Social Media: Naturally Unique in Every Way

Over the past few weeks and months I’ve been engaging in some great conversations in regards to social media and the implementation, engagement and assessment of it. Some of the conversations have been more debate-like and pros vs. cons while others have been positive and reaffirming.

However, amongst the conversations, for me, an underlying theme continued to surface. It was the theme that no social media plan, implementation and engagement techniques or even assessment strategy is/should/can be the same. Best practices and philosophies can be shouted to the farthest ends of the earth, and social media pedagogy can be thrown around from all the edges of the planet however, for higher education, it comes down to whether or not it is good for and applicable to the college.

#SoMe Pros are often so busy debating philosophies and best practices, that implementing the best strategy for each individual campus is lost. Some campuses can and should decentralize their social media, while others should not depending on staffing, resources and ability. Some campuses should maintain rules on separation of personal and professional profiles, while others should not worry about that, depending on the mission and vision of the institution and even the pedagogical philosophy of the college. Some campus should be on most/every social media platform, while others only need to be on one or two, depending on the size , population and audience of their campus. At times it seems as though if our individual practices and process are not “mainstream” then they are ridiculed,even though the “mainstream” may not be the best fit for the campus (and yes, I’m paralleling this to a much larger conversation and topic).

Campus social media practices, philosophies, policies, etc should not look like one another. To be effective, they can’t be. So how do we move beyond the debates and utilize the conversations we’re having to help build productive, engaging and purposeful social media communities for our respective institutions, each being as unique as their individual campus is.

This theme has put a few things into a new perspective for me. Especially the way I work with my students,colleagues and our social media platforms in regards to strategic planning, implementation and engagement. Hopefully it’ll help you become an even better social media steward too. 🙂

Until next time

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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