Monthly Archives: July 2012

Facebook (!)

Facebook is THE top social media platform for connecting and engaging with target publics. Every institution of higher education MUST have an official Facebook page in order to maintain and enhance relationships with prospects, students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff, and other stakeholders via social media. Public relations professionals in the higher education industry should ensure that the institutions they represent are optimizing Facebook to accomplish public relations objectives and social media communications goals.

With over 141,000 Facebook “likes,” the official Texas Tech University Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TexasTechYou#!/TexasTechYou) is bursting with likable content and engaging activity. TTU is frequently uploading videos, photos, and news stories to its Facebook page, and TTU Facebook fans are constantly posting about Texas Tech in status updates, and tagging Texas Tech in photos, links, and comments. From what I can tell, the majority of all user generated content is appropriate, positive, and upbeat. TTU employees, parents, sports fans, and students (prospective, current, and former) are actively engaging in some form of social media communication with TTU via the Texas Tech Facebook page.

I was pleasantly surprised to find so many of my Facebook friends including TTU staff, faculty, students, alumni, and parents (yes, even my own mother) posting such positive opinions, attitudes, and feelings about the institution they so deeply admire and respect. Furthermore, Texas Tech has been very effective in optimizing its Facebook page to promote events, deals and specials, campus updates, and engaging content for publics to participate in meaningful conversations. TTU frequently posts questions for Facebook fans to engage in by providing personalized feedback, such as “Finish this sentence: You know you’re a Red Raider when… Leave a comment below and let us know what sets Red Raiders apart!” This particular post generated over 180 comments from TTU Facebook fans, and was a fun and unique way for fellow Techsans to connect with TTU and other interested publics like themselves via social media, while also enhancing brand relationships with publics. It also allowed Red Raiders to publicly express the reasons why they love TTU, thus improving Texas Tech’s brand position in the market, and promoting and strengthening the Texas Tech brand.

Happy blogging!

K

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Twitter

According to social media blogger Jamie Turner, Twitter is one of the “Top 52 Social Media Platforms Every Marketer Should Know” (http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2010/04/09/top-52-social-media-platforms/). With the increasing popularity of social media, Twitter has become a “surprisingly successful tool” for public relations professionals, and is widely adopted and used by companies, organizations, and interested publics to communicate with one another. Twitter is used as a social media tool for everything from business to contests and prizes. As one of the top social media platforms, Twitter has become a key leader in the world of social media and is used by large segments of the population, including institutions of higher education.

With over 23,000 followers, Texas Tech’s official Twitter page (http://twitter.com/#!/texastech/) is a great example of how institutions of higher education can successfully implement this social media platform in order to build, maintain, and enhance relationships with students, prospects, alumni, and other stakeholders. More recently, Texas Tech used Twitter to communicate with primary publics regarding an incident involving suspicious activity on campus in which the TTU Police Department received a report of an individual carrying a rifle. Following a thorough search, the individual was located and it was verified that the individual was carrying an ROTC dummy rifle. After the investigation was complete and the situation was resolved, Texas Tech posted three tweets relaying updated information about the incident within a 25 minute time period. The university also tweeted direct replies addressing concerns from key publics in regard to the situation and the manner in which it was handled.

Overall, from a public relations perspective, I am pleasantly surprised by Texas Tech’s active utilization of Twitter as a social media tool to facilitate engaging conversations, promote involvement in TTU events and campus activities, and provide news, updates, and information to interested publics. Furthermore, Texas Tech uses Twitter to promote the university’s presence on other social media platforms and encourage publics to connect with TTU on all of its official social media sites. Texas Tech also uses Twitter as customer service tool to effectively meet the needs of target publics by promptly responding to both positive and negative tweets, providing answers to questions regarding TTU, and directly addressing any concerns raised by publics via Twitter.

Happy blogging!

K

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