#SocialFresh is a perfect description of how I’m feeling right now. I just returned from sunny San Diego and the Social Fresh West conference. Every speaker was fantastic, and was obviously passionate about what they’re topic. I definitely left this morning feeling re-energized to hit the road running. If you’re looking for a conference in the future, this would be an excellent option to explore.
Here are some of my key takeaways, in tweet form. Not all of them were a perfect fit for a higher education scenario, but the idea is still there, and still applicable in some way or another.
There was a huge emphasis on images and visuals in the conference, but I think @PRSarahEvans said it best. Don’t ignore the image, it’s powerful, and not just on Facebook any more.
So in higher education we don’t necessarily have a C-suite in the traditional sense, but we do have administrators who should be interested in what is being done in communications, which includes social media. Every aspect of communications and marketing you do counts. Make sure others know that, too.
We have to treat students like people, because that’s what they are. As community managers and social media managers we have a large opportunity to make our universities real to our students. We get to tell them we care. Feel empowered to do just that. This is actually one of my favorite parts of my job, helping students when there are issues, encouraging them when needed, and celebrating with them throughout the process of earning a degree and starting a career.
When I think mobile, I always think of smartphones and then responsive and mobile websites. Both technologies. Those days are gone. Think about how your user interacts with your content in a mobile-environment, and you’ll start on the right path.
Again: visual, visual, visual. Audiences interact with images, and it’s the first thing that will draw a reader in, so don’t skimp, and use pretty images to tell the story.
A tale as old as time. You will never be successful if you’re always behind the eight ball. Set yourself up for success, whether it be committing to a social content calendar, using your editorial calendar more, or just organizing your thoughts. There’s no silver bullet, do what works for you.
A personal montra of mine, so I was happy to hear it said. Social media in some ways is your brand’s window to the world. Why would you just throw whatever content up you could find without thinking of how it represents your brand?
I think we all know this. But sometimes it’s just nice to hear that you’re not the only one whose marketing campaign gets stomped on every now and again.
I’ll admit, sometimes I’m the first person to jump to saying no to a request for social media. But I’m getting better at quickly reevaluating that initial thought, and finding a better solution: I don’t think that piece of content is appropriate for that social media channel, but it would be a great fit on this one. Work with the many different areas of the university to make the content and the communications work for you.
Lead your own conversations, don’t follow. The conversation is happening all around you, so make sure you steer it where you want it.
Another huge theme of #socialfresh was repurpose, and I love how Jason Miller from LinkedIn said this. Evergreen content isn’t old since it’s been posted for a bit, just pre-loved. So why don’t we repurpose that content and give it another round of love.