Monday, 14 May 2012

How to develop a social media strategy

In a workshop now about social media strategy. Already people asking whether we need one, can we have one, should we institutionalise anything around social media, or let it happen.

Issues in HE IT forcing us to change:
Mobile
Social media
Cloud
Ebooks
User expectations

A few things to watch:
As a consequence of the consumerisation of IT, individuals will increasingly control their own complex infrastructure. We need do find ways to accommodate this.
Social media is the new collaboration environment of choice.
The LMS (Learning Management System) is evolving into a social learning platform with new options from a broader base of providers.
In many environments, we're moving from providers being in charge, to consumers being in charge.

Social software can fill the gap between the inflexible environment (corporate) and the chaotic (personal).

In a recent survey, the biggest barrier to adopting social media in Education, was lack of strategy or understanding.

Many of the issues are not about IT, but because it's on a computer, people come to us. Our university policies should cover misuse, whether or not it's about social media. Eg harassment, bullying, bringing University into disrepute. Shouldn't be IT policies.

Red flags that you institutional management don't get social:
They tell you how their kid uses social media
They ban access to social media in case someone says something bad
They put a student in charge of social media projects
They agree to do social, but run everything by PR and legal first
Every communication must be approved before its posted
They think that's creating a Facebook page is a social media strategy

Keep the following principles in mind when developing social media strategies and policies:
Focus beyond Facebook
Clarify difference between institutional and individual use
Tailor the strategy for different roles
Provide a choice of tools
Establish purpose and scope
Distinguish between transient and permanent presence
Develop metrics, guidelines and warnings

Discussion group talked about above. Interesting points raised about whether you need social media policies, or whether issues should be covered by all other policies, eg HR, teaching and learning.
Also, whether there should be a difference between policies for administrative staff that is different to academic?
Should we monitor what students are saying about us on social media?
Shock horror, should we monitor prospective students social media profiles? Definitively not!
Should we let academics use social media, eg Facebook for teaching and learning activities? What about assessment or accreditation?

Measure use of social media to see how successful you are
Lots of things you can measure including:
Number of page views
Number of registered users
Number of visitors
Rate of return visitors
Number of posts, comments etc

An interesting session with lots of differnet views, and I had a chat with the analyst who presented it afterwards to go through some of the issues in more detail. Most of the discussion was disappointedly about policies, rather than strategy.

In terms of policies about the use of social media, I think it all boils down to something very simple. Don't be a dick. Strategy is a lot harder.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good article