Here is another post in our guest blog series. In this post a colleague, Kayla Patterson, talks about how she came to work in social media and the opportunities social media has afforded her. How did you build a career in social media? I often get asked how I came to work in social media, which is a valid question considering I never could have dreamt of being a social media manager as a kid! It all started during my junior year at Colorado State University when I was tasked with creating a marketing plan for my future. Inspired by the growing social media niche, I created a plan that included social media as the central aspect of my career. Little did I know, that marketing plan would actually serve as the foundation for where I am today. I began integrating social media in all my marketing projects, and started managing social media channels for friends and family. Concurrently, I landed an awesome internship with GoAbroad.com as the social media intern, where I had the fortune of helping grow GoAbroad's social media presence. That internship evolved into helping conceive GoSocial, a social media management and consulting service, in which I became a community manager for several international education organizations. I consider myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to get real world experience in social media while I finished up my degree in marketing. Upon graduation, I accepted the position of GoMedia Coordinator, where I primarily oversee GoSocial, and our team of community managers. What opportunities has social media brought you? Because I just couldn't get enough, I also completed my senior honors thesis by creating a website and blog that was focused on social media. The goal of the site was/is to provide a resource for students to learn how to use social media to help promote themselves or a business. After being dormant for a period of time, I have recently revived SocialMediaForStudents.com with a new look, new content, and more consistent guest posts from other social media students and professionals. As a result of working on the site, as well as my own personal social media presence, I have added more opportunities to my resume, including acting as a mentor to HootSuite's Campus Ambassador program, and guest posting on blogs like Mandy's Mashups! And because I am a true social media nerd, I can't wait to get involved with whatever else social media has to offer.
How do you manage it all?
In terms of social media, management tools are my best friend! At work I'm overseeing and managing over a dozen social media presences, and at home I'm coordinating everything I do for SocialMediaForStudents.com, HootSuite, as well as the other brands I manage for family friends, all of which I wouldn't be able to manage without some handy dandy social media tools. At the top of my list is HootSuite, which is an invaluable social media dashboard, scheduler, team management tool, and report generator, among other things. I also use several tools to help curate content, including but not limited to Google Alerts, Pulse, and StumbleUpon. Beyond that, I find that keeping myself organized is the best way to stay efficient and consistent, so I actually have different browsers and calendars set up for each area of my work. For example, Chrome is all work and GoAbroad related, complete with relevant bookmarks, my Google Calendars, and saved passwords (life-saver!), whereas Safari is home to my personal email, my WordPress CMS for SocialMediaForStudents.com, and my blog's editorial calendar.
What is your favorite aspect of social media?
Results! While social media is notoriously variable, forever changing, and hard to measure, there is a kind of joy and excitement when your page or channel starts yielding engagement, growth, and results. I love hearing from my clients that they had X amount of leads from Facebook one month, or that Twitter was a top referrer for their website last quarter. The fact is that social media works as a marketing tool, and my favorite part is when people and clients accept that realization through results.
Kayla is the founder of SocialMediaForStudents.com, a site that aims to be a resource for social media students of all types to learn how to market themselves or their business through social media. She is also the GoMedia Coordinator for GoAbroad.com where she oversees a social media management and consulting service. Kayla has a passion for country music, travel, and social media, and enjoys a good chick-flick, any kind of shopping, and all kinds of dessert! Follow her on Twitter: @kaylapatt
Below is a special guest post by HootSuite Community Manager, Stephanie Wiriahardja. Stephanie runs the HootCampus Ambassador program for HootSuite which is a new initiative. Below is her post about a day in the life of a community manager for a social media management tool (among other things).
One of the questions I get asked the most as a Community Manager for a popular social media dashboard is "What's your day-to-day like?". I usually chuckle first before even attempting to put into words what exactly I do and what's my day-to-day like. Everyday is different, but there are a number of projects I oversee that involve a heavy usage of social media.
If you peek at my HootSuite dashboard, you'll see that I manage 38 different Twitter accounts, 8 Facebook Pages, 6 LinkedIn Groups, and 2 Google+ Pages. It will be such a nightmare if I had to log in and out to each one. Lucky for me, I get to use my company's product, HootSuite, to reach out to HootSuite users and promote HootSuite. Yep, it's that meta! I have actually used HootSuite for 1.5 years before I joined the team in 2011, so I didn't have to make any radical adjustments to my social media practice.
Some of my all-time favourites features are:
- Streams and tabs
- Geo-location search
Streams and tabs are the bread and butter of HootSuite and I could not imagine having to go to each account to search for something or tweet from it. I manage all 54 accounts at all times, which means I have listening streams that I organize to different tabs to help me monitor everything that is mentioned. Now that I have all my accounts connected in one dashboard, I can easily tweet or post from any of the accounts without the need to take a step back, log out, log back in, and try to remember what I wanted to tweet, or who I wanted to give a shout out to.
