June 5, 2018
Hello Friends! I was recently at a Circle K International conference and students were asked what social media site they use most. Most of the room still considered Facebook to be that site. I was shocked and surprised to hear their response as in my experience Facebook is not relevant to most students today.
I spent the rest of that evening thinking about what social media tools are most relevant and effective, and how we as student affairs professionals utilize those tools to reach out and connect our departments and offices to our students. I would think most people would remember the YikYak craze of 2013-2014 and the problems it caused on our campuses. I personally remember when Snapchat became popular and this notion of a “disappearing” photo or message.
When I sat down to figure out what to write this post about I was brought back to these thoughts. Therefore, I am hoping to address what I consider the more relevant social media tools and some ways you could utilize them in your work. These are solely my opinions and observations.
Snapchat, or “the fastest way to share a moment!” was launched in 2011. It has continued to gain popularity ever since. I consider this to be the most relevant tool our students are using to communicate with each other.
From my observation this app has almost in a since replaced texting for students as you can send written messages back and forth. Of course, you can send photos and add things to your story which is now a popular tool on most social media sites.
The big question is how we as professionals can utilize it. This past year a student worker in my office would always send out a “Snap” inviting her friends and the campus community to our activities. Not that is was a problem, but we as the department did not have a say in her post as it was not from an official account. I think having students utilize an official account in sending “Snaps” would be beneficial if managed correctly.
Instagram a photo sharing site was launched in 2010. Since its inception it has been gaining popularity and seems to be the preferred choice for sharing photographs and moments. Instagram is a great way to share photos and stories about your life as well as on your campus, department, or office. I believe Instagram is just as utilized by students as Snapchat.
A prime example for the use of Instagram on your campus would be our own regions’ page. This past year the region shared its page for board members to share what is happening on their campuses. I personally enjoyed looking at the posts every day to see what was going on at other campuses. I also enjoyed being able to share what is happening on my campus.
This would be a great idea for campuses to adopt and share different offices and departments on campus. I know many of you already have Instagram pages, but think about ways to get other on campus staff and students involved. We recently started featuring students on our Instagram page and it has helped grow our college’s page as students want to see their friends featured.
In the mid-2000s “tweeting” was the thing to do. Tweets were short 140-character posts about what you are doing, or to disseminate information about your organization. In November 2017 tweets were expanded to 240 characters. I have seen more and more students flood back to Twitter to communicate. What I like most about Twitter is it is short blurbs and information bursts. It does not take a long time to consume and is something you can read and move on. I have seen on my campus that students like information disseminated in simple and short ways. I think Twitter is perfect for that.
When Facebook was developed in the early 2000s it was created for college students to connect and “friend” each other. As the site has grown it has expanded beyond campuses to allow everyone to create an account. It is a great tool to create pages, or a group for your university, department, or office. Through your page, or group there are tools to help promote events and information.
In recent years it has become saturated with ads and videos and your information can become lost in translation. Of course, we have seen in the news recently the privacy issues from Facebook sharing our information with other apps. This has caused a large reaction and for some it means leaving the site.
I believe Facebook is a beneficial tool and something we all utilize daily. However, from my experience I have found it hard to get your posts and events directly to students. Therefore, I question the relevancy of this tool to my students.
I am most interested now in learning about your thoughts and opinions. What am I missing? How do you measure the relevancy and effectiveness of social media sites on your campus, or in your role? These are all valid questions I would like to discuss more.
Another way I am personally seeking out answers is serving as your KC representative and as an active member of the Technology Knowledge Community (TKC). I have been a part of the TKC for 4 years and have been a part of some amazing projects and initiatives to address technology and student affairs.
If you are passionate about social media or the role technology plays in our daily professional lives I would encourage you to get involved. While on the NASPA website you can add the TKC on the edit your profile page under the community and groups section by clicking on the +add additional sections button.
I would also invite you to join the conversation on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/NASPATechKC/?fref=nf) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/NASPA_TKC?lang=en).
Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.