Well, the dust has settled on the first Social Savvy Conference and I have to say it was an eye opening experience. Even as a speaker, going to a conference like this made me realise just how important it is to keep up to date and to connect with other experts in the world of social media. While I could probably write a book when it comes to what I learned from the conference the 5 biggest takeaways for colleges from the conference are:
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (social channel)
- Think of your University like a business
- Mobile is essential to integrate
- Planning is important but so is practice
- Content is King but Distribution and Engagement is Queen
As well as that, we will give you a list of some of the top people to follow on social media to help keep you on top off all the latest news.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
During the panel discussion, Bernie Goldbach highlighted important tips for colleges and universities when it comes to the person/people who manage their social media:
- Choose people with a footprint in more than 2 social media networks.
- Utilise all forms of content from short (Twitter) to casual (Facebook) to photos (Instagram). It’s also vital to not resist but honour long form content.
For colleges it is essential to have people managing their social media channels who know what they’re doing. People with a footprint in more than two channels will have a more rounded approach to using social media. As a result they will know how to make max use of the social media channels at their disposal (it’s also handy from a cost saving perspective).
It is also important to utilise the various types of content at their disposal. As my previous blog highlighted, long form content can form the core of your social media activity. While long form content can take time, don’t avoid it like the plague… create it and harness it. Both of these tips highlight the importance of not focusing on just one channel and just one type of content because as recent news has shown things can change really quickly. With regards the tools to use check out takeaway number 3.
Think of your University like a Business
From both the panel discussion and the presentation from Amy Carroll of Hubspot it is crucial that you look at your university as if it is a business. An article by Bryan Adams (not the singer) discusses this and Amy also went into detail about the inbound process used by Hubspot. It is vital to use landing pages on your website to help move people onto the ‘convert’ phase of the process (there is still power in an email address).
Both Amy and Bryan highlight the importance of creating buyer personas to help you with the sales process. Buy knowing the traits of your potential customers its gives a direction to your overall marketing activities and by combining this with the inbound process you can help attract and convert potential customers (students). Not sure of where to start with your buyer persona? Fear not, Make My Persona can help you there.
Mobile is essential to integrate
Barney Brown (Head of digital communications at Cambridge and keynote speaker) highlighted that it’s crucial for your website and for everything you do online to be mobile friendly. With Google now taking this into account when it comes to SEO, mobile friendly is now a given. The image below shows just some of the tools you can have on your smartphone to help make max use of your online experience as a whole.
The mobile aspect also relates to something that was constantly brought up throughout the social savvy conference, making max use of all types of content. Bernie Goldbach gave some really interesting examples of some audio and text tools you can use to help streamline your activity. At the centre of it should be your smartphone as even at the conference it was the main tool used by people to interact with others both in the theatre and across the country as well.
— Ciaran O’ Shea (@CiaranOShea5) April 1, 2016
Content is King but Distribution and Engagement is Queen
This takeaway comes from yours truly. The quote that is often used is Content is King but Distribution is Queen however for me Engagement is also essential to include in this (think of it like the joker of the pack… sorry for bad pun).
I would look at these three as the 3 sides of the content marketing triangle online. By engaging with people you network with you can start to create tangible relationships with people online.
Valerie Leahy highlighted some useful tips when it comes to Twitter activity and engagement that can be implemented ASAP. The great thing with it is you can combine scheduling with using Twitter in real time. This helps to make max use of the tool. Similar tactics can be used for the other networks but the key is essential, never forget to engage with people. Does it work? Well a quick poll of people in the crowd was done during the conference: who has more than 10 conversations on Twitter over a week? Only 5 people stood up and of these 5 they were all speakers at the conference who were all avid users of Twitter, case closed.
If you’re looking for some guidelines to help with your social media as a whole then check out our 10 commandments of social media.
Planning and practice are crucial
Whether it’s for your university or for yourself (brand you) it is crucial to plan out what you’re going to do on social media. The image below is an example of just some of the questions you should ask before getting started.
Too often people start using social media and their reason for it is because everyone else is. If you’re doing this then stop right now, take stock and plan what you want to do. Use the takeaways highlighted already to help tick boxes off and once you have a template to work from get out there and start practicing. With social media, the two key ways you learn to master it are:
- Set others as your benchmark for how to make max use of social media
- Start using the tools extensively
With social media, practice makes perfect. The next time you’re at an event why not use it as the perfect training pad for social media channels. For example I used Social Savvy to help work on my SnapChat game and the key takeaway I have from it is don’t put up too many snaps and make sure what you put up is interesting and gives people value.
Want to be Social Savvy?
In short, Social Savvy was great experience. From the strategic point of view of approaching your university as a business, to creating content that is short, medium and long form, to using tools to help max use of your social media portfolio. There were some big takeaways that can be used by universities and individuals. If you want to find out the latest news on social media for college then follow Social Savvy on Twitter. You can also check out our services page. Until Social Savvy 2017!!!!