Karine Joly 3 Comments

candace_nelsonCandace Nelson, Senior Writer,University Relations/News at West Virginia University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 3rd Higher Ed Social Media Conference.

In this 3-question interview, Candace tells us how she manages social media, shares a surprising social media outcome and tackles the tough ROI question.

1) How do you manage your activity on social media?

Social media doesn’t follow the typical 9-5 workday we social media managers would love, so there are a number of strategies and tools that make the workload a bit easier. During the workweek, I set a few times each day to check on all activity for the three major platforms I handle (Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram) – morning, afternoon and evening. I rely heavily on Sprout Social for scheduling posts, as well as our social media ambassadors to help provide content from around campus.

2) What’s the most surprising social media outcome you’ve experienced this year? What did you learn?

One of the biggest social media surprises that West Virginia University experienced this year was the response to a new campaign. WVU hosted an “Ask WVU” Snapchat session a week before freshman were due to move to campus to help answer those last-minute questions. While we anticipated a handful of questions – especially considering the platform – we were not prepared for the hundreds of questions that flooded our WestVirginiaU Snapchat handle. While it was a welcome and exciting response, we know the next time we host a similar campaign to have more hands on deck and to block off our whole day to tend to the inquiries.

3) How do you approach the question of return on investment (ROI) when it comes to social media?

Fortunately, my social media counterpart focuses heavily on the analytics of our social media efforts, leaving me to focus on the day-to-day management and posting. Those analytics (from Facebook insights, Twitter ads, Webstagram) prove a compelling argument that more and more views to our websites are driven by social media. In addition, our social media efforts have opened a channel to communicate with more prospective students, who have noted that much of their first impressions of the university came via our social media presence. While it can sometimes be tough to link a monetary donation or specific student application to social media, it has clearly built affinity amongst our various audiences.

Higher Ed Social Media Conference

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