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Dr. Kristin AustinDr. Kristin Austin, Assistant Professor at Bloomsburg University of PA, is one of the 12 presenters of the 6th Higher Ed Social Media Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Kristin 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?

A challenge we encountered in the past is that of keeping prospective students engaged in our social media feeds. In targeting prospective students, we also know they are following several other institutions. Thus, it is always a challenge to balance promoting only the social side of college, in exchange for potentially under-promoting the academic experience. Sometimes, live-streaming at a concert is a lot more attractive than live-streaming a lecture. Our plan for 2019 is to do more with the stories feature, allowing for current student takeovers that walk students through a “day in the life” of a student at Bloomsburg University.

2018 Higher Ed Social Media Conference

2) What is your favorite new tool for your social media work?

My favorite new tool is the free tool, Canva. Canva turns even the most infant level of graphic design skills into professional looking works of art! I find these “Canva images” used to communicate a message are more positively received than simple posts or emojis.

3) What are the 3 higher ed social media accounts you follow with envy?

  1. Michigan State University – Facebook
    I love how Michigan State engaged their followers in learning the fight song by inviting uploads of videos of individuals singing the song! I thought this was an excellent way to build community and embrace tradition in the present!
  2. Marquette University – Facebook
    I love how personal the “voice” behind Marquette’s Facebook posts are! They do an excellent job of posting university-branded and promotional content, while also posting as what feels like a “friend,” such as posts encouraging students to “Call home,” or sympathizing with others about everyday events like the weather. Their page always feels very personal to me.
  3. George Washington University – Facebook
    I love how the Facebook page of George Washington University is so audience driven and generated! They run ongoing campaigns and contests where they ask followers to submit content- especially photos- to which George Washington then uses throughout their social media platforms. I feel their page does a good job of keeping followers connected with the question of, “What can I upload next!?”

4) What is the coolest social media campaign you’ve noticed this year?

My favorite campaign outside of higher education has absolutely, unequivocally been the Everyday Congrats from Tina Fey by American Express campaign. I was drawn to how personal the campaign was, and the refreshing take on the “everyday” experiences (like throwing a dinner party). With each new post, I found myself thinking, “Yep! that’s totally me!” and I was able to laugh about life in a way that made me feel good, and connected to others experiencing the same. The American Express product(s) advertised at the end felt appropriate and not gimmicky. If I had to be offered a product I would otherwise be uninterested in, chatting with a girlfriend and laughing, “You too?? Me too!!” first, is definitely the way to hook me!
Higher education could replicate this campaign by following students in their senior year of high school and congratulating them on nailing various senior year milestones, such as surviving the SAT, sending college apps, completing admissions essays, choosing a college, picking a Prom dress, senior year sports, and more! This can connect students of an incoming class not only with each other, but would help them feel connected to their new institution!

Follow Dr. Kristin Austin on @higheredexperts Instagram account for a day on October 29, 2018!

Instagram logoAre you a fan of Instagram Stories Takeovers by students or alums?

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 Dr. Kristin’s 1-day Instagram Stories Takeover on October 29, 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.

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