I must admit I am not the only one monitoring and managing all 54 accounts. I have my coworkers spread across many departments that also have access to these accounts, simply because the questions that we get from the users vary. For example, most of the mentions that our main Community team's Twitter handle, @HootClub, is about how cute our owl swags are. Once in awhile though, we get technical questions, affiliate-related, or hiring questions. Sure we can answer these, but would not it be better if we can assign someone else that is an expert in the topic to answer the question? Rather than emailing or pinging the person on chat to reply to a specific tweet, HootSuite has a built-in Assignment feature for its Pro and Enterprise users. Last year alone, I help host over 110 HootUps (similar to TweetUps, but with HootSuite as the main topic of conversation) in 43 cities, in 18 countries. Sometimes it's difficult to sift through the dozens of HootSuite mentions, but with the geo-location search, I can filter to only the mentions and conversations happening at a set location. This way, I get to tweet the people who are actually around the area of where the HootUp will be held. I also use it to give me relevant updates and insights. For example, if there's an event happening in town, I can see who's talking about it so I can create an opportunity to connect with them before the event. Serving 6+ million users worldwide is not easy, especially dealing with the different time zones. The scheduling feature on HootSuite is so helpful in making sure I tweet articles when the audience is awake and most active. This feature also helps in making sure there's always content going out, even when I am taking vacation or day off. However, don't mistaken this as your reason for not replying to any mentions. You are not a spam bot, so you have to show your followers that while you have content scheduled, you also engage with them.
So there they are, my top four favourite features of my favourite social media tool (slightly biased, but I swear I am telling the truth, only the truth, and nothing but the truth)! What sort of features do you need the most to be more efficient? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @stephawie. I'd like to hear them!
I recently learned about this great program offered by HootSuite for all those social media saavy college students. I thought I would post it here since it is a great way for college students to have their voice heard and increase their understanding of social media from a great company. If you don't have HootSuite I highly recommend it. It is the only way I am able to manage my time on social media.
According to HootSuite the gist of the program is
In one sentence, the program helps empower students to connect with each other, become leaders in the social media space at their school and community, as well as be the voice of HootSuite on campus. This program will give students a unique opportunity to build your own campus community and gain recognition by effectively using social media. By becoming a HootSuite Campus Ambassador, you will join an exclusive network of students from around the world, while at the same time gain valuable career experience.
I highly recommend that you share this with interested students you may know. Happy Hooting!
I was recently sent the below linked article (and image) and thought I would post something about it since I haven't posted in awhile. (BTW - the reason I haven't posted is I recently changed positions and moved to another state so it is has been a bit hectic).http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/09/06/hootsuite-tweetdeckdecreases-feedback/ Anyway - the
above article and below image indicate that the engagement rate is much lower for posts auto-posted through the various platforms listed results. Basically, this article says that auto-posting results in lower rates of comments and "likes" of posts than if someone logs into each platform and manually enters the post.My question on this is how would someone manual post to all the various mediums and still be able to do other things (if you job isn't solely social media related). But, the question could also be - do we need to be posting the same message to all of the various forms of social media out there or is all this posting just creating too much noise?These are my questions for those of you who read this - Is posting the same message everyone creating social media noise and thus causing people to ignore the post? Do we need to post to every social media platform or are there key ones and are there certain messages that should be posted to only certain social media platforms? Are social media posts become the new ignored email phenomenon? I have my own ideas on this but I would love to hear what other people have to say on this and I will hopefully come back there with my thoughts.Please let me know what you think!
Here is another guest post by an international education professional using social media for international recruitment. Let's see what Marty has to say about the extensive social media presence he manages.
How does social media influence your international education job?
I’m in a fairly unique position in that social media now represents about 50% of my daily work, more some days. As the marketing coordinator for the EducationUSA network of 400+ advising centers in 170 countries, I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. We’ve grown our social media presence from a smattering of a half-dozen Facebook pages and about 30 random YouTube videos back in early 2009, to currently 150+ Facebook pages, groups, & profiles, 70+ EdUSA Twitter feeds, over 300+ YouTube videos on branded channels, a couple dozen active blogs, 60+ EdUSA Connects webinars, two main iTunes podcast feeds (for US higher ed & international student audiences), all of which conservatively connect with over 290,000 contacts a month. I’m spending the first couple of hours each day check my Google Alerts and Google Reader, scheduling posts to our various platforms, then work shifts to answering questions on our global Facebook page, reviewing video content from recent webinars or student testimonials, Skype’ing with US admissions reps and advisers, etc.
How did you get into social media?
