Ten Quick Tips for Managing Social Media in Your Office
Looking for advice on how to make the most of your department’s social media efforts? MyWorldAbroad is here to help with solid advice specifically written for career centers and study abroad offices!
Quick Tips for Career Centers and Study Abroad Offices
Developing targeted social media strategies and rolling out campaigns can seem like a challenge, but by following the quick tips below, you’ll be on your way to maximizing your office’s social media presence. Supporting study abroad and campus internationalization via social media has never been easier, so check out the pointers below, which are useful for social media novices and seasoned users alike.
1) Less can be more when it comes to platforms: Focus on having a solid, content-rich presence on one or two few networks, rather than having inactive or sporadically active profiles on several platforms. Most university departments focus their efforts on Facebook and Twitter feeds. Advanced active users may incorporate Instagram or Snapchat feeds.
2) Develop goals: According to research, most university departments use social media accounts to: attract potential students, boost school pride, circulate class announcements and do general outreach. While these are all positive objectives, study abroad and career offices can benefit from more targeted social media approaches.
Every career center and study abroad office should develop a list of target outcomes, even if your primary stated goal is something extremely simple, like: “Boost student engagement by sharing internationally-oriented content on a weekly basis.” Clarify your ideal outcomes and keep them top-of-mind throughout strategy development. Advanced active users may incorporate analytics and develop more specific target outcomes, e.g. “vanity metrics” (measuring shares and likes), increased program participation numbers, etc.
3) Develop a strategy: Once you have developed goals, get specific about your strategy. How often will you post? What will you post? Who will create and edit content? How far in advance will it be created? How will your shared content relate to the goal/s you developed in #2?
4) Centralize your efforts: Although time and resources are tight, having a dedicated social media team or manager/ambassador is valuable, and much more effective than having a rotating roster of student interns. Be sure that those who are managing your social media really understand your platforms, your social media goals and your overall strategy. Advanced active users should aim to have their social media accounts active and monitored for several hours a day.
5) Presence is not enough: Having social media accounts does not make your institution “active” on social media. Being active involves sharing and engaging, and your social media feeds must provide value in the form of encouraging and/or practically useful messaging and content.
6) Share from off-campus sources: Expand your view! Keep an eye on news stories and blogs from outside your institution, and share them in your feeds when relevant to your followers. For example, MyWorldAbroad’s own Twitter and Facebook feeds include recent career- and go-abroad-related stories from media outlets and blogs. Visit and follow MyWorldAbroad on Twitter and Facebook.
7) Use MyWorldAbroad's Global Nudge Social Media Campaigns: The MyWorldAbroad team spent several months developing a year-long, targeted social media campaign which can be incorporated into your office’s current strategy, or used as a standalone campaign. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to share a comprehensive social media campaign, without any of the hassle. Advanced active users can implement the full Global Nudge social media campaign, or customize and incorporate into an existing strategy. (See details on this page).
8) Celebrate your students: Use social media to promote students who have been abroad, or alumni who have succeeded in international careers.
9) Get savvy about hashtags: A hashtag is a word or unspaced phrase prefaced by the # sign, e.g. #studyabroad. It makes it easier for social media users to find all content related to a specific theme. Creating school-specific hashtags and using them consistently on all relevant social media shares can help to brand your content and connect you with the student population (e.g. #CarletonStudyAbroad, #LSUGoesInternational).
10) Use social media management platforms: Have you heard of Hootsuite? If not, why not? Hootsuite is a social media management platform that makes pre-scheduling messages across multiple platforms extremely easy. It allows you to send the same message simultaneously across two or more platforms, or pre-load future message shares. Consider asking your social media point person to register for this service. Buffer is another example of a social media management platform. MyWorldAbroad’s Global Nudge Social Media Campaigns already contains a full year of content and several months can be loaded within a few hours manually, or even quicker if you contact us for a .csv file for bulk loading. (See details on this page.)
REMEMBER: Social media is just another term for communications – and it is a key part of being engaged on campus and with students.
Social Media Checklist
To Do One-time/Occasionally
- Identify your social media managers.
- Put your social media goals or guiding principles in writing.
- Develop share schedules for each social media network (How many shares per day/week?)
- Develop hashtags for your office, for campus events or for themes. Then, use them consistently.
- Ensure that you are following all relevant institutional accounts.
- Pre-load several months of Global Nudge content.
To Do Daily
- Respond to inbound messages.
- Monitor and respond to mentions of your office or university account.
- Post 2-4 times on Twitter (example).
- Post 1-2 times on Facebook (example).
To Do Weekly
- Retweet one or more news stories from MyWorldAbroad’s social media accounts. (Check our Twitter and Facebook feeds at regular intervals.)
- If improved numbers of followers and engaged users are relevant to your target outcomes, check your analytics.
- Connect with any student group that has a career or international focus. Ask them to help promote your shared content.