Unanswered questions on social media and highered

Fellow bloggers Kanna Taylor and Erin Eschen already posted great recaps of the Social Media Club St. Louis’ panel on higher education last week — that’s not what this blog post is about.

This post is about those questions asked but not answered.

The panel discussion lasted more than an hour and a half and we couldn’t tackle it all. Thanks to an active stream using #SMCSTL, we’re able revisit those questions.

Here’s my best effort at answering them:

Would you recommend having two Twitter accts for a university to target both audiences? 1)Parents/community/biz 2)Students
— @kannataylor

I find it difficult enough to manage one. Given the choice between managing multiple accounts to varying degrees of success and managing one account better than anyone else, what would you choose? I’d stick with the one account. I’m a firm believe that one clear voice is louder than a dozen shouting the same thing.

What are your thoughts on 2 different profiles 1) personal 2) professional and high security settings? 
— @MarisaLather

Facebook makes the answer easy: You cannot have more than one profile. It’s in the Facebook terms of service. It’s a different story on Twitter. On Twitter, I manage both a personal and professional profile. My only advice is to use a different third-party client to manage each so as not to post the wrong information to the wrong account. Your family and friends might want to know your plans for Saturday night, but the entire university probably doesn’t care.

Do we need policies for social media at college? Why? No policy for phone use. How is it different? 
— @jonRfalk

I’m not a big believer in instituting formal policy to dictate behavior on social media networks unless that policy is simply, “Don’t be stupid.” I do support the formation of guidelines. Demonstrate best practices on social media behavior and people will follow them.

Should universities use #Foursquare? If so what are the benefits?
— @kannataylor

You need to use the sites your students use. If all your students are using Foursquare to check in across your campus, you need to be where they are. But even if your campuses’ Foursquare usage is slim to none, I still believe it important to at least know what the social network is and how it works.

hey #SMCSTL panel – can students really be free online to speak their minds? Is the school watching?
— @Tojosan

Colleges and universities are the arenas of open ideas. I don’t know of one school where students are anything less than encouraged to speak their minds. And while schools may be monitoring social networks to see what students say about the institution, I don’t believe they’re doing so in a way to discourage open dialogue.

What about using blogs for recruitment purposes? Do they work or not? Are they worth it?
— @kannataylor

I think blogs for recruitment can work, if done the right way. The best blogs are those that present information about an institution in an honest way. Blogs can give far greater context and nuance about a school than any status update on Facebook or Twitter. Are they worth it? That question is up to you.

what #socialmedia or digital marketing classes are offered in #stl ?
— @MarisaLather

Most college classes in communications will at least touch on the topic of social media. A few will even devote the entire term to it. I cannot speak for other universities, but this spring Webster University offered classes in Social Media and Relational Dynamics; How to Manage Web 2.0; and Social Media and PR, to name a few.

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4 Responses to “Unanswered questions on social media and highered”

  1. These are some excellent points for discussion on any campus these days. I especially like your responses about social media policy (as our legal team informed us, existing policies cover it already) and foursquare (go where your audience is, don’t chase new for the sake of new).

    February 6, 2011 at 6:10 pm
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    December 20, 2014 at 3:10 am
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