I have studied social media on two fronts: education and marketing. While I have more experience from the educational side, I have found myself studying the marketing aspect as a side interest and secretly (well, not so secretly anymore) find myself REALLY wanting to manage a social media presence for a company.
As a teacher, I have a Facebook page for students. Students were asked to like the page for announcements and extra resources for the course. In order to ensure that students with Internet access were not give an unfair advantage over students without Internet, I decided to limit the kinds of materials I posted. Overall, the page had minimal success. Few students liked the page and I lost interest as a result. Based upon my conversations with students, many were hesitant to like the page because they wanted to keep their private Facebook accounts separate from school. I have had MUCH greater success using Remind for class announcements and continue to use this system extensively. You can find A LOT more information in my action research project from last semester.
When it comes to the marketing perspective, I have far less experience, but much more formal knowledge about the topic. Last summer, I read Inbound Marketing and Likable - two great books for anyone interested in social media marketing. Like the readings from this course suggest, engaging in social media marketing requires a great commitment in time and resources from the company and should not be started without proper preparation. Companies need to establish clear goals and procedures for engaging with the public and and overall strategy should be generated before any accounts are used extensively. The books also clearly emphasized that high quality posts were crucial to the success of a social media strategy. Publishing content that people want to read seems like a no-brainer, but it seems to distinguish the companies that effectively use social media and those who do not. It is my hope that as I continue with my graduate coursework, I will learn the extra pieces necessary to effectively manage social media accounts and will find an opportunity to apply it.
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.