In a recent New York Times article, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted, saying that the average person spends 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. This isn’t too much of a surprise if you work on a college campus. You regularly witness students buried in social media on their smart phones. As a result, many college departments work to develop a social media online presence so they can share information with students via the platforms they are already using.
As part of a career center team, I spend the majority of my time leading student and alumni appointments. But I am also charged with managing our office’s social media. Over the past year, I have utilized strategies that contribute to growing our online presence in as efficient a manner as possible. Whether you are revamping an existing social media account or starting from scratch, I encourage you to consider the following:
1. Determine your goal.
Why are you creating a social media account for your department? What actions can you take to promote your “why”?
Research how other career departments utilize social media. What posts and platforms get more engagement? What ideas can you come up with based on what you’re seeing others do?
3. Create a game plan.
Determine what kind of content you’d like to feature and which platforms it is most suitable for. Then, create a schedule for reoccurring features or advertisements. Maybe you’ll advertise resume services on a monthly basis and your online job database on a weekly basis.
4. Brush up on your design skills.
Use a tool like Canva to create striking graphics and iMovie to create videos. With newsfeeds like you’ll see on Twitter and Facebook, photos/graphics/videos are more eye-catching than text-based posts.
5. Preload content when you can.
Early every week, I take an hour to preload posts to social media for the entire next week via Hootsuite. This content includes alerts about expiring job opportunities, student intern spotlights, event announcements, and service promotion. This semester, I posted a weekly job fair countdown image for the 3 weeks leading up to our fair. In addition to preloaded content, I also post in-the- moment content when applicable.
6. Get the word out.
Regularly promote your online presence and accounts. Think about what their biggest selling points are. For example, I encourage upcoming grads to follow us on Twitter so that they can see job opportunity reminders. I’ve also managed some events where students have opted to get photographed and encouraged to find their photos on our office Instagram.
7. Analyze your analytics.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide you with varying levels of analytics that can provide you with data including what your most popular posts were and what time of day you got the most traffic to your page. I encourage you to monitor this data and make adjustments to future posting strategies based on it.
The focus of December is Genius Labs- enhancing work through technology and social media.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Cristina Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Podcast With Joe Sabado on Using Technology to Support Students