AJ Lopez III, Social Media Coordinator at Midwestern State University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 5th Higher Ed Social Media Conference.
In this 4-question interview, AJ tells us about managing social media demands, a learning outcome, the role of video in social media strategy and chimes in on Snapchat.
1) How do you manage the demands on your time and focus inherent to social?
Between semesters our social media office creates a calendar that encompasses all of the major events we will promote or create content for in the upcoming semester. Each semester is about four months long, so we have to meet with administration and student leaders to know what we should expect during this period of time. This creates what we call a social media bible that we may refer back to when we are flooded by requests to cover events. It helps us stay on message with our university brand.
We also plan in some small breaks in between the calendar to keep us fresh throughout the long semester. Half a day of unplugging does wonders for you mentally.
2) What is the most useful thing for your social media work you’ve learned over the past 12 months?
To find content, you need to be out of your office.
I’ve learned that if you’re in front of a computer screen all day, it does nothing to help you find organic content to use for your social media plan. If you have a laptop or even your phone, make it a habit to go outside and work on projects.
Visit other offices to learn what’s going on that day around your campus. New topics and opportunities present themselves when you’re outside and talking to others.
3) What role does video play in the social media strategy of your school?
We use video to highlight campus traditions, recruiting students and live video to talk directly to the students who have questions about our university.
We produce two types of videos. Videos that go through post-production are used to highlight our campus traditions and for recruiting students through admissions. The other type is composed of live or spontaneous videos made for Snapchat or on Facebook Live.
Live video can be a little nerve-racking, because it’s live. Yet, it does give the genuine feel the audience can relate too. Our most successful social media video, while scripted, was still very genuine, since it starred our university President and back-to-school content. We had over 18,000 views and over 150 shares for this video.
4) Snapchat is still somehow controversial in higher ed. Do you think schools should invest time and resources on this platform?
We have invested quite a bit of time on Snapchat at our university.
It’s part of our content strategy for our social media calendar. We schedule geofilters for big events. We work with students to create snapchat takeovers to give our followers a different point of view. Our office creates Snapchat content, but when we give the account to our student assistants (who we have trained on the university brand), they understand better how our current students use this platform.
Unlike the other social medias, Snapchat is targeted to such a young audience that you need the help of students to use it effectively.
A day in the life of a higher ed social media pro: AJ Lopez III
Are you a fan of social media takeovers by students or alums?
AJ Lopez III took over Higher Ed Experts’ Instagram account for a day on November 3, 2017 as part of the Higher Ed Social Media Conference Speakers Takeovers where your higher ed social media colleagues share a day in their life.
A conference focusing on higher ed social media?
The Higher Ed Social Media Conference is a must-attend event for higher ed social media professionals and teams looking for new ideas and best practices.
Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Social Media Conference say about the experience.Tags: HESM17, Higher Ed News