I was thrilled to attend the first social media working group meeting on my campus today…so thrilled that I actually volunteered to be on the subcommittee to help the College come up with a social media policy, directory, and best practices to be displayed on a hub of sorts. It was great to be in a room with other employees and students from across the College (Development, ATTIC tutoring services, Instructional Technology, Communications Division, Art Galleries, Student Life, etc.) who voluntarily want to work together to make the most out of our respective social media presences. I probably wouldn’t have been invited to the working group if I hadn’t been tooling around on the Communications Division’s web site and discovered that they had recently hired a Social Media Manager. Then, in old fashioned style, I just picked up the phone and called to ask what her job entails and how we might work together.
I was a little nervous at first that the Communications Division would want to keep a tight reign on organizational Facebook pages, but thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be their intent. They have adopted a hub-and-spoke model, whereby the hub (in this case, Communications & ITS) will facilitate resource sharing and cross-functional communications. There are a lot of questions that the working group has, especially in terms of defining what we all want Facebook to do for us, and if it is, in fact, the right platform for all of our needs. I manage the library’s social media presence (right now, just Facebook and Twitter) almost solo, with a little help from my student assistant, and I’m always looking for ways to drive up the numbers on our Facebook page, to increase student participation, and to make sense of Facebook’s Insights. I’ve also toyed around with the idea of taking out an ad in advance of our big event for first year students each Fall. But it’s harder to articulate an answer to the “why” question. Why have a Facebook page for the library? Because it is the communications platform of choice for students? Because it helps to build community among our users? How would you answer this question?
The big group is going to meet again in six weeks, but our subcommittee will be getting to work straight away on the social media policy. Stay tuned!