Our overarching 2013 goals
I just finished writing the 2013 major goals for the #UMSocial department. Yes, now I have to actually write how we’re going to achieve those goals, but I thought that I would share them, in the interest of openness and also the hope that you’ll share too.
1. Become a thought leader in higher education social media.
2. Be responsive in our actions and empathetic in our reactions.
3. Stay at the forefront of new tools and technology.
4. Serve as a resource for all U-M students, faculty and staff to educate and provide social media tools for success.
5. Facilitate the continuing implementation of the hub and spoke system to optimize social media practices across the university.
6. Combine marketing and communication goals with intellectual research and thinking.
7. Engage in conversations around the Michigan brand wherever we can.
8. Set measurable goals and use current and future data to attain them.
9. Work as an integral part of the overall communications team.
What are you planning for 2013?
Guest Post: #HuffPo Blogger & UM Alum @AndreaLearned on Coursera and sustainability
With a $14 million sustainability initiative http://www.annarbor.com/news/university-of-michigan-launches-major-environmental-sustainability-initiative/ and President Coleman’s clear commitment to furthering sustainability on campus, the University of Michigan is primed to be “the leaders and the best” in a whole new arena. And, as an alumnus who writes about sustainable business and leadership, I’d love to be able to report that Michigan will be the FIRST university to offer sustainability courses through the new Coursera partnership.
As the Erb Institute put it in a recent Tweet, let my HuffingtonPost piece be a “call for Erb contribution” (and for contribution from the many other UM sustainability resources). As I wrote the post and considered the possible educational game-change potential of the University’s involvement with Coursera, I kept in mind the words of President Coleman, who said when she announced the multi-million dollar sustainability initiative last September:
“I want the message to be clear: Sustainability defines the University of Michigan,” Coleman said. “Combine maize and blue and you get green.
(The following first published on the HuffingtonPost, May 8, 2012)
Where should we be looking for sustainable business change today? Perhaps it should not be toward the usual corporate suspects, many of which are slow to decide on even minor operational and product development shifts. The more compelling view may instead come from looking in the entrepreneurial direction.
I’ve been covering corporate sustainability for a while now, but, admittedly, my passion for it has waned. What most big companies can achieve in their attempts to change centuries old operational systems struggles to compare with the game-changing energy, ideas and commitment I’ve recently come across in the young entrepreneur community. The potential sustainability impact of what those in Seattle (my own city) and those of similarly innovative minds on many other college and university campuses across the nation/globe is what strikes me to the core of my ever-hopeful, change-through-business soul.
A week ago I spent a day with representatives of the Pacific Northwest’s emerging generation of sustainability and socially-minded entrepreneurs, and it blew me away. To fully disclose, and though the thoughts I share here are my own, I participated in this event in my social media role for the University of Washington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, covering their Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC). After being at this gathering, I realized that corporate sustainability likely has nothing better than the potential for paradigm shift that bubbles inside the men and women now attending our colleges and universities.
But, back to the actual event. As the 23 student teams made their two-minute pitches early on, it was all my Twitter-happy fingers could do to capture each of their cool ideas and smart thinking. And, I was not the only one impressed. Even the highly experienced Seattle-area entrepreneurs who judged the challenge seemed to have the same feeling as me, which was that our economy will do just fine — as long as we identify, support and encourage this generation of student sustainability innovators. (Many also said something like “Darn, why wasn’t I this smart when I was that age?”)
Commencement is so big. Not just in size. It’s big in importance. It’s the day that we get to celebrate hard work, scholarship, and the success of our students.
It’s also a day full of stories, so here’s a round-up of how we told them.
We started with this Instagram shot from one of our staff members, which was featured on our Facebook page:
At the ticket pick-up, the Alumni Association had the graduating seniors pin a map of where they’re going after graduation, and tweeted a link.
The Ross School of Business encouraged its graduating students (and those celebrating the graduates) to use the hashtag #michrossgrad, including printing the hashtag in their commencement day materials. The day was kicked off by a tweet from the dean, and the tweets and photos that came through all day told a great story.
The School of Art & Design has been focusing more on posting photos on their Facebook page, and they created a special album, including photos of their outgoing Dean, Bryan Rogers, in a special helmet given to him by his colleagues. It was so representative of the feel of that particular school.
The Office of University Development set up two photo booths at the grad gathering area, and posted the photos to Facebook, encouraging students to tag themselves in the photos. They saw a 17.5% increase in likes and a 9500% increase in daily page engaged users. One of their photos was also featured on the main U-M Facebook page.
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats … I’m incredibly proud of my baby sister Naomi Black who completes her freshmen year at U-M today. Congrats “lil bit” and keep up the hard work.” — Michael A. Black Jr. (Facebook)"
Pinterest: Images Rule for Higher Ed. Believe the Hype.
I’ve written before on the blog about how we’re shifting our social media strategy toward a much more audio/visual method of storytelling, and I’ve already seen the results in the numbers on Facebook.
There’s also currently the Instagrammer Contest that we’re running. I’ve gotten quite a few submissions, which is really neat. We’ll still be accepting submissions (in the form of a Followgram.me, Tumblr or Flickr URL) through June 1, so get ‘em in!
But here’s the meat of this post: Pinterest. I’ve been on Pinterest for a while, but up until a few months ago, I was doing what pretty much everyone was doing on Pinterest: Dreaming about decorating/design/gardens/weddings/parties/wardrobes.
Then one day my personal inbox started blowing up with people following me on Pinterest. It was very confusing. Why on earth would anyone want to know what shoes I’m wearing for my wedding? And then came the articles: SHOULD YOUR BRAND BE ON PINTEREST? IS PINTEREST A FAD? IF YOU DON’T USE PINTEREST ARE YOU THE WORST SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER EVER?
So I put the U-M on Pinterest. (our username is universityofmichigan)
I started actually putting some work into it a week or so ago, and my umich inbox exploded with messages (see below — people following, repinning — it’s insane). I’ve hardly even started pinning and already we have hundreds of followers; each of our boards has at least 100 followers, some have 200 or more.