Dominique Benjamin, Digital & Social Media Coordinator forTAMU Enrollment Services, is one of the 12 presenters of the 6th Higher Ed Social Media Conference.
In this 4-question interview, Dominique tells us about the plan for Facebook in 2019, a new tool, 3 higher ed social media accounts and an inspiring social media campaign idea.
1) Considering how engagement and reach on Facebook have evolved at your school in 2018, what’s your plan for 2019?
In Admissions, we’re all about Facebook Groups – not Pages. Several years ago we made the decision to not create an “Aggiebound” Facebook Page, because our audience just wasn’t there. By now, it’s common knowledge that Gen Z-ers don’t spend nearly as much time on the platform as they do elsewhere. For that reason, and so many more, I can’t imagine us ever creating a Page. That decision was even further validated by the announcement earlier this year by Mark Zuckerberg that the Almighty Algorithm would prioritize content from Groups over content from brands (i.e. Pages).
We, as many other schools do, manage a Facebook Group for admitted students. So far, we haven’t noticed a dip in activity over the last year, but it’s something we’ll keep an eye on, moving forward. Our Class of 2022 Group had more than 1.1K posts, 5K comments and 24K reactions.
Mostly, it serves as a place for them to find groups on “private” platforms like GroupMe and Snapchat. We’ve heard many students say they don’t otherwise use Facebook, but that they created an account just to join the class Group. In doing so, they get a preview of what the Texas A&M community is like.
2) What is your favorite new tool for your social media work?
Google Data Studio is a great data visualization tool. For paid social media campaigns, my colleagues want to know that their money was well spent. Data Studio allows me to produce single-page reports that show how our social ads performed, relative to other marketing efforts. I can customize the report to show exactly the things that I want to bring to their attention.
3) What are the 3 higher ed social media accounts you follow with envy?
- UF – Giphy
I know. I’m cheating on this one. But, I think this account is worth admiring, just based on volume alone: More than 774 GIF uploads and 848M views.
- West Virginia University – YouTube
There’s so much great content here! I like that many of the videos have a playful tone that still feels on-brand. This freshman orientation video might be my favorite social media thing ever.
- University of Central Florida – Instagram
As a University of South Florida alumnus, it pains me to show love to our rivals, the Golden Knights. But, I have to give props where they’re due. Their Story promotes the university’s newsroom articles using a combination of motion graphics and video memes. The content has a high production value and is concise – usually no more than 10 posts long. Most of all, I like the consistency in how the Stories are structured; As a viewer, I know what to expect every time.
4) What is the coolest social media campaign you’ve noticed this year?
In partnership with the March For Our Lives campaign, an agency in Los Angeles created this interactive coloring book. Color For Our Lives invited Instagram Story viewers to screenshot a digital protest poster, customize it using color/GIFS/emojis, and share it to their own Stories.
I always enjoy seeing brands create content on social that feels interactive. In this case, followers were able to take a piece of content and make it their own. Instagram Stories have so much potential in that regard, especially for higher ed.
Follow Dominique Benjamin on @higheredexperts Instagram account for a day on October 26, 2018!
You’re going to love Higher Ed Experts’ #HESM18 Instagram Stories Takeovers where your higher ed social media colleagues share a day in their life.
Make sure you don’t miss Dominique’s 1-day Instagram Stories Takeover on October 26, 2018 by following Higher Ed Experts’ Instagram account now!
A conference focusing on higher ed social media?
The 6th Higher Ed Social Media Conference (HESM18) is a must-attend event for higher ed social media professionals and teams looking for inspiration, ideas and best practices to get ready for 2019.
Read below what your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Social Media Conference said about their experience.