The hardest part of any cohesive social media campaign is pulling it all together.
It’s why I’m so impressed when colleges or universities embrace the social stream and preset it on their own terms in a creative and meaningful way. I’m not talking about social media directories where a school lists all its accounts.
I’m talking about a high-quality mash-up where colleges and universities wrangle feeds from blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and more to create a compelling page that gives a real-time snapshot of all an institution has to offer. (Hat tip to the folks over at mStonerblog; they have been talking about mash-ups for months.)
There are plenty of higher education mash-ups out there, but here are a few of my favorites:
University of Maryland Baltimore County
The UMBC mash-up breaks down the social stream in more ways than I thought possible. It’s a great display of all that’s happening on or around campus but also a great resource to connect with students and organizations based on activity. There are tabs for students, photos, videos, tweets, blogs, music, and organizations. But just in case you want it all, the page defaults to “Everything.”
Missouri State University
Missouri State University compiles their social stream in a place of incredible prominence — directly onto the university home page. The stream pulls from university-related Twitter feeds, Facebook accounts, and news posts to fill the center “News & Events” column. It’s a great example of school embracing social media while providing fresh content to the home page throughout the course of a day.
The social media hub at Tufts University is a comprehensive endeavor to pull together multiple feeds into a single interface. There are tabs for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, and select university blogs. What I appreciate most is that Tufts simply didn’t pull the available widgets from each site, but took the code and customized it to match the look and feel already on the site.
Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design bills itself as “The University for Creative Careers.” No surprise its social media mash-up is one of the most creative out there. The school puts its blog, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube feeds into a 12-box slider that pulls text, pictures, and video into an interesting display.
College of William & Mary
The social stream at the College of William & Mary is easy to navigate and visually appealing, mainly because of its simplicity. Six boxes feed the latest from the stream, whether it’s a blog post, tweet, or uploaded photo. Viewing previous posts to the stream is as easy as selecting the numbers down the left side.
The Vanderbilt University social media mash-up keeps it simple. Blog, YouTube, and Twitter feeds come together to produce a Twitter-esque stream that’s easy to follow and scan. Additional social media options appear in tabs across the top of the page. It would be cool if users could subscribe to this stream with one click.
Any examples I may have missed? Please share them in the comments below: