A Social Media Q&A... with me!

OK everyone... here's the deal. I'm entering into the busiest time of the year for me - working on two major events, graduation is two weeks away, the board of regents is meeting, etc. - and the fact of the matter is that I'm not going to have as much time to devote to this blog between now and May 9. I'll do the best I can, but be prepared for sporadic postings over the next few weeks.

In that spirit, I'm going to copy/paste a Q&A I did for a class project with an awesome UP student, Jessica Morales, who also just so happened to be a superstar student-worker in the best little marketing department in higher ed!  :) 

Here's the original post from Jessica's blog, but I'm going to just steal it and post the whole thing here too.

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What is your favorite social media platform?

Despite all its flaws and challenges, the versatility Facebook still offers – great for sharing links, photo galleries, videos, long text posts, etc. – means it also offers the best overall impact for an institution. Having said that, I absolutely love how Instagram feels so much more personal… I think it’s much stronger at building a relationship between a brand and a user.

How did you get this job? Career trajectory?

I started off working for a book publishing company as a copyeditor, and part of my job was updating the website and writing brief marketing copy for catalogs and things like that. From there, I transitioned into working in higher ed – first in PR, and then in admissions. While working in admissions at Warner Pacific, a small Christian college in Portland, I started several social media sites to connect with prospective students. This was back in 2007, when MySpace was still more popular than Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. So I was a pretty early adopter at using social media for a college. When I began at UP in 2009, I jumped right into managing the social media presence.

What made you interested in SM?

When social media first started coming into my life (2004 is when UP got Facebook – I remember writing an article about it in The Beacon!), I was amazed at how much time I was spending on it and how it totally changed the way that I keep in touch with my friends and family. Even now, it’s crazy… I will often bump into someone I went to high school with around town, and even though I haven’t seen them in maybe 10 years I will know a lot about their lives – whether they are married, if they have kids, where they work, etc. – just because of social media. That is really and truly amazing.

So, I realized pretty quickly on that there is incredible power in social media, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Future – where do you see social media heading?

More and more mobile-based, for sure. I think it’s pretty telling that Instagram STILL hasn’t created a way for someone to upload photos through a desktop.

It wouldn’t surprise me if a new site that places a premium on privacy/exclusvitiy became popular, similar to the way the old Facebook used to be, where the only way to access it was by having a .edu email address, and only then you could only connect with people who went to your school. I think that sort of “micro-communities” aspect is something that is missing from the current major social media sites.

New apps will come out that make it super easy to purchase things through Twitter and Facebook and maybe even Instagram… that’s just now getting started, but I bet it will become a regular feature sooner rather than later.

What are your favorite tips?

As best as you can, try to post things for your audience, not for your brand. What I mean by that is don’t get caught in the trap of feeling like you have to constantly be promoting and advertising and selling. If there’s one thing that every person is good at, it’s ignoring ads… online, on TV, on billboards, etc. Don’t make people ignore everything you post on social media.

Instead, keep the focus on posting things that people are genuinely interested in. That’s the whole theory behind “content marketing” – it doesn’t matter if something is branded as long as actually provides real value to people, whether it’s funny, interesting, helpful, etc.

Try to think of yourself as working for your followers, not the other way around. Don’t have a mindset of trying to always get them to do things for you – click this link! and share this photo! and watch this video! Instead, try to have a mindset of providing them with things that you would like to see if you were on your own personal social media sites for a few minutes.

A fond farewell to a colleague and friend

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