SXSW, Spredfast and more: Social Media Communicators Meeting 05/02/2013

On Thursday, May 2nd, the Social Media Communicators group met to discuss takeaways from SXSW, the Battle for BU, Spredfast and crisis communications.

Links to all of the talks mentioned can be accessed by navigating through the presentation itself. Also mentioned in the presentation: Dennis Crowley’s foursquare check-ins visualization video:

Foursquare check-ins show the pulse of New York City and Tokyo from Foursquare on Vimeo.

Looking for more SXSW Interactive 2013 content? Check out their Soundcloud set of various sessions you can listen to at your computer or on your mobile device.

We also briefly discussed the Battle for BU (thanks to Ryan Bersani for explaining it to us), and Spredfast, which is currently being used by PR, the Dean of Students office, Admissions and Alumni Relations.

Finally, we reviewed a web timeline of communications sent out from the University during the week of the Boston Marathon. SMC members should receive an e-mail shortly with a link to that timeline. Thank you again to all of our Communicators who helped spread important announcements on their platforms and answered questions.

We will plan to meet again in late August. Please feel free to email us with suggested topics.

Five things learned about Google Plus

The Social Media Communicators welcomed two representatives from Google Plus to campus for a presentation of the network on Tuesday, June 12. The team provided a walk-through of the basics of Google Plus, and provided some food for thought on how higher education communicators might be able to use it for their benefit. Five key takeaways from the afternoon:

- Google is aiming to integrate many of its existing tools directly into Plus. Plus will eventually become what Google calls "The Social Spine" of its products. The ability to share with others and interact socially will be available through Plus for documents, photos and photo editing, games, events and more.

- Circles can be an effective marketing tool. Not only can you curate circles of alumni, students, media and other focused groups to target with messaging, circles can also be shared with others to boost followership. For example, a school's page could share a circle of key publications it recommends its students keep updated with. A professor could also create a circle of students in his or her class, and then share the circle so that everyone could connect with each other.

- Hangouts are a key advantage for Plus, and can be used for one-on-one and one-to-many. From a professor using a Hangout for virtual office hours, to a Hangout on Air, broadcast live on YouTube to showcase a campus event, Hangouts can be used for many different applications.

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Pinterest, the Class of 2016 and more: Social Media Communicators Meeting 05/02/2012

On Wednesday, May 2, the Social Media Communicators group met to discuss some of the latest in social communications.



As Pinterest membership continues to grow, some SMC members have asked if it will work for their marketing efforts. Among the BU communicators adopting Pinterest:

  • Dean of Students: Kat Hasenauer pointed us to Kenn Elmore's page, which will be used during orientation to curate the presentation topics on the fly. Each presenter will be "pinned" with their name, office, and one key takeaway: "My advice to you as a freshman."
  • Student Activities Office: Melissa Grove helps to curate SAO's Pinterest account as a resource for students. Boards help students with event planning and ideas, as well as fun boards like "We Love Scarlet." They are also following other schools to see how they're using the tool. They plan to increase their efforts on the platform over the summer with the help of student workers.
  • College of Communication: Though COM's Pinterest may soon be targeted to only the Photojournalism program, Paul Kresge admitted that they wanted to experiment with the platform because "it was there and it was something new" (a sentiment that felt common across the room). Paul also pointed to their Springpad account, recently set up by the company's ambassadors, which pulls in richer data, including Google Maps and Yelp reviews, which may make guides for students more useful.

Overall, the feeling about Pinterest seemed to be 1) it's caught our attention because of the user base growth & news, 2) it may not be a tool for every department, but it's worth experimenting with for now, and 3) the best use case so far seems to be to provide useful information & guides for students. One person pointed to Drake University's Pinterest as a great example of a higher ed institution using the tool well.

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What is a “highlighted story” on Facebook?

