12-session On-Demand


The conference recordings are now available!
If you’re already registered, log in to access them on this page!

What will help you “win” social media for higher ed in 2018?

  • Are you in charge of social media at your school?
  • Do you spend more time on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and/or Twitter 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?
  • Are spending more and more of your time crafting Stories for Instagram or Snapchat?
  • Are you using social videos or paid social more and more?

This conference, now available on-demand, was designed for you: it is all about social media in higher ed, only about social media in higher ed and includes 12 sessions of 10 minutes each.

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

The next edition will take place on November 28, 2018. The call for proposals will open in September 2018.

Want to watch the #HESM17 Conference sessions?

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

If you didn’t attend the conference live, buy a $400 on-demand 12-month pass now and get unlimited access to the:

  • 12 session recordings
  • handouts (PDF)
  • Audio recording of the general Q&A Session

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Register Now
  •  On-Demand
  •  Registration fee: $500 $400


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2017 Higher Ed Social Media Conference Program

2017 Higher Ed Social Media Conference

This online conference, now available on-demand, offers 12 focused sessions of 10 minutes each and a general session Q&A at the end.

Building & Executing a Collaborative, Themed Social Media Content Calendar
Dr. Corie Martin, Web Services & Digital Marketing Director – Western Kentucky University

Thanks to the algorithmic feeds on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, social media reach is now a direct function of engagement. So, coordination and collaboration across units are keys to get social media content widely distributed. By creating a “Marketing Super Users Group,” WKU successfully created and executed a collaborative communication flow using web-based tools (Google Calendar, Dropbox) to disseminate news over institutional social media and blog networks. In this session, Dr Corie Martin will outline how you can implement a similar collaborative, themed content strategy on your campus by using the networks you have and empowering your campus influencers.

Tips and Tools for Measuring the Impact of Social Media on Giving Day Campaigns
Holly Sherburne, Director of Digital and Social Media – Bowdoin College

Social media is an integral part of most “giving day” campaigns, but does it really have an impact? Does engagement lead to more gifts (or even better, new gifts), or are you preaching to the choir? Do calls-to-action by social media ambassadors help? Which social networks are the most effective and who is using them? In this session, Holly Sherburne will share tips and tools to collect data. You will also find out how her team collaborated with the Office of Annual Giving to evaluate the impact of social media on their #BowdoinOneDay campaign.

Making data-driven decisions on your visual social media content
Jessica Stutt, Integrated Marketing Manager – University of New Brunswick (Canada)

Visual content is crucial on social media, right? As platforms continue to evolve with a strong bias towards images and videos, how do you select your visual content? Do you design it to reflect your other marketing assets? Do you use high a quality, professional photo? Do you try to do something more organic? In this session, Jessica Stutt will show how you can answer these questions with data. By looking at real examples and results, you’ll get some easy and actionable insights into how to optimize your own visual content.

Lessons learned on advertising with Instagram Stories, Instagram and Facebook Ads
Rebecca Stapley, Assistant Director, Multimedia & PR – Nazareth College

Now that advertising is a new reality on social media, exploring and optimizing options are necessary to the success of any campaign. In this session, Rebecca Stapley will share her journey with Instagram stories as paid ads, a new component added to the advertising mix for Nazareth College’s Open House this summer. You’ll learn how to place your ads and optimize your visuals from the experience and results of this success Instagram Story 😉

Social media lessons learned when a student passes away and no one is to blame
AJ Lopez III, Social Media Coordinator – Midwestern State University

A student death is a tragedy you wish you will never have to deal with on social media. Yet, when the tragedy strikes, you can’t escape. In September 2017, a player on the Midwestern State University football team was taken to the hospital after an accident on the field a minute before the end of the home game. In this session, AJ Lopez III will explain how social media played a key role to help the campus community rally behind the student and later his family when he passed away a few days after the accident. You’ll learn first hand what to expect when your campus is grieving, steps to use your social media presence to keep everybody informed, and how to prepare yourself for the stress.

