Holly Hill, Director of Web and New Media Services at Flagler College, is one of the 12 presenters of the 5th Higher Ed Social Media Conference.
In this 4-question interview, Holly 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?
Your audience will let you know when you’ve gotten off track, so it’s imperative that you stay focused with social media.
As a digital team, we have weekly creative meetings to discuss what we want to cover in relation to the College’s goals as well as any trends that we may be able to capitalize on. We also use products such as DivvyHQ to document what will be covered on which channels and at which time, as well as Google Drive to create a shared space for ideas and reporting.
On top of the challenges managing multiple digital channels, I’m a professional procrastinator (the joys of being an ENFP personality), so I have certain tricks to keep me on task: traditional “to-do” desktop notebooks, Outlook reminders, and Slack to name a few. I also have two incredibly talented teammates and together we keep each other on track.
2) What is the most useful thing for your social media work you’ve learned over the past 12 months?
The importance of empathy. Caring for your audience and being empathetic to their needs – especially during times of crisis – is not only important, it is the right thing to do. Put yourself in the shoes of your viewer and constantly ask, “Is what I’m creating adding any value and how will my response impact the person receiving it?”
You cannot please everyone, but you’ll become a genuine voice of trust for your institution online.
3) What role does video play in the social media strategy of your school?
If content is king, then visual content such as video, photography and graphics are the crown jewels of social media. The numbers speak for themselves. If you pair quality copy with quality video you will see higher engagement and interaction with your posts.
Some of that takes care of itself, given the very personal aspect of what we cover. Obviously, anytime we do a live Facebook video of one of our graduation ceremonies we get a bonkers number of views.
However, the most impactful video we’ve recently produced is a Snapchat video of Dr. Joseph Joyner, our president, giving a tour of campus after Hurricane Irma roared through our community. It was exactly the reassurance our audience needed when the campus and Saint Augustine were still being assessed for damages. The combination of the familiar images of the campus, having weathered the storm, gave the spoken message a greater weight than it would have had on its own.
4) Snapchat is still somehow controversial in higher ed. Do you think schools should invest time and resources on this platform?
Some institutions have not ventured down the Snapchat path due to manpower. Additionally, it is also hard to capture the ROI of this medium and then explain its impact to decision makers.
However, according to a Statista study in 2016, 23% of daily users are 13-17 years old and 37% are 18-24 years old, which means a large portion of our target audience in higher education is on this channel.
We use current Flagler students to help drive the direction of our Snapchat channel. They pitch ideas and if it fits our strategic goals for the week then we run with it. For example, we know that prospective students want to see what the town of St. Augustine is like. We have a series called, “Flagler Favorites” where a current student takes the snap audience on a tour of their favorite places in town. About 900+ viewers follow these stories with an average open rate of 89%. This is a significant number for smaller institutions like Flagler.
A day in the life of a higher ed social media pro: Holly Hill
Are you a fan of social media takeovers by students or alums?
Holly Hill took over Higher Ed Experts’ Instagram account for a day on November 7, 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.