1-day Online Event


2016 Higher Ed Social Media Conference

What will help you “win” social media for higher ed in 2017?

  • Are you in charge of social media at your school?
  • Do you spend more time on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and/or LinkedIn than you do in meetings on campus?
  • Do you smile (or cry, sing or even jump) each time Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram announce new features?
  • Do you wonder how to measure your social media efforts?
  • Have you tried paid social yet?

This online conference was designed for you: it is all about social media, only about social media in higher education.

This conference is THE annual online event for higher ed social media professionals and teams.

The 4th edition of the Higher Ed Social Media Conference will take place on November 30, 2016. .

The call for proposals for this edition is open until September 21, 2016.

Register Now
  •  Nov 30, 2016
  •   11AM - 2:30PM ET
  •  Register by Oct 28, 2016
  •  Registration fee: $500 $400


4th Higher Ed Social Media Conference – Call for Proposals

The call for proposals is open until Sep 21, 2016. The program of the conference will be announced on Sep 28, 2016.

Should I attend the Higher Education Social Media Conference?

This conference is recommended for teams including:

What is included in my Conference registration fee?

The fee is for a single computer/audio connection with an unlimited number of attendees watching the live online event.

It includes the following:

  1. 1 connection to the live event scheduled over 3 hours on November 30, 2016 – the audio is done via voice over IP or teleconference
  2. A 1-year unlimited access to the recordings of the sessions on-demand through a link that we will provide to you.
  3. All session materials (slides handouts in PDF)

If the conference cannot be held (due to unforseen events) on its scheduled date, it will be rescheduled on its rain date: Thursday, December 8, 2016.

2015 Higher Ed Social Media Conference Recordings

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee, LOG IN! to access the 2015 recordings

Big Picture: Social Media from the VP-level
Rachel Reuben, Principal- Rachel Reuben Consulting

Social media can be exciting, thrilling, rewarding, and quite time-consuming when you are in charge of it for your school. So, where does it fit in the big picture for your institution? In this presentation, Rachel Reuben will draw from her previous experiences as a vice president of Communications at Colgate University and associate vice president for marketing communications at Ithaca College to give you insight into social media as seen by senior administration. You’ll also learn some tips and tricks to better communicate your social media-related ideas, wins and needs to senior decision makers.

Creating Community Amongst Social Media Managers
Chris Barrows, Social Media, and Mobile Products Coordinator- New York University

It’s never easy to bring social media managers together no matter the size of your institution.
In this presentation, Chris Barrows will share his experience creating and managing NYU social media ambassador group. You’ll learn how to create your own community, effectively communicate with your group and ensure long-term success.

Inside the mind of students and alumni online to win social media engagement
Tracy Playle, Director & Content Strategist – Pickle Jar Communications Ltd (UK)

Do your social media accounts suffer from a lack of engagement? Many do and the culprit is usually: either content or a misunderstood audiences. In this presentation, Tracy Playle will show how to use Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s social technographics profiling tool (amongst others) to help get deeper into the minds of students and alumni. You’ll learn how to plan more effective social media activity, manage everybody’s expectations in terms of engagement and measure that engagement.

Can’t-Miss Tips for Social Media Community Building and Engagement
Robert Bochnak, Assistant Director, Alumni Marketing and Communications – Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School’s Alumni Office has generated over 25,000 unique interactions with alumni via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. In this case study, Robert Bochnak will explain how the “Identify-Engage-Leverage” approach made it all possible. You’ll also learn how to apply HBS’s model at your school.

#BuckeyeLove: More than a Hashtag, A Winning Fundraising Campaign
Lauren Boyd, Multimedia specialist – The Ohio State University

When Ohio State asked its social media followers to share their #BuckeyeLove stories around Valentine’s Day in 2014, it was a hit. So, in 2015, the university created an even bigger, university-wide social media campaign in partnership with the annual giving office. In this case study, Lauren Boyd will explain how she worked with several social media partners on campus to create a university win — telling research and academic stories through a fun hashtag with a subtle giving spin. You’ll also learn how this strategy is now going to be used for future campaigns.

