Social Media can be overwhelming. The good news is that there are best practices to make managing Social Media more manageable. With increased importance of online visibility for UCI departments and divisions, The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (OVPTL) is creating workshops for UCI departments to learn about how to best use social media to engage our UCI students.

The first of these live events was held on June 7th, in the Student Services II building. The gathering was to discuss best practices and strategies around social media, and to connect those people who are using social media on campus.

“I believe that some of the best online strategies originate offline,”  commented Ryan Foland, Senior Administrator of Social Media and Marketing for OVPTL Communications. “A big part of our goal with this first social media brunch was to start connecting individuals who are using social media on campus with each other. Also by delivering proven strategies, individuals can work smarter not harder when it comes to their social media strategy.  I am extremely pleased with the turnout and how well received the information was.”

Structured as a two-hour workshop, with a team building exercise called ‘Social Media BINGO’  ,  attendees found themselves both informed and entertained.

Iain Granger, Director of OVPTL Communications kicked off the program by giving background on the OVPTL,  he explained the various resources that have been set up to support individual units within the Division of Undergraduate Education, Division of Teaching & Learning, and Summer Session. Grainger also explained that the OVPTL Communications has been developing useful resources for social media content creation and social media sharing strategies. These resources are available through internal DUE intranet site and will serve as a centralized location to provide valuable resources for those individuals on campus who are tasked with managing social media.

Here  are some examples of resources that have been created.

  • Social Media Event Checklist
  • Press Release/Media Alert /News Brief
  • Monthly #Hashtag themes
  • Headliner Templates
  • Content Calendar Template
  • Social Media Glossary

Grainger also shared with the group that individual departments were able to meet one-on-one with OVPTL Communications to help develop and execute social media strategies specific to individual department outreach goals. In addition, OVPTL Communications  are producing a series of short informational training videos that will cover the basics and best practices about each of the major social media platforms that students are engaged with.

Ryan Foland gave basic overviews of the most popular, and most utilized social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat

The workshop helped departments learn more about each social media platform, to help them determine which social media platforms might be useful for their outreach goals.

Attendees were encouraged to ask questions  throughout the presentation and these questions helped to shed light on areas of interest and confusion

Foland lead the discussions and provided tips on how to maximize online exposure via social channels. Some examples of topics included:

  •  Workshop on how to create a content calendar
  •  Trying to determine voice for various channels
  •  Trying to identify platforms that departments should be on
  •  Peer to peer marketing through sharing student testimonials

Foland also covered some specific offline strategies to increase awareness and following among departments.

Some examples included.

  • Asking students to follow social media accounts as part of the regular check in process
  • Making sure that social media accounts are easy for students to find
  • Including the use of Hashtags at events
  • Directing students to learn more information on social platforms when meeting in person

“I feel like this first workshop was a success, and we are very pleased with the feedback from those who attended,” commented Grainger. “The OVPTL will continue to create and deliver high valued resources to help empower departments to create more of an online presence.”

Stay tuned for information on upcoming workshops. If you would like to learn more about a one on one meeting with OVPTL Communications to discuss your department’s social media strategy. Please email rfoland@uci.edu to set up an appointment.

More information can be found at www.ovptl.uci.edu

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