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Geoff CoyleGeoff Coyle, Social Media Editor at West Virginia University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 6th Higher Ed Social Media Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Geoff 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?

Our plan for the better part of the year, and going forward, is to lean on quality over quantity. We know we will post daily on Facebook, but the key is to make sure that as often as possible, we are putting in the time and effort to make at least one post per week stand out. That could be a fully produced video like our Gold and Blue Planet series or a simple photo of one of our older residential complexes asking where our former students stayed while on campus. Each targeted different audiences, but each invited a great deal of engagement through comments and shares. In the future, we hope to put some more focus on Facebook’s closed groups. This past year, we had a great deal of success with our Families of the WVU Class of 2022 group and we will continue to use those groups for each of the incoming freshman classes going forward as they tend to rank highly on Facebook.

2018 Higher Ed Social Media Conference

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

This past year, rather than a specific software, our favorite new tools have come in the form of hardware. Specifically, we have made investments in camera and audio equipment in an effort to produce more quality content on our social accounts. Many of our most engaging posts in the past year have been videos or photos that we have produced in-house, largely through our social team. With the help of SD card readers for our cellphones, we’ve been able to quickly shoot, edit, and post photos from events in order to capitalize on the timeliness of the content. One look at the analytics and it is clear that our investment in new equipment has paid off substantially.

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

  1. Texas A&M – Facebook
    Texas A&M has always been a leader in content creation for Higher Ed. Its use of video and augmented reality have done well to show what our industry is capable of with a little creativity and thinking outside of the box.
  2. UNE President James Herbert – Instagram
    James Herbert, president of the University of New England, has a very well managed Instagram account. The captions make his message, and that of UNE, clear in a passionate and sincere manner. As a University that frequently features our president, Dr. Gordon Gee, on social, we enjoy seeing other institutions take advantage of the voice their president can have through various platforms like Instagram.
  3. WVU Admissions – Twitter
    WVU Admissions Twitter account has only recently become a focus of ours, but we have done well to use it specifically as a means to recruit students. The content is engaging and informative and while it may not have the far-reaching audience that our main University accounts draw in, it continues to grow with its more narrow focus and it is proving to be an important component of our overall goals at WVU.

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

The Nike Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick has been among the most talked about campaigns all year long. We talk a great deal about taking risks with our content at West Virginia University, and Nike certainly did just that with this campaign. Clearly it sparked a discussion, and even some outrage, but boy did Nike become the talk of the country and its sales reflected the increased attention brought on through those advertisements.There are many instances in which we may sit on the fence and worry about whether certain content will be viewed positively or negatively. That concern may stop us from pushing the envelope and doing what we feel is right, but Nike has shown that risks are often worth taking.

Follow Geoff Coyle on @higheredexperts Instagram account for a day!

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 shared a day in their life.

Geoff took over our account on November 6, 2018 – you can check the HESM18 Highlight on our Higher Ed Experts’ Instagram account to see the stories 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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