Facebook’s Not Dead! How to Create and Foster a Facebook Group
Chelsey Rovesti, Manager of Social Media- Point Park University

While prospective students aren’t sharing much of their personal details on Facebook (Mom, Dad, and Grandma are watching, right?), Millennials and Generation Zers still use Facebook to connect with potential classmates and get a feel for the campus. In this presentation, Chelsey Rovesti will discuss how to create a successful “Class of” Facebook group for your prospective students. You’ll learn how to involve key campus stakeholders, recruit and train current students and staff, promote your group and other winning tactics to create a positive environment for students to connect.

Periscope Case-study: Lessons Learned from #DukeSocial’s first ‘Scopes
Dominique Benjamin, Digital & Social Media Specialist- Duke University

Is your school on Periscope yet? Should it be? It might be too early to decide, but it’s never too late to learn more about this new live-streaming mobile platform. In this presentation, Dominique Benjamin will share a case study of Duke’s first Periscope experiments. You’ll learn how to evaluate the platform for your own, the type of content that works best on this new platform and other lessons learned at Duke.

10 Solutions to Snapchat Struggles
Candace Nelson, Senior Writer & Social Media Editor – West Virginia University

If your school is on Snapchat, you’ve learned the hard way that the social media platform doesn’t make it easy for universities. Who hasn’t suffered from failed geofilter submissions, banned third-party apps and lack of text space? In this presentation, Candace Nelson will take you through 10 challenges universities may face with Snapchat and share how they were tackled at WVU. You’ll get tips and tricks to take your university’s Snapchat account to the next level.

Crowdsourcing Your Social Media Content
Tiffany Broadbent Beker, Web Developer & Social Media Coordinator – William & Mary

Countless pieces of content are generated online every day – and some of those tidbits are of direct interest to the audiences at your institution. In this presentation, Tiffany Broadbent Beker will share a case study about William & Mary’s community-run “Life@W&M” Instagram account. You’ll learn how to harness the power and authentic voice of your community (and save yourself some time) by handing over content creation to others.

Using Humor Effectively in Social Media
Kate Post, Digital Media Specialist – California State University, Chico

Humor can be an incredible tool for building active and engaged social media communities – when used right. There’s a fine line between humor that resonates with campus audiences and humor that undermines the seriousness of your official university communications. In this presentation, Kate Post will walk you through this line. You’ll learn how to find the right tone on social media for your brand, give your channels a personality and write humorous posts.

Putting Out Fires Without Causing a Flood
Nina Sossen, Director of Social Media- University of Massachusetts Amherst

Campus emergencies, controversial events, and even a single snowflake can quickly turn your social media landscape into chaos. When a “crisis” hits, students, parents, faculty, alumni, news media and observers all rush to social media and create a jumble of comments, questions, and rumors. In this presentation, Nina Sossen will explain how to effectively listen to the conversation and when and how to use campus social media to respond. You’ll also learn how to quell the chaos and provide accurate and concise information, all while maintaining the university’s brand and respecting the community’s right to free speech.

Hacked: Lessons Learned from a highly visible Facebook page hack
Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media- University of Michigan

In August 2015, three of University of Michigan’s most popular Facebook pages were hacked. Malicious posts were published on the Michigan Football, Michigan Basketball, and Michigan Athletics Facebook pages. The UMSocial team had to act quickly and diligently to recover from the hack. In this case study, Nikki Sunstrum will explain how her team managed the 12-hour aftermath before full control was regained. You’ll also learn how to be proactive and protect your social properties from similar attacks.

2014 Conference Conference Recordings

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee, LOG IN! to access the 2014 recordings

Higher ed social media: Latest trends & next big things
Cara Rousseau, Digital & Social Media Strategy Manager at Duke University

Innovation in higher ed social media never stops. In this presentation, Cara will give you a fast-paced overview of the latest social media trends and strategies used in higher education. From post-Facebook conversations to brand ambassadors and “trendjacking,” you’ll take away lots of ideas and practical information to try at your school.