How to make your social media team SMERT to deal with campus & weather emergencies
Holly Hill, Director of Web and New Media Services – Flagler College

What difference can 11 months and a strategic approach to social media emergency response make when your campus is hit by Hurricanes Matthew and Irma? A lot. After becoming the de-facto emergency call center for their school in 2016, the social media team at Flagler College knew there was a better way to communicate in times of crisis. In this session, Holly Hill will explain how the SMERT – the Social Media Emergency Response Team – was created in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and put to the test by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Starting From Scratch: How to recover when Facebook shuts down your school account
Angi Roberts, Information Services Manager – University of Guelph (Canada)

The main presence on Facebook of UofG Admissions Office, the beloved Mascot account, ceased to exist at 4:24pm on a Friday afternoon in January 2017. Facebook had shut down the account at the beginning of the most important season in the admissions cycle. In this session, Angi Roberts will explain how her office started from scratch on Facebook. She’ll share lessons learned the tough way and will show recovery, regrowth and renewed engagement are indeed possible on Facebook.

Social media for good, fun and outreach: the case of Aisha’s Letter
Andrew Twist, Digital Content Producer – The University of Sheffield (UK)

In January 2017, Aisha sent a letter to Professor Tim Birkhead at the University of Sheffield to ask a few questions for a Science competition at her primary school. Professor Tim was keen to help, but Aisha had forgotten to include her contact information, so he couldn’t reply. In this session, Andrew Twist will tell you how his team devise the social media campaign that helped find Aisha and told the story of her campus visit. You’ll learn how the University of Sheffield used Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram to write a beautiful post scriptum to Aisha’s letter.

Instagram or Snapchat Stories: The Quick (and Easy) Guide
Erin Supinka, Assistant Director of Digital Engagement – Dartmouth College

Whether you’re Team Snapchat or Team Instagram, it’s now impossible to ignore the story format. Camera roll uploads, analytics available past 24 hours, and easy engagement with Instagram Stories changed the game of expiring content. From creating a story on the go to translating existing content into Instagram-friendly nuggets, the key to a successful story is a solid tool kit and workflow. In this session, Erin Supinka will share favorite tools, quick tips, and insights to measuring success you can use for your own Instagram or Snapchat Stories.

InstaNews: Integrating Top-Level Research into Instagram Stories
Jacob Schupbach, Social Media Specialist – University at Buffalo

Who said Instagram was just for beautiful sunsets on campus? The University at Buffalo has started to use it to share news about its top-level research. Inspired by Snapchat’s Discover feeds, UB’s ‘InstaNews’ features a weekly look at research, events and other happenings on campus, and has driven impressive traffic to news stories on the website. In this session, Jacob Schupbach will share his recipe for selecting the right content. You’ll also learn all you need to know to try to replicate this Instagram Success Story: challenges, key learnings and strategic approach.

Snap Back to (Virtual) Reality: Producing Engaging 360° Social Media Content
Dominique Benjamin, Communications Coordinator – Texas A&M University

Virtual reality is still new territory for video creators trying to get it right. This year, Texas A&M brought VR to the national stage at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 and to audiences on social media. In this session, Dominique Benjamin will explain how this forced the team to think outside the “box” and inside the “sphere.” You’ll also hear the case for immersive 360° storytelling on Facebook and YouTube.

Saving Social for (in?) Higher Education
Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media – University of Michigan

Social media has not only altered how we communicate personally, it has reshaped the information we consume and distorted our emotional responses. Many brands – and some schools – have made the choice to embrace sarcasm and savage or shallow online engagement. In this session, Nikki Sunstrum will explain how the University of Michigan has chosen to stay true (and blue!) to its mission. You’ll learn more about Sunstrum’s proactive approach to digital conversations. You’ll get inspired by her call to higher ed social media professionals to go beyond memes and help save social.

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Higher Education Social Media Conference Faculty

Dr. Corie Martin, Dr. Corie Martin, Director, Web Services & Digital Marketing- University

Dr. Corie Martin is the Director of Web Services and Digital Marketing for the Western Kentucky University Division of Public Affairs.

Her office oversees the WKU.edu website, major marketing initiatives, and WKU’s award-winning social and interactive media programs. Corie teaches social media marketing for the WKU Marketing Department and the MBA Program for the Gordon Ford College of Business.

She has presented her work nationwide as a respected voice in the higher education web and social media community. Her work has been featured in The Journal of Higher Ed Web Professionals, University Business Magazine, and Forbes.com.

Dr. Martin holds a doctorate in Postsecondary Educational Leadership.