Back in 2005, when I was Director of International Services at Ball State University, in charge of international student recruitment, orientation, advising and programming, Facebook was just starting to explode across college campuses. We were still using primarily email and letters to communicate with both current students and prospective ones. As we began seeing fewer current international students attending events where we’d invited them by email, we began to wonder why. We asked some students if they had gotten their messages about events, and they said they rarely check their email, and suggested sending messages on Facebook instead. The light bulb went off in my head for this “duh moment” – we needed to be communicating using the tools that our students were using.
From there we also transitioned that philosophy to our recruitment efforts with increased video content, chats, as well as introducing Facebook groups to our arsenal of tactics to reach our key audiences where they lived.
What is one social media tool you cannot live without now?
HootSuite! I will sing their praises from the rooftops. Of all the tech start-ups and social media management tools out there, HootSuite is already the most comprehensive, and is incredibly responsive to feedback and suggestions for improvement. While in Vancouver for NAFSA, a colleague of mine from the study abroad side, Ruth Sylte (@GoAborad.com), invited me to visit HootSuite’s headquarters to meet with Dave Olson, Community Director. We had an enlightening conversation learning of the company’s history and exponential growth, particularly in light of recent political revolutions in the Middle East, and natural disasters in Haiti, Chile, & Japan. When traditional communications broke down post-earthquakes tools like HootSuite were used to communicate the news. And even when certain platforms like Twitter & Facebook were “turned-off” in Egypt & Tunisia, folks used tools like HootSuite to get the news, photos & videos out that kept the outside world informed. In my work, day-to-day, our team’s efficiency has grown tenfold since we began using HootSuite to spread our messages across platforms, and to schedule posts (lifesaver), and to monitor the conversations/key words that matter most to us.
What is one thing you wish you knew about social media that would have made getting involved with it easier?
How intuitive it can be. Social Media does mean learning all the ins and outs of “how to” use particular platforms to do it well, as with any new tool. But it the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t require completely forgetting everything you ever learned about what your message is. Rather social media represents a new set of tools and tactics that can be used to achieve existing strategic goals.
What do you think social media's biggest impact has been on international education?
Social Media has allowed our communities to grow closer together, and to find grounds for greater collaboration. Institutions who may have been struggling to reach students overseas now have new less (financial) capital intensive means to reach them. The goals of mutual understanding are much more easily achieved in the immediacy and efficiency of communications allowed for through social media channels.
Why do you continue to use social media?
Because my network of colleagues truly spans the globe. I say this not to brag, as I know in this field, we all share that in common. To be able to Facebook chat with an adviser in Nepal who is having issues downloading a file due to bandwidth issues within seconds of him asking, to Skype video call my wife and son while I am away on my travels in Costa Rica, to present global EdUSA Connects sessions for students overseas that have reached thousands, and to share with my colleagues both domestically and abroad how these tools can help then better do their jobs, make life without social media not an option. I mean really, who doesn’t enjoy getting birthday greetings on their Facebook wall from dozens of countries in multiple languages!
Born in England, Marty Bennett first came to the U.S. on an L-2 visa in 1974, at age 5. Marty has worked in the international education field since 1993, both in the U.S. and in the U.K. After a seven year stint at Marquette University, he worked at ACS-International, Cobham campus, outside of London serving as an assistant dean of admissions, and assisted with college counseling. Mr. Bennett also enjoyed time at Saint Mary’s College (IN), and most recently at Ball State, where he served for 5 years as Director of International Services. During that time, Marty volunteered on the Region VI Team as the RAP rep for two years, and was a key contributor to Destination Indiana, and the Council of International Schools’ Committee for Europe, the Middle East & Africa. He joined IIE as the first EducationUSA Marketing Coordinator in November 2008. Marty is committed to advancing the EducationUSA network and establishing stronger partnerships with the U.S. higher education community in achieving their international priorities. Social Media represents, next to international education, his greatest professional passion, on which he spends half of an average work day.
If you studied abroad and used social media and are interested in being a guest blogger, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is Part Two of Frank Merendino's Guest Blog post on how he uses social media within international education.Let's find out why Frank continues to use Social Media today!What is one social media tool you cannot live without now? This is a tough choice because I have an equal affinity for Twitter and LinkedIn—but if I have to pick, I would say LinkedIn. Mainly because it provides more robust features like networking, marketing yourself, seeing what colleagues are up to, and the forums act as an information aggregator (I suppose most of what I just said could be applied to Twitter as well). What is one thing you wish you knew about social media that would have made getting involved with it easier? Prepare to be overwhelmed at first—especially with Twitter. When I stated using Twitter, I felt like I had to read every tweet and every article that the people I followed were posting. I was on information overload. It was a good thing because I felt like I was made aware of so much more information…but it was also a bad thing because I was made aware of so much more information! There is a lot to process at first, but after a while you get the hang of it. Tools like tweetdeck and hootsuite are great for creating filters. Learning how to quickly skim your Twitter feed and only read what interests you is something that will develop over time.
