Gaucho Gazette > October 2012 > Presidential Perspectives
Campus Abuzz with Social Media
Walk around campus on any given day and you'll find students on their cell phones, tablets or laptops updating statuses, sending messages, checking in, watching videos and maybe even studying. This past year as GCC's social media assistant, I've followed what our students talk about: Homework, teachers, enrollment processes, activities and walking through the parking lot in our heat are all regular topics in the Facebook and Twitter news feeds.
This past summer, I performed an annual social media audit and sifted through our 27 sites and 10,000 fans to determine which types of messages were gaining an audience and what types of students we were servicing. Not surprising, anything that directly affects students is resonating with our online audience. Examples are campus construction, dates on the academic calendar and changes in policy. Programs, large events and athletics are also eliciting a high response, especially when posted with eye-catching photos or short videos.
As part of the audit process, I research and evaluate all of our social accounts for branding and fan-base potential. Because new social media platforms are constantly evolving, GCC must monitor "the next big thing" and sometimes even pull back from a site that's just diluting our message instead of supporting it. As a result of our audit, GCC was able to more precisely target our efforts to nine different platforms with multiple pages on some venues.
So how did this help? Our presence is even stronger and reaching even further. This semester, our Facebook messages reached more than 100,000 people in just the first week of classes! Reach, as opposed to fan base, measures how viral a message went. An example would be to think of your fan base as all of the friends you email and reach as all of your friends plus everyone to whom they forward your messages. In the month of August, our fan base grew by nearly 200 new followers each week. In addition, student outreach on Twitter has more than tripled.
But it's not just our students we are reaching; GCC uses our online profiles to strengthen and maintain connections with community members, city organizations, universities and media. Our students are using Facebook and Twitter to share their GCC experience with us, ask questions, give thanks, express frustrations, celebrate accomplishments and support each other in stressful times. To see a larger picture of with whom we connect and how, view this Powerpoint in Google Docs. Note: you must be logged in with your Maricopa email to view this. – submitted by Raechel Megahan, GCC social media assistant
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