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Holly Sherburne, Director of Digital and Social Media – Bowdoin College

Holly originally joined Bowdoin in 2004 as the first college webmaster. She left in 2006 to start her own business, returning again in 2010 to formalize and grow the social media program. Now the director of digital and social media, Holly and her team work with departments and programs college-wide to facilitate the integration and adoption of digital media and technology to achieve a more connected, engaged, and informed Bowdoin community. Goal-setting, strategy, and analytics are a daily part of the job as is training and education. At the end of the day, it’s about people, not technology!

Holly gets the most satisfaction out of helping people look at information in new ways, asking questions, and finding unexpected insights to drive change. She received her master’s degree in Environmental Health Science from Oregon State University and is an alumna of Higher Ed Experts Social Media Measurement and Web Analytics courses and has earned her Google Analytics Qualification. She is a member of the Digital Analytics Association, American Marketing Association, and CASE.

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Jessica Stutt, Integrated Marketing Manager - UNB

Jessica Stutt is the Integrated Marketing Manager at the University of New Brunswick. She is an experienced marketing professional with a background in marketing analytics and measurement. She has significant experience in collecting and analyzing data from a variety of marketing sources and converting raw data into meaningful, comprehensive reports.

Before joining the Marketing Office at the University of New Brunswick, Jessica worked in marketing at Salesforce Radian6, a social media monitoring platform. Jessica holds a BA and MBA from the UNB as well as a Master of Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University.

She is a faculty member at Higher Ed Experts and teaches social media and digital analytics. She is also a graduate of Higher Ed Experts’ Social Media Measurement and Advanced Web Analytics professional certificate programs

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Rebbeca Stapley, Assitant Director, Multimedia & PR - Nazareth College

Rebecca Stapley is a passionately curious marketing and higher education professional with over 7 years of experience in enrollment and creative strategy, collaboration and communicating brand values across multiple platforms.

She currently leads social media strategy and manage the Nazareth College social media team. This group of 13 hand-selected brand ambassadors creates authentic, creative, digital content focused on the student experience to tell the Nazareth College story.

Rebecca is also a graduate of Higher Ed Experts’ professional certificate program in social media marketing for higher ed.

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AJ Lopez III, Social Media Coordinator - Midwestern State University

For almost three years, A J Lopez III has run the social media at Midwestern State University to create a unified voice across the campus social. Lopez uses his photography skills to show what campus life is like at MSU. . .

He continues to learn new ways to tell the university’s story through newer technologies like 360 photos, drone imagery and virtual reality.

Lopez is a published photographer and writer with more than 12 years of experience behind a camera. He is also an advocate for the daily inclusion of emojis and gifs into everyday conversation.

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Holly Hill, Director of Web and New Media Services - Flagler College

Holly joined the Offices of Marketing and Communication in 2014 as Director of Web and New Media Services. In her capacity as director, she oversees Flagler’s digital media presence whether it is the website or the College’s official social media channels. She has an MBA in e-business strategy and is an adjunct professor teaching social media for strategic communication and digital media for strategic communication to undergraduate students.

She nerds out on studying audience interaction with digital mediums and believes that success happens when we start listening to our audience to improve brand reputation.

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Angi Roberts, Information Services Manager, University of Guelph

Angi Roberts has worked in higher ed admission and recruitment for 20 years. Currently, as Information Services Manager at the University of Guelph she is responsible for all print and digital communication and marketing for admission and student recruitment.

Angi is also a graduate of Higher Ed Experts’ professional certificate program on social media marketing for higher ed.

In her free time she will paint, write, or make a pie. She sleeps with her phone.

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Andrew Twist, Digital Content Producer - The University of Sheffield (UK)

Andrew Twist is a Digital Content Producer at the University of Sheffield, responsible for the central social media channels and other digital communications projects.

Andrew joined the University’s Department of Corporate Communications two years after graduating from Sheffield with a BA in Journalism Studies and has also worked for PR agencies across Manchester and South Yorkshire.

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Erin Supinka, Assistant Director of Digital Engagement - Dartmouth College

Erin is the assistant director of digital engagement at Dartmouth College where she leads the institution’s social media strategy.

She loves using data to figure out the best ways to connect and engage with her audiences. Erin is a graduate of Higher Ed Experts’ professional 4-week online certificate in social media measurement for higher ed.

