Create a Collaborative Campus Social Environment with Social Studio

Across social media, it’s no surprise that various groups on campus operate autonomously.  There are countless times when asking a group on campus who is responsible for social only one person will raise their hand in the group.  “I’m responsible for all of our social accounts”, you may hear.  Another person will chime in, “I’m doing social part-time as one of the many hats I wear”.  There is of course a common reason for this, as each unit on campus has their own voice and agenda they want to facilitate, but a big reason is that social is seen as the laggard to the other marketing channels.  It’s hard to quantify the impact social is having, and even more difficult to quantify its effect on campus objectives such as enrollment or student outcomes.  With the appointment of a social ambassador, a greater effort can be made to collaborate across the campus brand.  This may include examining the impact of social return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPI).  So, what does this mean for units on campus, and how can we create a collaborative campus social environment with Social Studio?

Define the Goals

What goals are you trying to accomplish with your social strategy?  Increased brand awareness? Greater community impact? Direct influence on outcomes or class?  Trend analysis of peer institutions?  Lining up the goals is the first step to determining how a social campus collaborative can help.  While each unit can focus on their message, the campus can create a single voice across social channels.  It is in this way that providing a unified social structure for campus can grant dividends and reward the campus mission.

Collaborate across campus with secure, shared workspacesSocial Studio Shared Workspaces

Define a Social Structure

There are three primary ways broad marketing alignment occurs in a decentralized higher ed environment.  First is the franchise model, second is the top-down model, and third is the grass roots (organic) model.  Social Studio enables all of these structures to thrive in accomplishing your social goals.  Let’s take a look at how these models work.

Franchise Model

In this model, the central marketing or central social team creates an environment where units can manage their own social structure, and at the same time, provide some guidance, alignment, and oversight with brand usage, content, and reporting.  Basically, any unit can reap the rewards of their own social management and leverage the benefits of being part of the greater system at their leisure.  As new units volunteer to join, they are enabled for campus-wide engagement and the ability to collaborate with other units.

Top-Down Model

This model rarely needs explaining.  A mandate is created in the top-down model where all social accounts are managed through a central solution.  This can be for security reasons, a greater role from centralized marketing across social, or a host of other reasons.  

Grass Roots (Organic) Model

This model is interesting because of how many forms it can take.  The social success of one unit may transfer to another unit, and this unit may be completely unrelated to the initial unit.  Some units may be looking for an “anchor” to join in their social endeavor.  In other cases, the referring unit may be very vocal about their social success and simply want to leverage the ongoing content and activity from the other units.  

Benefits of Social Collaboration

A single campus can have hundreds of social accounts.  Multiply that single campus by the number of campuses in a system and you can have thousands or tens of thousands of social accounts.  Now, take each piece of content these accounts are producing and do the math.   This is where we can truly leverage the power of scale.  Now we can start to answer questions like how much content was effective?  Which content was incredibly successful?  Which content should we incorporate into our mission and use as our drivers for success?

Higher education has incredible social moments all the time on campus — perhaps an athlete and coach share a moment on the field, or maybe a student who society deemed destined to fail had a turnaround and was incredibly successful.  Ask yourself who is controlling that narrative?  A tweet from athletics is no longer enough.  How many other units on campus may not be aware or simply lack the time to recreate the content on their social accounts?  Social media isn’t like the old days where PR can simply call the news outlet and have them change the story subject line (wow, that’s already considered the old days).  Once the story breaks, it’s been reposted, hashed, and tweeted by millions. 

Here is where social collaboration really starts to make sense.  While not every solution requires technology, this is one area where Social Studio can harness the digital narrative and allow a collective voice.

Social Studio Shared EngagementSocial Studio Engaged Content Sharing


Benefits of Increased Security

This topic goes without saying, but we still read about it frequently.  Someone posted to the wrong account, or an account was hacked.  Leaving so many accounts vulnerable to everyday security threats is concerning, as breaches and impact, while localized to perhaps a single account, can have broad implications.  This is why securing your social accounts with a solution like Social Studio is so powerful.

Allowing staff and employees the ability to engage social mediums directly with usernames and passwords creates a great security risk, and opens the door for personal account data to cross-pollinate with business ones.  Social Studio not only creates the “business environment” for your staff to engage, but it also creates a secure channel with the social networks so users don’t have to manage them.  Additionally, Social Studio can utilize existing campus Identity Management (IDM/IDaaS) solutions as an authentication layer for employee access.  In an event an employee departs, so will all their social account access.

Social Studio Shared Content SecurtitySocial Studio Shared Content Security


Benefits of a Single Voice

Again, no surprise a unit or campus will choose to go their own direction.  Some units are so proud of their differentiators they will do everything they can to stand out and compete with others where prospects have expressed multiple interests.  What gets lost with this approach is the incredible value the overall brand and mission bring to the table.

Campuses are actively taking a stance reducing confusion across communication channels.  Social is important in that information is absorbed faster.  This in turn makes branding more prevalent and can quickly highlight where confusing messages collide.

As more users adopt, greater technology starts to makes sense and the Social Studio solution can help.  Not only can teams collaborate within units to promote their own differentiators, but marketing leaders can collaborate with other units on campus to accelerate what people want to hear. Now is the time to leverage content that so many units find success in and continue the message.

Summary

Social Studio makes creating a collaborative campus social environment much easier by providing structure and allowing multiple adoption models to thrive.  As social becomes a more dominant channel over time, the importance of simplicity in listening, publishing, and engaging becomes ever more important.

Thoughts? Comments?  Feel free to comment below, post in the forums, or contact me anytime.

* The views expressed on this site are of the original authors or contributors and do not reflect those of Salesforce.org, its affiliates, or its clients.

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