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How Social is Your Social Media Presence?

Thinking outside of the box can pay off big with one’s social media presence. This is especially true, and important, today because of how many social media campaigns students and alumni encounter by not only their schools and alma maters, but organizations outside of higher education as well.  We are all vying for their attention, their interactions and their precious time.

This week, I took the time to try a new mode of interaction within the context of our social media presence.  I decided to engage students at my school directly at three major events my department hosts annually with a “LinkedIn Photo Booth”. My counterparts at other universities had discussed this brilliant idea in a few groups I belong to on LinkedIn, and I decided to give it a whirl.

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LinkedIn Photo Booth

What is a LinkedIn Photo Booth? Well, first, it’s not an actual photo booth and there were no sponsors involved.  So, I want to make an important to note, each school should decide what would be best for them and their own version depending on various factors. For our photo booth, I manned a table with a camera in one hand, flyers about our social media resources in the other and a photo backdrop next to me.  It was an opportunity where students could stop by and have a picture taken that they could use for their LinkedIn profile, or really any other social media platform or occasion they would need a professional-looking headshot.  It was an out and out success among students and alumni, and even a few of my colleagues who took advantage (as they should), of the opportunity.

I received nothing but positive feedback from the 150 plus who stopped by.  This was similar to other schools who had shared their experience and tips with me.  Why was it so successful and worth my time? Because, it was unique, creative and above all else, different.  It was different from a workshop on the importance of using social media, where students are told how dynamic a social media platform is, how much these platforms have grown and how powerful these tools are for people.

A Social, Social Media Event

It was a social, social media event.  Students and alumni appreciated this live and in-person opportunity to get a helping hand to establish and improve their own social media presence. It also gave them a chance to speak with the real person (me) behind the social media mask of my department.  In addition, I’m following up with each student and alum who had their picture taken via email, where I will include their picture, a list of resources and direct links to the social media accounts under my department’s ownership.

By no means can I take credit for this idea, nor do I have all the answers to how to run it, but I can tell you I’m so glad implemented it at my own school, and will definitely do it again with a few changes.  I’m also incredibly grateful that I learned about this idea in the first place through social media. Once again, social media has helped me discover something new, and help me spread that discovery to my students and alumni who benefited from it.  I hope any schools or social media managers out there who are brainstorming how to add a new social element to your own presence learned something new today, or got inspired.  As usual, if you want to share with us here at Social @ Edu, please do!

by Shannon

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