I was working on a presentation a couple weeks ago and asked a few people to help point me to some high school and university media that were doing things well in the social sphere. I got some great responses and will be sharing more of them in the coming weeks.
One was from Logan Aimone of NSPA who sent me a link to the Indiana Daily Student of Indiana University. They’ve got a great program at Indiana and are definitely doing some things right with social media. I specifically like three aspects of what they are doing.
1. Their social presence is not tough to locate
I’ve often found myself on a site trying to find out if they are on Twitter or Facebook. Sometimes things are clumped together, other times they are all spread out. IDSnews.com has a special page on their site dedicated to letting their readers know where to find them in the social sphere. The page found here identifies for readers the six Twitter accounts they maintain, the four Facebook pages and their Youtube page. It’s a nice one-stop-shop for readers.
2. They have multiple accounts to serve readers best
As noted above, they don’t just have one Twitter account, they have six. They don’t have one Facebook page, they have four. While every staff may not have the manpower to diversify themselves like this, all staffs should consider some segmentation. Readers often follow sites for very specific info, not all of it. Maybe someone just wants to know sports news and doesn’t really want to be bothered with photo galleries from prom. Maybe someone else just wants to be alerted of photo galleries and could care less how the basketball team did. If you have one catch-all feed that tries to speak to everyone, you may end up having few listen. If you take a lesson from what IDSnews.com (and many others are doing) and segment your content a bit on the social sphere, it might help you engage your audience better get a better return on your time investment.
3. They acknowledge others on campus
I like how the staff not only showcases their own social accounts but they also highlight the Twitter account for Tom Crean, the men’s basketball coach, and the main account for Indiana University. I think it’s great that the staff is highlighting other notable campus accounts and it’s something that high school staffs should be doing as well with clubs, groups and sports from their own campus.
Having a social presence is a start, running it with an effective plan is the next step. I’ll be showcasing a few more schools in the coming weeks. In the meantime, feel free to comment below on what your staff is doing or give us a great social presence (high school, college or professional) that you’ve seen.
Aaron Manfull (@manfull) is the JEA Digital Media Committee Chair and director of student media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, MO.