Recently, we've been talking with a few Communicators who want to know more about how Facebook determines what shows up in the News Feed when users log in. You may have noticed a feature called "Highlighted Stories," which looks like this:


These stories are Facebook's way of inferring what content users would most like to see when they first log in. Facebook explains the formula they use to decide which posts appear:

We determine whether something is a highlighted story based on lots of factors, including your relationship to the person who posted the story, how many comments and likes it got, what type of story it is, etc. For example, a friend’s status update that might not normally be a highlighted story may be highlighted after many other friends comment on it.

Facebook Help Center: What is a highlighted story?

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Social Media Communicators Meeting 12/6/2011: Google+, QR codes, and time management

Google+ Badge

On December 6, the Social Media Communicators met to discuss the use of QR codes, the emergence of Google+, and techniques for managing social media channels. The Public Relations team unveiled their new website, which includes a social media directory for schools, departments, and student groups.

Social Media Directory

Tom Testa, AVP of Public Relations, presented the new PR website, designed to house comprehensive faculty profiles, news releases and a directory of Boston University social media channels, among other services. Communicators should contact Mary Tunney to list their accounts.

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Chris Brogan on “Cultivating Visibility”

Chris BroganOn Monday, I had the pleasure of hearing from social-media guru, Chris Brogan, at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) National Conference in Orlando, FL. Speaking to a room full of public relations professionals, Chris talked a lot about creating engaging content which leads to buzz. One piece of important advice he gave was nothing new, but still crucial to gaining any audience's attention: Stories about people are the most successful. Very few products are amazing, but how they can make people feel is often times much more amazing. Before ending his presentation he gave the audience a “TO DO” list that really encapsulated the essence of his presentation:

1.)    Shine your light: Once you master a skill or a task, move on and share that aptitude with a different account team or your co-workers. Everyone wins when you learn from each other.

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Social Media Communicators Meeting 10/18/2011: Blogs, Foursquare and more

baystateroad On Tuesday, October 18, the Social Media Communicators group met to discuss the latest efforts in social media marketing at BU. Based on questions that came in beforehand, we focused first on blogs and then on location-based services, and then opened up the floor for a broader discussion.

We asked attendees about progression of their blogging efforts, and the sentiment from many was that groups are moving away from blogging due to time constraints and management. BU Dining Services said they had recently taken to Tumblr, as it easily allows them to post pictures and other shorter pieces of content. Admissions brought up their new blog, which allows them a way to provide more information to prospective students. PR mentioned that one of their latest blogs, Professor Voices, had been migrated from to a new BU WordPress site.

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Accessibility and engagement at #satechBOS

Last Friday, I attended the Student Affairs Technology Unconference at Boston University, an event bringing together student affairs professionals in higher education to discuss current and future technology trends. Ed Cabellon, the Director of the Campus Center at Bridgewater State University, organized the event and led the ceremonies. Since this was an "unconference," participants voted on topics online prior to the event. It was more like an open discussion than a conference. Attendees came from all over, including North Carolina and Florida. Some were very proficient in social media, while others were just beginners. Many great topics were covered including analytics, blogging, QR codes, location-based services, SEO, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and privacy. But I'm going to go into a little more detail about what stood out to me: accessibility and keeping content engaging.

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Attending #satechBOS

We're attending the Student Affairs Technology Unconference today at the School of Management, hosted by Ed Cabellon and Dean Kenn Elmore. If you'd like to follow along, check out the Twitter stream on TweetChat. We'll cover the discussion later in a separate blog post.

Weekly roundup of social media news & ideas: July 11-15, 2011

The School of Education teaches Orientation Session 5 how to do the Terrier Shuffle.

Below are some articles that caught our interest this past week:

The Broader Role of Moderators in Online Communities (The Online Community Guide): Removing bad content and resolving disputes is just a small part of being a moderator on the web (your blog; your Facebook page). A community manager should be interested in proactively starting discussions and guiding what the community will talk about. Setting up weekly features (thinking: BUAA's Terrier Tip Tuesday) can help to grow a web community.

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