

They seemed confident. I hope I didn’t change that.

What’s great about working in an integrated marketing and communications shop is that we truly live that multimedia, storytelling reality day to day. We are, at all times, dabbling in University news video production, juggling multiple print marketing projects that advance campus programs and events and tailoring our web presences. Our little wing of UW Oshkosh has all kinds of irons in the fire, and success requires a melding of the make-media talents of a band of former shoe leather news reporters and photographers, once-private-sector magazine marketers and (we say this affectionately) tech geeks.

The good news is our UW Oshkosh public relations, marketing and journalism programs get it.

While students are burning the midnight oil to crank out that ol’ weekly campus newspaper, they are also revamping its website, using Twitter to hook in more readers and, in their classrooms, delving into video production and social media marketing strategy, working alongside faculty members to promote the very programs propelling them.

You really know these students are primed for the modern media maelstrom, however, when, within minutes of wrapping up a career-advice chat, a guest speaker gets a thoughtful thank you in the form of a Tweet, graciously dropping his Twitter handle and a strategically placed @UWO_SPJ.

Right back atchya, @UWO_SPJ.

Champion Chat: Social Media

Last week we had a fantastic Champion Chat on Social Media. Sadly, the room was a little too full of people, but that is a good problem to have! Zack, the new IMC Social Media intern, gave a great overview on some basic social media tools as well as some ideas on how to better collaborate on campus. Here are some of the suggestions:

  • Creating a common social hashtag, i.e: #UWOSH
  • Subscribing and contributing to the UW-Social Media List by emailing
  • Keeping our accounts fresh and active, while one compliments the other through actions like, Re-Tweeting, hash-tag collaboration and using @Mentions. Posting on other UW Oshkosh Facebook walls
  • Encouraging others to formally @Mention your organization (i.e: @UWOshkosh)
  • Using practical desktop and mobile applications to track and manage our following (i.e: TweetDeck)
  • Staying connected to the UW-Social directory.
  • Examine and evaluate your follower data, trends and conversations using tools such as Social Mention, iGoogle or NetVibes.

The turnout for the meeting certainly showed that campus is very interested in learning more about social media, and learning how we can collaborate more. With that, the goal is to find a more regular venue for campus to come together on this topic. We’ll keep you posted as this develops more.

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