So how did we do that? We started simply, monitoring trends, asking our own students for their help, and understanding what makes each platform unique and how to more effectively use it. We are far from finished, but we have made huge strides in the past year and a few months. We continue to learn new things every day and keep an eye on what’s trending, but also what works and what doesn’t work for us (what got traction and what didn’t). It’s not a “set it and forget it” concept – you have to invest people and time into it if you want to do it well. Here are a few takeaways from what we have learned so far:
- Be realistic about who is posting and how much time will be invested. Don’t have the staff to manage 5 different accounts? Don’t do it. Concentrate on where your users are – if in doubt, ask them!
- Set some guidelines and goals for your accounts. Number of posts per day, how to handle negative feedback and what trends to watch are all good ways to get up and running.
- ENGAGE! Don’t just blast everyone, reach out to people in the network – not just those who follow you either. We regularly monitor hashtags specific to our school, our library and the community and reach out to users on different topics. If we see a student tweeting how excited she is about being accepted to our school, we send them a congratulations tweet and tell them to come see us when they get to campus. Those get favorited and re-tweeted like crazy and gain us not only followers, but visibility by THAT person’s network too.
- Use imagery whenever you can; posts with images get MUCH better response and traction than text alone.
- Use built in tools to your advantage. Tweetdeck is a wonderful tool and it’s FREE.
In the coming weeks I’ll be posting more specifics about different campaigns we have run and how we planned, executed them and lessons we have learned along the way.