Unify Your Approach to Higher Ed Social Media

Could your institution’s social media focus be leading to social anarchy?

That’s the case on many campuses as departments, labs, sports teams and specialty groups take program marketing into their own hands to have a voice in the social media marketplace. When A.T. Still University (ATSU) diagnosed its own disjointed social media presence, the university developed an effective social unification strategy for a dramatic 879 percent increase in organic reach on Facebook.

ATSU administrators realized there were more than 200 ATSU-affiliated pages and groups on Facebook. Many were inactive; most had no more than a few hundred followers and weren’t being monitored or advised by the marketing department. These rogue pages and groups made it hard for people to find ATSU’s main pages, difficult to measure the university’s social reach, and impossible to create a unified strategy, writes Anne Ackroyd, ATSU’s public relations specialist, in an article in Academic Impressions.

Finding Solutions

ATSU’s marketing team suggested some brand-unifying solutions to page managers, including using a consistent format for page names and profile images. Some page managers (mostly ones whose pages were inactive or had few followers) didn’t get on board, and instead chose to delete their pages, but that was OK. Page quantity decreased but page quality increased and ATSU’s primary pages became easier to find. Because they took part in problem-solving, the remaining page managers felt invested in their pages’ (and the brand’s) success going forward, and it showed.

The university also created a social media committee of more than 70 faculty, staff, and students across its colleges, campuses, and departments. The committee meets monthly to exchange ideas, suggest posts, provide feedback and learn about social media best practices. Members are also encouraged to request posts through a form in the university’s online portal.

These changes fixed the problems that had been keeping ATSU from social media success and resulted in a massive increase in their reach.

What You Can Do

Aligning people around social content and branding can be done without friction. Reach beyond traditional work teams and restructure to integrate new voices and new ideas into your social media marketing process. Educate all teams about the strategies and goals of other groups. Use marketing technology to promote and measure success. Above all else, strive to promote a holistic brand experience across all channels.

We understand the kind of problem-solving that’s required to develop and maintain a consistent social media marketing strategy. Contact us today so we can put that knowledge to work for you.