Listen, respond, and take action: Using resources you have to reach students and your goals
Corie Martin, Creative Web Services Manager at Western Kentucky University

How do you use social media to engage students during their college search process? Do you simply share information, or do you invite student feedback? Relationships that you establish early on can encourage your students to enroll and persist at your institution. In this presentation, Corie Martin will explain how you can use the resources you already have in place to create a winning social media student service program for both new and existing students to help meet enrollment goals, excite students, and get the job done.

#FollowTheLeader: Best practices in social media for higher education presidents, provosts, deans & VPs
Dan Zaiontz, Marketing Professor & Special Projects Coordinator at Seneca College

Is your college president on social media yet? Do you wish s/he was doing a better job at it? After conducting a major research study including more than 20 confidential interviews with Canadian and American university and college presidents, Dan Zaiontz wrote the book that will help you get your leader there: “#FollowTheLeader: Best Practices in Social Media for Higher Education,” to be published by mStoner Media in December 2014. In this presentation, he will share best practices in social media engagement by higher education leaders and a few recommendations for strategic advisors in assisting leaders to do social media right.

10 steps to successfully launch a social media ambassador program
Sandra Ordonez, Assistant Director of Social Media at St. John’s University

Don’t have a social media ambassador program yet? Want to revamp yours? In this presentation, Sandra Ordonez will tell you how to launch a Social Media Ambassador Program for your department with 10 effective steps. She’ll explain how to get your social media ambassadors to create social content, promote and attend events, as well as assist with the growth of your social media following.

Building your programs searchable reach: Using social media to help in searchability and findability.
Andrew Smyk, Program Coordinator at Sheridan College

How to use simple strategies for web and social media content to help build your programs reach and findability? In this presentation, Andrew Smyk will explain how social media content can help promote your academic program and help potential students find your program. You’ll also learn how to be selective with cross posting content and use multiple social media streams to create an opportunity for potential students to stumble across your program.

Surprise & Delight: How to build engagement when they least suspect it
Tyler Thomas, Social Media Specialist at University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Our audiences are busy, have strong ‘baloney detectors’ and are often inundated with information. The Surprise & Delight tactic allows your brand to enter the conversation and build positive sentiment without your audience even knowing it. In this presentation, Tyler will introduce you to the ins and outs of this tactic from the simplest Surprise & Delight social situations to more advanced campus wide initiatives that make a huge splash.

Social media success story: How U of G overcame the “We Don’t Do Stupid” Generation.
Angi Roberts, Information Services Manager at the University of Guelph

This generation of prospective students belong have always been bombarded with savvy marketing campaigns. They’re a tough audience to crack. They don’t do stupid. In this presentation, Angi will tell you how the integrated campaign to hand-deliver admissions letters launched last spring helped wow students. You also find out how you can make these students your fans, influencers and marketers by giving them what they want: something remarkable.

Facebook Case-Study: Far from dead for incoming students and current parents
Kat Hasenauer Cornetta, Assistant to the Dean of Students for Programs, Communications & Technology at Boston University

Survey after survey and article after article, the demise of Facebook as a communication platform for students is announced everywhere. At Boston University, the Dean of Students Office had begun to buy into the idea that students were straying away from Facebook to get information or interact with their community. Yet, after being asked to collaborate on two new Facebook properties, Kat Hasenauer Cornetta was surprised to witness the most engagement she had ever seen in 8 years of managing Facebook for her division. In this presentation, Kat will share details on the audience research and strategy leading to this success story as well as lessons learned in managing communities of incoming students and current parents.

Instagram case-study: “Thanks for the #NazMoveIn memories”
Alicia Nestle, Assistant Director-Multimedia and PR at Nazareth College

From Orientation weekend to Labor Day weekend, Nazareth College asked students to capture their first few weeks of school and show their school pride by taking part in the #NazMoveIn Instagram Challenge. The Challenge encouraged incoming freshmen and transfers to feel connected via the Nazareth College social community, while providing the College an opportunity to crowdsource and curate authentic photos taken by Nazareth students. In this case-study, Alicia Nestle will present the strategic goals, dynamics, lessons learned and results of this Instagram challenge.

