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What Is Social Media?
Since the first social media networking site, “Friendster,” in 2002, people connecting online has increased dramatically. Giving to the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults now use social schmoozing sites. LinkedIn has an audience of 500 million, and Twitter reports 330 million monthly active users, while 2 billion monthly vigorous users flock to Facebook to connect. Every day, people timepiece hundreds of millions of hours of videos on YouTube and upload more than 95 million photos and videos to Instagram.
The way people share information is changing how we communicate with our target audience. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just the landfill of the social media iceberg; There are more and more apps and more to come, which means more ways to connect and engage with your constituents in person. Social media should be part of the mix, whether you’re targeting the general public or UC San Diego alumni, parents, teachers, employees, donors, or friends.
The Role Of Social Media
It wasn’t so long ago that universities and colleges didn’t realize the potential of social media. Today, we know that when used correctly, social media can help us share information and build relationships with our diverse audiences. From recruiting new students and teachers to fundraising and spreading incidents and situations, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other networks are powerful tools in the hands of communicators.
Some statistics on social networks:
- Internet users have a usual of 7 social media accounts (Global Web Index)
- Almost 80% of the time spent on social networks is dedicated to mobile devices (Marketing Land)
- 66% of Facebook users receive “news or headlines” from the social network (Pew Research Center).
- 67% of consumers turn to networks like Twitter and Facebook (JD Power) for customer service.
- Facebook operators spend an average of 50 minutes a day on their different platforms (New York Times)
How is social media different from traditional marketing and communications approaches? It is a matter of compromise. Instead of providing information to an audience, social media allows us to connect and communicate. It is a medium where traditional approaches to “tell” people do not work or are not accepted. We can keep people informed about events, shows, and news, but that’s only part of using these tools. The rest is a conversation, and it’s the “social” thing on social media. However, social media cannot be distinguished from your marketing. And communication strategies but must be integrate into a holistic communication approach.
Tools To Connect of social media
Universities use social media, the only web-based tools that allow two-way discussions, connect and collaborate with their audiences, and complement traditional information dissemination. But before we dive into strategy and best practices, a quick glossary of terms and social media comes in handy:
Description: Founded in 2004, Facebook remains a social utility that helps people communicate more effectively with friends, family, and colleagues. The company develops technologies that facilitate the exchange of information through the social graph. The digital representation of people’s social connections in the real world. Anyone can log into Facebook and interact with their friends in a trusted environment.
Usage: If you want to chat with students online, connect with alumni, or create a community discussion forum, get involved via Facebook. You can also use this medium to drive traffic to actual events and activities.
Description: Twitter is a real-time news network run by people from all over the world, allowing them to share and find out what’s going on. A comprehensive resource for instantly up-to-date information. Twitter asks what’s going on and immediately broadcasts the answer millions of times worldwide.
Usage: With its 140 character format, Twitter is an instant way to chat and listen to like-minded people. It’s also an excellent method to “tweet” news and other announcements adding to media sources.
Description: YouTube remains the world’s most popular online video community, enabling millions of people to discover, view, and share originally-created videos. It provides a forum for people to network, inform, and inspire others worldwide and acts as a distribution platform for advertisers, large and small, of original content.
Uses: YouTube can help share your unit’s research and other achievements, record events and activities, and host video competitions.
Description: Instagram is a mobile photo and video sharing tool. Users can smear digital filters to their photos and videos before sharing them on social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Usage: Instagram is the best option for sharing authentic and engaging images. With Instagram, you can definitely gain a lot of real Instagram followers which can lead to much wider audience engagement. Since the service is mobile-base, it is a great way to capture footage “at the moment.” As 59% of 18-29-year-olds use Instagram. It is beneficial for interacting with potential and current students and young alumni.