She currently lives in New Hampshire with her fiancé, dogs, and bearded dragon. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @erinsupinka.

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Jacob Schupbach, Social Media Specialist - University at Buffalo

Jacob Schupbach is the University at Buffalo’s Social Media Specialist. After graduating from the university himself in May of 2017, Jacob joined UB’s digital marketing team to curate and manage UB’s top-level institutional social media channels.

Prior to joining UB’s team, Jacob worked in the entertainment industry adding to the social footprints of both HBO and Hulu. With his background in entertainment, Jacob believes strong social media is heavily rooted in raw, authentic and creative storytelling.

Since joining UB’s team, Jacob has launched a set of branded Snapchat stickers, developed UB’s ‘InstaNews’ and strategically implemented the social media management tool Sprinklr.

When he’s not sending snaps to friends, Jacob enjoys binge watching Gossip Girl, going on odd adventures in the city of Buffalo and, of course, loves eating Doritos and donuts.

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Dominique Benjamin, Communications Coordinator - Texas A&M University

Dominique is responsible for social media strategy for Texas A&M’s “Aggiebound” persona, which represents the Office of Admissions across print and digital channels.

Prior to his current role, he managed university-level social media accounts at Duke University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and Africana studies from the University of South Florida and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in technology and communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dominique is passionate about three things most of all: New media, storytelling and bowties.

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Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media - University of Michigan

Nikki Sunstrum is the Director of Social Media for the University of Michigan, where she is responsible for innovating the way in which one of the world’s top Universities strategically leverages and advances interactive communications.

Her duties include the coordination of a unified presence; standards implementation, consultation and training. Each aimed at ensuring all accounts provide additional value to University stakeholders. She is a recognized leader in the development and evaluation of emerging social platforms for high performance and goal orientated results.

Prior to assuming her current role Nikki developed and coordinated the State of Michigan’s statewide social media footprint for four years.

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Should I get the Higher Education Social Media Conference on-demand?

This on-demand conference is recommended for teams including:

What is included in my Conference access fee?

The access fee covers 1-year licensing and includes the following:

  1. A 1-year unlimited access to the recordings of all the 2017 presentations and the Q&A session – on-demand through links that we will provide to you.
  2. All session materials (slides handouts in PDF)

2016 Higher Ed Social Media Conference Recordings

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee, LOG IN! to access the 2016 recordings

What prospective students REALLY want to talk about on social media
Dr. Corie Martin, Director, Web Services & Digital Marketing – Western Kentucky University

Is your institution doing all it can to strategically reach prospective students during the yield period? Do you use the right media and messaging? In 2015, Dr. Corie Martin completed a research study on admissions and marketing recruitment outreach activities. She observed thousands of student interactions within university social media communities. In this session, she will share the results of this academic research. You’ll learn what was really important to students according to this study and how your team can prepare for the next generation of prospective students.

Creating A Commencement Experience That Resonates Using Social Media
Chris Barrows, Social Media and Mobile Products Coordinator – New York University

It’s challenging to create a sense of community on a non-traditional campus. At New York University, the Digital Communications Group launched #CongratagradNYU to build a stronger, more engaged digital and global community during commencement season. In this case study, Chris Barrows will explain how this social media campaign offers an immersive and interactive commencement experience for all students, faculty, family, and friends, regardless of their location. You’ll also find out more about the critical components of this campaign you can borrow to create similar momentum at your school.

10 Tips for Your 24 Hour Giving Challenge
Michelle Tarby, Director of Interactive Content Strategy – Le Moyne College

Have you already run a 24-hour social media giving challenge at your school? These fun fundraising campaigns have become really popular at large institutions. In this session, Michelle Tarby will tell you how Le Moyne College successfully ran its first 24 hour giving challenge with a small budget, a tiny team and much fear of what the day could bring. You’ll also walk away with 10 practical tips to run your own 24-hour giving challenge at your school.

Breaking down silos: 5 reasons to collaborate with social media
Jes Scott, Social Media Coordinator – University of Victoria

Feeling pressure from your dean or manager to do more with social media? Don’t fall into the trap of creating new accounts! It’s hard to get people to pay attention online, especially when you start from scratch. In this session, Jes Scott will discuss five short case studies where UVic departments identified their goals and decided to work together instead of going solo on social media. She will also share tips to help you tame the urge to create more accounts at your school.