Instagram case-study: The #LifeAtCentral Challenge
Rachel Esterline Perkins, Associate Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Central Michigan University

In its inaugural year in 2013, CMU’s #LifeAtCentral Instagram Challenge reached 47,500+ people with 120,000+ impressions, and increased followers by nearly 40 percent in one month. In this presentation, Rachel Esterline Perkins will review the successes and challenges of running a month-long photo-a-day challenge at a large university. She will also explain how the challenge evolved after the first year to encourage further growth and engagement in its 2nd edition in October 2014.

Facebook promoted posts and Twitter ads: Is it worth it?
Julie Winch, Social Media Director at Emory University

To promote, or not to promote? That is always the question. Promoting your posts on Facebook or Twitter can sometimes give you hundreds more likes and shares than organic posts , and other times it’s a total waste of money. What does promoting your post really give you – impressions or engagement? Can you accomplish both? In this session, Julie Winch will help you find the best bang for your buck when it comes to boosting your social posts.

It’s time to venture into the world of Tumblr
Stephanie Leishman, Social Media Strategist at MIT

Have you stepped into the wonderful world of Tumblr yet? Tumblr is not another Facebook and works very differently. In this presentation, Stephanie Leishman will tell you what’s different and how you should approach this platform. You’ll learn the basics of Tumblr for higher ed and find out how to reach a younger demographic through several case studies.

Snapchat won’t bite: Why your university should give Snapchat a try
Tony Dobies, Senior Writer at West Virginia University

Don’t fear Snapchat! It can be a powerful tool in higher ed. WVU wasn’t the 1st university to start, but did its homework. In this presentation, Tony Dobies will explain how WVU launched its Snapchat account and how it has used it so far for football games, presidential snaps & campus visits.

Photo Friday: Your website can be more social than you think
Lori Packer, Web Editor at the University of Rochester

Every Friday for more than five years, the University of Rochester has turned over the large photos on its homepage to the People: students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents. In this presentation, Lori Packer will tell you all about the goals, dynamics and results of Photo Friday, so you can make the case for publishing social user-generated content on YOUR school website, too.

More than just a #: How hashtags can take your event from good to great
Tiffany Broadbent Beker, Social Media Coordinator and Web Developer at the College of William & Mary

Hashtags are associated with nearly every marketing campaign nowadays, but are they actually useful? More than just a trendy # symbol, hashtags can create conversations and buzz long before an event starts and help them continue after the last participant has left. Are you using this marketing and social media tactic effectively for your organization and its events? In this presentation, Tiffany Broadbent Beker will explore how to create a great hashtag, how to publicize it, and some of the best ways to showcase it before, during and after your event using examples from W&M’s 2014 admission and commencement programs.

2013 Conference Recordings

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee for the 2013 edition, LOG IN

  1. Social content strategy for crazy times: Make content more social
    Ma’ayan Plaut, Social Strategy and Projects Manager at Oberlin College

    New change to a social platform? It’s no time to rethink your social media strategy; stick to your content strategy and all will be fine. Re-center yourself with the mantra “Make content more social” — an attempt to proactively create, host, and share more social stories. In this session, Ma’ayan will show you how moving horizontally rather than vertically through your social spaces allows for more seamless and integrated social experience, with an emphasis on telling your best story, aided by the tools you have at your disposal.
  2. As easy as herding squirrels: Coordinating social media across your campus
    Tiffany Broadbent Beker, Social Media Coordinator at College of William & Mary

    How do you support and coordinate 500 social media accounts managed by hundreds of people scattered in different units across your campus? In this session, Tiffany will share College of William & Mary’s secret recipe to tackle this challenge. She will explain how a social hub and a social media users group can also help tame your school’s nuts-loving Social Media Beast.
  3. Thinking outside the box when curating social media content
    Erika Fields, Web Content Communications Director at Wellesley College

