I was asked to give a presentation last week to the President’s Cabinet about the state of social media monitoring and response. Our department controls the university’s official social media presence and reputation online so it was only fitting for me to report on it.
About the presentation
The presentation above is an edited version from the one I gave. It was meant to give an overview of the sites we are involved with and how we handle engaging with the communities on them. It also outlines the tools we created and use to keep staff resources down.
About our resources
The responsibility of being in these social spaces and our efforts to unify the university online is something we initiated and maintain with existing staff. It is basically myself and Jenn Di Sano, our Web content administrator, who watch and respond to most of the engagement 24/7. Although the entire Web department comes up with campaigns, tools to track and monitor the networks on a passive basis, the bulk of work is between us two.
We answer any questions we can and seek out experts from campus when we can’t. We are a key position because we already interact with the information officiers from all around campus so it isn’t out of the ordinary that we ask them specific questions. We average 20-30 conversations per day, sometimes much more at peak complaint times.
Our strategy for departments interested
If a department on campus is interested in extending their message and connect with a community beyond their official website we step in and make sure they know what they are getting into. Often the “social media” buzz word gets thrown around by the dean or director without a clear understanding of the resources involved to keep up with social expectations. Our main concern is the long term effect of using social media, we have seen too many departments start out strong then stop after three months because the person controlling it has left or been re-assigned. This can cause a larger issue than not having an account at all. Student’s questions may be falling on deaf ears.
Before there was no formal documentation process to start social media efforts, it was just a personal interview with me. But because of the interest I have taken a questionnaire originally developed by Queens University and adapted by Rachel Reuben as a starting point for departments. It can be downloaded below and it outlines the important questions to think about before talking to our department about strategy.
Download the questionnaire (doc)