Social Media Today

December 17, 2018
Notes from the Higher Ed Social Media Conference 2018
 
Social media, where to begin. Let’s start with a deep dive into the target audience, our students.
  1. They are true digital natives
  2. They are the most connected generation to date
  3. They have short attention spans and need to be engaged
  4. They live their lives on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook
  5. They are app centric (as proven by #4)

Now that you know a little bit about our target audience, let’s talk about content. Our students  have been brought up in a world where the internet, computers and cell phones have always existed (do you feel old yet? It’s ok, I do too). This means that they have the inclination to feel connected and have short attention spans. Knowing this information we need to provide content that is relevant, engaging, authentic and entertaining. How can we do this? Through social media. 

Snapchat at a Glance
This popular ephemeral app is great for creating authentic, peer to peer content. While Snapchat is widely used to send self-destructing messages, images and videos to friends, we’ve been able to utilize this platform for things like “Student Takeovers” and “A day in the life of an RA.” By reaching out to social media savvy students we’ve been able to showcase our facilities, shine a spotlight on community programming, promote events, and provide students with authentic yet informative content in a fun and entertaining way. Not to mention, all of this content is created by FELLOW STUDENTS! Peer to peer people, it is all the rage. 
 
Instagram Ups its Game with Stories
Hopping on the ephemeral bandwagon in 2016, Instagram rolled out the now very popular “Stories” feature. Instagram Stories disappear in 24 hours BUT they allow you to directly engage with your target audience via polls, GIFs, and stickers. Stickers are a little bit hard to describe but the options are endless if you get creative enough. I’ve included some samples below to help show how we’ve utilized Instagram Stories to promote various campaigns, ask for student input, and even gain insight into prospective students. 
 
          
 
Facebook is Still Relevant
Even though it is 4th on the list Facebook is still relevant! Funny enough, Facebook is being used for its original purpose, to connect college students with other college students *gasp. Remember a time when you needed a college email to sign up for Facebook? Nowadays students utilize Facebook to find information and to connect with other students (they also use it to create memes but we can talk about that in another post). Facebook is great for promoting events, creating private groups, posting important deadlines, and more. I’ve seen students use this platform to try and meet future roommates, find out contract deadline dates, get feedback on certain classes/professors, and even ask help from the community, like borrowing a broom. 
 
In short, social media is a great platform to communicate with students. It allows us to convey important information and messages in a digestible and entertaining fashion. If you have any questions regarding the information above feel free to reach out to myself at mandy.yoshida@ucsb.edu or Julie Levangie and jlevangie@ucsb.edu. Happy posting! 
 
By Mandy Yoshida

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