What do you think social media's biggest impact has been on international education? Quickly spreading information and ideas—but I think that’s what’s great about social media regardless of your field. Why do you continue to use social media?I’m hooked! In all seriousness, using social media has made me feel more connected and informed. It allows me to access a huge pool of information that is catered towards my interests in international education. I can’t even describe how much I have been exposed to via Twitter that I wouldn’t have found on my own. The best part is that the info is all peer-reviewed. I have come to trust the opinions of many of the international educators I follow based on the info they tweet about. Frank Merendino is the Sr. Admissions Officer for International Partnerships at the University of Cincinnati. He has presented or volunteered at NAFSA: Association of International Educators since 2007. He currently serves as the Region VI State Rep for Ohio and nationally as a member of the Leadership Development Committee. Frank holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron. You can follow him on Twitter at @Frankie_James.
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at email@example.com
This is post is by my second guest Blogger - Jeramy Johnson from API - Academic Programs International. He discusses how he leapt into social media kicking and screaming but is now one of the most prominent users within international education. Here is what Jeramy has to say.How does social media influence your international education job?One of my responsibilities at API is to administer our social media presence. This includes developing content for major sites like Facebook, Twitter, the API Blog, etc, but also monitoring our organization's online reputation, and the field of international education in general. As many know, I'm constantly connected (willingly), so I would say social media plays a very important role in my career.How did you get into social media?How did I get into social media? Kicking and screaming ;)No, not really, but close. I was a relative late-comer to social media in general (but apparently an early adopter as far as the study abroad field is concerned). In 2008 I was visiting with a friend (in between attending study abroad fairs in the Baltimore/DC area for API) who told me "I have a surprise for you - I'm making you sit down and create a Facebook Profile. You complain that we don't email/call anymore and it's true; we do THIS." And the rest was history. Last year when I was on an extended international trip, people actually asked my wife if anything was wrong with me, because they hadn't seen me post on Facebook THAT DAY! Since then, I've become more and more fascinated with social media in its various forms, at one point or another creating profiles/accounts/pages etc on just about every platform that I came across (Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Green Passport, Gowalla, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Quora, Plancast, Audioboo, etc.). My personal and professional interest in and involvement with social media are intertwined.What is one social media tool you cannot live without now?Based on my previous answer, this is a tough question to address! If you limit it to hardware, I'd say my Smartphone - I have apps for all of these various sites (including Hootsuite to organize the main ones) on my iPhone, so I couldn't live without that. If you mean application or utility, I'd say Hootsuite (which I use to monitor, schedule, and post to my personal, API, and Aspire by API accounts), with Google Reader a close second. These tools together are invaluable for creating/distributing content, monitoring personal/brand reputation, and seeing what others in your/related fields are doing - there are a lot of smart people/organizations out there to be followed and to learn from!What is one thing you wish you knew about social media that would have made getting involved with it easier?I found this out pretty quickly, but I think that many people are nervous about starting (Facebook, Twitter, etc) because they don't know "what to do." I learned quickly that it is okay to a) ask questions - social media is inherently "social"... it's collaborative, and most of your peers are willing and able to help, b) lay low for awhile - if you're not sure what to do, watch/listen to others... you can catch on pretty quick what the norms for a particular network are, and c) be yourself! The most interesting/successful people/organizations using social media have a personality and are run by a real person... nothing is more of a turnoff than someone trying to sound too official on Twitter or their blog IMO...What do you think social media's biggest impact has been on international education?In general, I think that international educators have been a bit behind on the social media curve - but this is FAST changing. Thanks to schools like Penn State Altoona, Washington State University, The University of Texas at Austin, Eastern Illinois University, Miami University of Ohio, sites and organizations like Mandy's Mashups, API, CET, Australearn, ISA, IES, GoAbroad.com, EDU directories, Abroad101, Go! Overseas, and others, we have begun to spread the message that social media is here to stay and presents great opportunities for marketing and outreach, advising, program development, on-site learning and post-program evaluation and reflection.Why do you continue to use social media?Personally, I really enjoy using social media. It allows me to share a more candid, humorous side of myself with my friends and contacts that I think they appreciate. On a similar note, social media allows me to put a friendly, approachable, transparent face to API and Aspire by API. API has always been about the personal touch - and our social media strategy attempts to embody those values as well.THE END
Jeramy Johnson lives in Austin, Texas, and is the Vice President of Development at Academic Programs International (API). He enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with his wife and two young children. Follow Jeramy on Twitter at @jeramyutgw
, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeramyjohnson
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at Mandy@mandysmashups.com