Amplifying our story on social media

The university’s website redesign is, of course, the primary focus of the WebLife team, but improving the Health Science Center’s reach on social media has always been part of the plan, too.

NewCity, the agency that advised us on the website redesign, also helped our team with some good advice for boosting our presence on social media. That’s because social media matters when it comes to communicating with students and the community. And while many, many social media accounts have existed for years on campus, NewCity noted that our social media presence can appear unstructured and fractured because of the large numbers of accounts maintained by different groups and departments.

The Office of Communications already maintains an account on Facebook and  on Twitter. Those accounts serve as what has been called the “front door” for the university on social media because the messages and photos posted on those accounts give general university news and events in a way that is meant to appeal to a lot of audiences.

It took quite a few months of planning and thinking, but we’ve got some news to report on the campus social media landscape beyond the front door.

Allow me to introduce standout, the student-focused social media presence,

standout, the student-focused social media channel for the Health Science Center.

and Healthful, a wellness-focused social media presence.

Healthful, the Health Science Center's new wellness focused social media channel.

Healthful and standout are both on Facebook and Twitter and both have WordPress blogs set up to support original stories and other content that will be sent to Facebook and Twitter.

Healthful and standout were quietly rolled a couple of weeks ago and we feel confident that the momentum behind these channels will build in the coming months.

Wait, did someone just ask why I used the word “channels”? Is the word channels weird? Maybe, but channeling is what Healthful and standout will do best. The content managers behind standout and Healthful find most of their content for Facebook and Twitter by taking the best of what’s already being produced on social media around campus. Student-centric events from all over campus are being shared and retweeted on the standout feed, and health information from all over campus is going on the Healthful feed. This is a deliberate, targeted way of reaching out to current and prospective students and prospective patients and members of the community who may be searching online for health information from a respectable source. It’s telling our story in a strategic way on social media.

As with any new social-media effort, it will take a little time for our audiences to find us and for our followers to grow. That’s OK. In these first few months, we’re tracking every post and measuring any and all comments, likes and retweets. We’re looking for tangible signs of the ways our posts are performing. After three months, we’ll look at what we’ve got and adjust and then continue to adjust as we learn what’s useful and effective. We’ll analyze traffic and trends. We aren’t doing this to compete with the Kardashians’ social presence (and I know the K sisters aren’t the least bit worried about competition from us). This isn’t about being the most popular. We’re putting effort toward social media because we know that’s where conversations of concern to people in South Texas are happening online. And we’re ready to engage.

Do you have feedback or suggestions for topics on either channel? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Article Categories: Social Media

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