Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Concepts, Lifecasting, Social Media, Strategy | Posted on 12-05-2008
There’s been a lot of talk lately about social media strategy in higher education and more specifically, a strategy/action plan. I’ve bounced back and forth on this topic quite a bit. I can see value in having a ‘social media plan’, but I know that most plans would be outdated before most schools even get started on it. Colleagues across the states are short on resources to handle the emerging market and budgets are being cut at many schools, which is creating an interesting situation.
After chatting with several colleagues and administrators this week, I am seeing more and more that there is indeed a need for a plan, a roadmap, of where to go with social media at the 30,000 ft. level campus-wide, as well as how to integrate efforts.
I mentioned on Rachel’s recent post that I have never operated under a defined social media strategy. I have strategy and goals in my mind, I have papers pinned to my board outlining projects I want to do each 4-6 months, but I have never taken the time to put much on paper. But as more and more sites come up, as opportunities to engage and create community and conversation arise, and more importantly, when a job like mine will not be enough to handle all social media communication, there will need to be a strategy in place.
2009 is going to be a very exciting year as the realm of social media continues to develop and mature. If your institution hasn’t jumped on board yet, it’s probably a good idea to start coming up with a strategy before the decade ends. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive, it doesn’t have to detail every single action step, but it does need to start integrating efforts.
On the other hand, having a strategy in place might be good to keep projects on the radar. When I pitched Lifecasters in June 2007 I was told “let’s try bloggers first and go from there.” Now, 1.5 years later, I’m still ‘in beta’ and hoping for buy-in before August 2009, over 2 years after the concept was pitched. I can think of a few other projects on the table that might have benefited from a timeline that was put on paper and agreed upon.
What do you think? Are your schools still dabbling or are you ready to do some serious integrated stuff?