Thursday, May 14, 2015

55 Higher Education and Social Media Ideas! #55HigherEd from the SxSWEdu Conference!

In March, I was very fortunate to attend the SxSWEdu conference in Austin, TX. I attended sessions hosted by the TAMU system, the Gates Foundation, and several university colleagues from other institutions. This year marks my second year of attendance and I have to tout that this is the best year so far!

This year, we presented a session titled, "#55HigherEd Ideas and Resources" and we had participants from high schools, community colleges, universities, foundations, and associations. The ideas presented in the session were recorded via Twitter and via a Google Document!

Here's our tagboard from the session (the tweets):

Here are my notes from the audience members attending the session!

1 - Reaching Current Undergraduate Students via Social Media

- Create a hashtag for recruiting students and engaging other departments to communicate with them.
- Place your twitter handle on your email signature line.
- Create professional groups for like-minded students on Facebook.

2 - Recruiting and Retaining Faculty and Staff on Social Media

- Create secondary social media posts of positions to recruit faculty and staff (without publishing on higher education.)
- Focus on faculty and staff members's secondary interests (what they like to do outside of the typical workday).
- Post a video about the staff environment and the benefits/ How they match 401Ks. Two weeks off during Christmas break.
- Utilize Flickr accounts, seeing the attire of the workplace.
- Focus on Faculty Student Success Stories - Faculty will have a different focus.

3 - Student Engagement and Social Media

- Post Lists Focused on Your Community (i.e. - Things to do in Alpine - Going out to the Sul Ross Campaign (students and their parents)).
- Form a Twitter Debate - Two teams. Limited numbers of tweets.Number of favorites within a certain time frame.

4 - University Recruitment and Social Media

- Create Buzzfeed-like videos focused on your university. For example, the top 10 reasons why you should join the teacher education program.
- Connect with Community Colleges via the University Account

5 - The University Classroom and Social Media

- Insert a Twitter Widget on Blackboard
- Creating Instagram account for your department.
- Remember to be more proactive with social media listening.
- Have a social media policy on your syllabus.
- Create expectations of social media posts. Twitter and instagram. Tagboard. Giving students a visual for students and other.
- Post student group projects to LinkedIn. Becoming references to one another.
- Have Pop-Up Sessions from One Class Session to the Next - Group work and generating ideas. Great for problem based learning. Ideas would come through and everyone would have everyone's idea. Other classes could add to that.

6 - University Marketing on Social Media

- Push for a social page on the website to list all of the university's social media accounts.
- Engage the internal departments.
- Ask students how they discovered your university.
- Practice social media listening. Create a search focused on your college or university's name.
- Find student social media ambassadors for your university. They will be the ambassadors to start the #besomebody

Next Year!

When the call for sessions is available, I will definitely submit another session (Vote for the @TSMRI Session)! This was one of the best conferences this year and I hope that I will continue to connect with my colleagues from other institutions and foundations throughout the year.

In June, we will start our #55HigherEd chat on Wednesdays in June at 8pm on Twitter! Join us! 

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

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