    Curating content for several social media outlets on a wide range of topics and programs can be time consuming, overwhelming and frustrating. You understand social media inside out, but do you know as much about every single program or initiative implemented at your school? In this session, Erika will share the lessons learned on her professional journey to an educated social media strategy by relying on the content experts at her school.
  4. When social media IS the crisis
    Jaime Hunt, Director of Web Strategy and Interactive Media at Radford University
    Monitoring and responding to social media is a necessary component of any crisis communication plan. But, when tempers rise, social media can become its own crisis, risking damaging your institution’s reputation. In this session, Jaime will share lessons learned from Radford University’s experience dealing with social media during an on-campus crisis.
  5. How your academic departments can use social media to connect with the right students
    Andrew Smyk, Program Coordinator at Sheridan College
    Simple communication strategies and social media tools can help maintain student enthusiasm for enrolling in your program and keeping applicants engaged through the “out of sight, out of mind” summer months. In this session, Andrew we will go over how to develop, launch and maintain a cross-channel recruitment and admissions strategy to increase enrollment and recruit highly motivated and focused students for an academic program. This is not an exercise in filling seats, but a way to get the type of student your academic departments want in their programs.
  6. Boosting social media engagement with gamification
    Bryan Fendley, Director of Academic Computing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello
    Not sure if gamification should be a part of your social mix? Take ten minutes to see why gamification works to boost social media marketing by improving engagement. In this session, Bryan will show who uses gamification in higher ed with success, what legal issues you should know before starting a gamified campaign and the tools you can use to help you get started.
  7. Optimizing images for Facebook, Twitter and beyond
    Lisa Sherrodd, Website Strategist at University of Wyoming
    A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If you work in social media, you know how true this statement is. In this session, Lisa will tell you how to make your images appear the best on social media platforms. You will learn why paying attention to optimizing graphics for social media is worth your time and leave with practical tips on sizing, image platform and using text in graphics for a professional look and feel.
  8. Instant success: Making Instagram social for your institution
    Meg Bernier, Assistant Director Social Media at St Lawrence University

    Do YOUR students love Instagram too? We used Instagram to break through and connect with our audience; in less than a year, it has become our most engaging platform for students, younger alumni and prospective students. Learn about how we’ve made the platform work for us and why our second Instagram account is becoming even more popular than the first.
  9. Get schooled: LinkedIn University pages
    Jaclyn Vetrano, Web & Social Media Coordinator at Genesee Community College

    LinkedIn has launched LinkedIn University Pages to focus on engaging students and helping them find a job after graduation through a strong alumni connection. Beyond strengthening your school’s brand, LinkedIn University allows you to capture student life through photos, videos, and galleries, as well as share news and respond to questions from prospective students. In this session, Jaclyn will help you learn how to maximize your space on LinkedIn University and offer some tips for collaboration to maximize content.
  10. Connecting colleges through Google+
    Cara Rousseau, Social Media Strategy Manager at Duke University

    Still think Google+ is a ghost town? Think again. Colleges and universities use Google+ in different ways to reach prospective students, connect faculty to media outlets and improve search engine optimization. In this session, Cara will explain how Duke has incorporated Google+ into an overall social media strategy and explain what differentiates Google+ from other social platforms.
  11. A new perspective on social media reporting
    Alaina Wiens, Web Content Strategist at University of Michigan-Flint

    Good conversations make for good interactions on social media. Good content leads to higher engagement and happier communities. So, which conversations and topics are getting traction across social platforms? What matters to your audience? In this presentation, Alaina will share steps to creating a conversation-driven social media report. With the right data, you’ll be able to identify which topics, no matter the type of post, are resulting in the most engagement.
  12. Social media, Google Analytics and SEO: Assessing social media
    Joshua Dodson, Web & SEO Analyst at EKY and Analytics Instructor at Higher Ed Experts

    How does Social play into the bigger picture of what your institution wants to achieve with its marketing and communications? Do you know what results you get from Facebook? Do you know what you want Twitter to accomplish for you? In this session, Joshua will talk about how you can use Google Analytics to examine the effects of social media and will explain social media’s connection to larger search engine optimization goals.

    Want to attend the Higher Education Social Media Conference?

    •  Nov 30, 2016
    •   11AM - 2:30PM ET
    •  Register by Oct 28, 2016
    •  Registration fee: $500 $400
    •   Only 30 seats left
    •  Rain Date: Dec 8, 2016
    Register Now

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