University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I manage the main Twitter account for UT Austin's business school. It's been going for a year and a half, shares content from our news blog and magazine, and we have a good community there. Other units at the b-school, like Alumni Relations and the undergrad and MBA programs have also started their own Twitter feeds.

 

Our office (Communications) also runs 2 other blogs - one each about news and research on Energy and Innovation/Entrepreneurship. They have each started related Twitter accounts, but now are skeptical about the ability to grow them, so we're trying to decide if they should just tweet through the main school account that's well established.

 

Pros to this approach? We don't splinter our audience, brand unification, takes advantage of the already established followers.

 

Cons? Could lead to over-tweeting if we're essentially filtering 3 blogs to 1 outlet. I mainly follow/interact with students and alumni, but I'd imagine those subject-matter focused accounts would want to follow/interact with folks in those sectors. So they're sort of serving 2 different purposes. Also, someone interested in energy research probably doesn't care about our events or student/faculty accomplishments, 2 things I tweet about often.

 

We're brainstorming about this as a team and looking at our goals/audiences more closely, but I'm curious what anyone here might have to say. Have you had experience with this conundrum? Any user research to support either direction?

 

PS - Sorry for the lengthy post. Didn't know how to explain this more succinctly!

Tags: Twitter

Views: 134

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

This is a great topic. Here are two excellent posts that will provide some food for thought:

http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/07/15/three-ways-companies-...

http://bhc3.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/early-companies-deputizing-the...

We will need a major paradigm shift moving forward. Instead of thinking about offices participating, we need to think about people participating. It's not about having the Alumni Office or the Admissions Office involved, it's about having all their employees involved.

I have a lot more to say on this topic. I will be making a presentation at several higher ed conferences this year called "The Cluetrain Stops at Higher Ed - Will Anyone Take Delivery?". The basic premise of the "Cluetrain Manifesto" is that people don't want to talk to organizations, they want to talk to people, in a human voice. I think the 95 thesis contained in the book are applicable to higher ed. Here is a great graphic from the book: http://blog.timetrade.com/Portals/11232/images//cluetrain-rap.png.

While most organizations are not ready for this approach, IMHO this is where we are heading.
Just wanted to piggyback on Mark's great insight. We have several (around 30 that I know of) accounts on Twitter used with varying degrees of success. Every time a new one sprouts up I try and call the creator in person (I know, very 20th century). I try and stress the importance of attaching a real name to the account, even if it's just in the bio, because when it comes down to it, all social media is a conversation between PEOPLE, not between the accounts they hold.
I have multiple accounts for my institution. For me it wasn't departmental, it is more promotional for the degree programs offered.
Here is an article on how IBM's approach to social media and offers great insight into the value of having everyone in an organization participating with social media. The summary of their approach is: “We don’t have a corporate blog or a corporate Twitter ID because we want the ‘IBMers’ in aggregate to be the corporate blog and the corporate Twitter ID.”

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-ibm-uses-social-media-to-spu...
Thanks for your replies, Mark and Stephanie.

Mark - I will check out these links. We definitely want individuals involved in social media, and have quite a few doing so, including a few professors. (Although it's extremely difficult to convince them they have time!) And we absolutely strive to make our accounts human and personal, even if they have a brand name. But I do have to say, a lot of people seem to think it's pretty cool that the business school is on Twitter - like they're proud of the fact that we're in that space. And then of course the question becomes that if all your company's accounts are just personal accounts what happens when those people leave?
Great question - this is something that I struggle with regularly.
Barring the fact that it would take some management, do you think having multiple offices on campus use one Twitter account is risking being labeled as a spammer? I think CoTweet would be a good tool for this but I'm not too convinced it is the best path. On the other hand, I'd hate to see our social network efforts get too fragmented. What do you think?
I think you've definitely got it right that you need to look at what your potential followers would want from following a specific twitter account. That should drive your strategy first and foremost.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Snow College on going live in OU Campus with their new responsive site! Check it out: www.snow.edu "
yesterday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get the scoop on snippets in the new post up on the blog! "
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New blog post from Kate Browne, Technology Trainer at Illinois Wesleyan University! The Welcoming Website Part 1: Accessibility and Universal Design "
Jul 22
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nevada State College went live in our OU Campus CMS! Check it out: nsc.edu http://nsc.edu/"
Jul 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Exciting news! We've released 10.3 of OU Campus which includes OU Marketplace! Read all about it in today's blog post. "
Jul 17
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Bard College at Simon's Rock's website has a great new look! New design by Lipman Hearne. Check it out: simons-rock.edu "
Jul 14
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out the new My Future Employee TechGirlz video featuring our very own Lance Merker! #empoweringgirls"
Jul 10
Robin Ruetenik is now a member of University Web Developers
Jul 8
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out the recap of Higher Ed Live's "The Higher Education Directory"! "The Higher Education Directory""
Jul 8
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Great job to Louisiana State University on their new responsive web design using OU Campus! www.lsu.edu "
Jul 7
Roma Mandzyk joined Mark Trenchard's group
Thumbnail

Adobe AEM

Users, developers, and leaders that use Adobe AEM (CQ5) for a web experience platform.See More
Jul 7
Roma Mandzyk joined Eric Hodgson's group
Thumbnail

Digital Asset Management

Best practices in managing raw photography, design files, and Web photo galleries
Jul 7
Roma Mandzyk joined Mark Greenfield's group
Thumbnail

The Future

This group will explore the future of the higher education web profession. What are the implications for our profession when you combine the current financial conditions with the ongoing (r)evolution of higher education?See More
Jul 7
L1z H1ncks is now a member of University Web Developers
Jul 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Your content management system requires certain functionalities and services; one being ongoing support. See how OmniUpdate delivers in this blog post! "
Jul 1
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congratulations to California Lutheran University on their new responsive website! Check it out: www.callutheran.edu www.callutheran.edu"
Jun 30
Scott Dewar is now a member of University Web Developers
Jun 30
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Still need to register for the eduWeb Digital Summit? Use discount code ECD2015 to get a $100 discount! "
Jun 25
Louise Ryan posted a discussion

Please take a moment to complete the 2015 Higher Education Web Survey

Have your say in the 2nd Annual T4 Higher Education web survey and be in with a chance to win £/$/€ 100 Amazon voucher. It's open to all IT & Marketing professionals who work in Higher Education & it only takes 2 minutes; enter hereSee More
Jun 25
Profile IconBlaine Herman, Christy Hill and Theresa Rumjahn joined University Web Developers
Jun 20

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2015   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service