Social Media… Keep It Fresh!

In 2008, I wrote a post entitled, ‘Blogs Aren’t Wine & Cheese.’  In the post I suggest that blogs are best served fresh and become less effective the more stale they are, whereas some of the best cheese and wine are very old.

I would like to extend that thought to more than blogs.  We can all agree that participating in social media is important for various reasons.  Many of us, myself included, have gone off and created institutional accounts in a multitude of social networks.  Your intentions were good. You wanted to engage and interact with potential students.  But your social network is stale!

Anyone who is involved with social media will tell you that it is not hard, but takes a commitment of time and effort. What do you do if you’ve already created your institution’s social network account, but don’t have the time to invest in it?  I’ve looked at a handful of Facebook groups that have been setup on behalf of programs at higher education institutions.  Half of them have had minimal activity and the last wall post was a month or more older.  This will hurt your brand!

Whatever platform you are using, keep it fresh!  A lack of activity in your social networks will cause the following to happen:

  • Visitors will stop visiting, thus negating the effectiveness of the social network.
  • A negative perception of your institution will develop because of a lack of commitment.

How do you keep it fresh?  That is the $64,000 question.  Here are few tips to help:

  • Put in your calendar daily reminders to invest 10 minutes a day in your social networks.
  • Hire student ambassadors to represent your institution and interact with potential students.
  • Recruit existing members of your social networks to participate as moderators or admins.
  • Link you social networks together (eg. Twitter updates can appear in Facebook).

What other tips can you offer for helping keep social networks fresh?  Please share.