Snapping Together – Managing an Institutional Wide Snapchat Account
Tyler Thomas, Social Media & Content Manager – University of Nebraska

Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms for engaging with college students. But like any social platform it has its complexities and unique uses. In this case study, Tyler will explain why the University of Nebraska decided to create and manage just ONE account campus wide. You’ll learn how this Big Ten University rallied its large community around this single snapchat account – and how you can do it at your school no matter its size.

From 0 to 1000 in 24: Launching a Snapchat Account IRL
Meg Keniston, Associate Director of Marketing – St. Lawrence University

You’ve done your research, developed your strategy, claimed your handle, and are ready to launch a new social media account! What now? In this session, Meg Keniston will explain how St. Lawrence University drummed up tremendous excitement on and off campus the day they launched the University’s Snapchat account – and earned more than 1,000 followers within 24 hours.

When social networks compete, strategy wins
Jessica Leontarakis, Social Media Specialist – Princeton University

During the summer of 2016, Princeton Social Media planned a week-long Snapchat campaign to give incoming students a glimpse of their new home. Two days into the campaign Instagram launched its Snapchat competitor, Instagram Stories. In this session, Jessica Leontarakis will talk about the challenges and opportunities Instagram Stories presented and how initial experiments with the platform helped reshape Princeton University’s social media strategy for the 2016-2017 academic year.

One Instagram Account to Rule Them All
Andrea Limas, Social Media Strategist – University of San Francisco

Instagram is still full of possibilities for higher education. Whether you want to reach prospective students, current students, alumni or parents, it’s possible to reach them all through one Instagram account. In this case study, Andrea Limas will explain how USFCA use Instagram’s new Stories feature, an editorial calendar featuring campus-wide publishing themes, advanced analytics for business, audience driven hashtag campaigns, and strategically placed user generated content to provide a 360’ view of its community. You will also find out how you can integrate Instagram with your website, eNewsletters, digital signage, and even Snapchat.

An Easy Way (Really!) To Create Videos to Aid Your Social Media Efforts
Robert Bochnak, Director of Social Media – Harvard Business School Office of Alumni Relations

Videos are difficult to create, time-consuming, and expensive. But, social media videos don’t have to be that way. In this session, Robert Bochnak will explain how he used PowerPoint, user-generated alumni content, and royalty-free music to create a series of simple videos viewed more than 16,000 times on Instagram and Facebook over the past year. You’ll learn how he created these videos and how they have evolved over time.

Social? Camera? Action! 10 lessons learned for Facebook Live & Periscope
Tiffany Broadbent Beker, Web Developer & Social Media Coordinator – William & Mary

Looking for new and interesting ways to showcase your great campus, faculty, staff, and students? Facebook Live and Periscope can help. Live social video offers a way to interact with your entire community – in real time – on popular existing platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In this session, Tiffany Broadbent Beker will explore William & Mary’s forays into Facebook Live and Periscope from faculty expert interviews to campus tours. She will also share 10 lessons learned for live social video.

Reaching Your Audience at a Small(er) Institution
Abby Meyer, Social Media Specialist – University of Nebraska Medical Center

At a big university, quality social content can go a long way organically. But, it’s another story when you don’t have a huge student population. For smaller schools, sometimes organic reach isn’t strong enough to see the results you want. In this session, Abby Meyer will show you how boosted content and paid ads helped UNMC exceed reach and engagement expectations on Facebook while accomplishing a high return on investment. You will also learn the importance of accurately targeting your audience for this paid content – something that was so crucial to UNMC’s success.

Beyond Likes & Followers: 5 Metrics That Matter
Dr. Liz Gross, Social Media Measurement Instructor – Higher Ed Experts

We don’t lack social data, but many of us are stuck with what to do with the masses of data we have. In this session, Dr. Liz Gross will review 5 metrics that can help you assess the effectiveness of your social media efforts, refine your content and publishing strategy, and measure engagement. You’ll learn where to find all of these metrics available for free in popular social platforms and third-party software – but often hidden.

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

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  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.

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    Want to watch the Higher Education Social Media Conference?


Still have questions? Contact Karine Joly at karine@higheredexperts.com

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