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Jamila WalkerJamila Walker, University Social Media Manager at Old Dominion University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2019-2020 Higher Ed Social Media Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Jamila tells us about higher ed social media in 2020, a favorite tool, 3 higher ed social media campaigns as well as strategy and measurement.

1) Where do you think higher ed social media is heading in 2020?

I think there are some great things headed in higher ed social media. There will be a huge emphasis on campus-based TikTok accounts. Although Gen Z are the primary audience for the platform, this group will eventually be college bound. TikTok is a great tool for student recruitment and I think as the app continues to rise, more universities will be on it reaching a new group of target audiences.

Instagram Stories is going to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things. Universities will need to reorganize their strategies away from the familiar news feed formats and focus on capturing attention in Stories.

With longer videos being praised on YouTube, Vlogging falls right into that category. User-generated content is critical in establishing a trust and relationship with the university and the audience. Vlogging is the perfect way for the audience to get a true sense of what it is like to be a student at the school and will become attached to the person over time and tune in regularly to see what’s new on campus.

2019 Higher Ed Social Media Conference

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

As a social media army of one, I always try to find time saving tools. My favorite tool is Landscape by Sprout Social. It resizes images for all of the social media platforms. You no longer have to remember the dimensions of images; Landscape does the work for you. I like it because I do not have to guess the size of images and I can do a bulk size for all of the platforms at one time. Plus, Landscape is FREE.

3) What higher ed social media campaigns have recently caught your attention?

You’ve Been Waiting For This Moment by Marquette University
I thought this post was absolutely genius. There was clearly a lot of research and thought that went into this post and it pulled on every heart string. It is a social media post that I would love to emulate soon.

West Virginia University’s What does WVU mean to you
This campaign was excellent. They tapped into the WVU community to submit a video that voted on, would be chosen as the national commercial. I loved how they reached out to those who know WVU the best, students and alumni. Based on the posts and retweets, it was a huge success.

Old Dominion University’s social media post of Beyonce and Jay-Z in Norfolk, VA
Producer Pharrell brought his Something in the Water Festival to Virginia Beach and there were rumors that Beyonce and Jay-Z were in the area. Twitter post went out with a photoshop of the couple in one of the landmarks in Norfolk. ODU hopped on the bandwagon and photoshop Beyonce and Jay-Z on campus. The post received local news attention.

4) What are your strategic social media goals and how do you measure against these goals?

Post audience-specific content. This a main goal of my social media strategy, to deliver content that is relevant to our audience. For example, I started to add call to actions to the Instagram posts to get the audience talking. I am measuring this goal by looking at the analytics and the comments.

Going Live. Live streaming is a good way to build a consistent social media presence and your audience to gain some valuable insights about your institution. I am trying to find a line of what types of content warrants live streaming. Measuring success is trying different types of content and which one draws in our audience. So far, Q&A’s do really well.

Another strategic goal for social media is revamping the social media ambassador program. University students are authentic source of information for prospective students. I measure success with the emails and messages I receive from prospective students wanting to know more about life at ODU as well as alumni who want to takeover our accounts. I also receive messages from departments as well.

A conference focusing on higher ed social media?

The 7th Higher Ed Social Media Conference (HESM19) is a must-attend event for higher ed social media professionals and teams looking for inspiration, ideas and best practices to get ready for 2020.

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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