Social Media Strategist
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Blog

Social Media marketing, strategy and professional development blog for Jon-Stephen Stansel, a social media strategist living in Austin, Texas.

Posts tagged highedweb
Comments Deleted: Social Media Commenting Policy

Even when facing extreme criticism, blocking users and deleting comments is seldom a good idea. More often than not, it’s counter-productive. Criticism is par for the course when it comes to social media, but there are some cases such as spam and abuse where deletion and blocking are important tools to a social media manager. It is still to be decided what limitations public institutions have when blocking followers on social media accounts and the debate will probably continue for some time.

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Connect and Create with Andrew Cassel

When he’s not working behind the scenes for local theatre productions, sampling craft beers, or making GIFs, Andrew Cassel is the social media content strategist behind the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s intensely engaging social media accounts. He approaches his work with an unparalleled enthusiasm that is absolutely contagious. I recently asked him about how he manages his day-to-day work in the world of higher ed social media.

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The GIF That Keeps on Giving

GIFs are the lingua franca of Twitter. They can express complex ideas and emotions that can’t fit into a Tweet, create humor and levity, or add a personal touch to a reply. In higher education, we use them constantly to congratulate students when they’ve just been accepted, share the excitement of the school year starting, or wish students luck on final exams.

However, GIFs are not without their problems.

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The Anatomy of a Terrible Social Media post

As a social media manager working in higher education, I get the same request almost everyday. “Will you put this flyer on the university Facebook page?” Unless the request comes from the president’s suite, the answer is always no. Using promotional materials designed for print in the digital space is just a terrible idea. In addition, these flyers, often made in PowerPoint or Microsoft Publisher, are poorly designed to begin with. If putting up flyers around campus isn’t getting students to your events, putting the same flyers on social media isn’t going to help either. The problem is your content, not the medium.

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Snark Isn't A Strategy

You’ve seen the Tweets. You’ve read the blog posts. “You’ll Never Believe What Wendy’s Said on Twitter!” “MoonPies Shuts Down Troll in Savage Twitter Post!” Brands are going snarky on social, posting snappy and sarcastic replies to their critics on social media and attracting some major attention. And as much as I love to see trolls get smacked down, it is time for this trend to stop. This strategy might get attention in the short-term, but as a long-term social media strategy it’s risky and most-likely counterproductive. Here’s why.

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"Good Enough for Social Media" Isn't Good Enough

I’ve heard it said a thousand times. “It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for social.”

This is often said when reviewing sub-par content that has no other place to go. Or maybe it’s said after taking an out of focus photo on the fly at an event before Tweeting it out to thousands of uninterested followers. The sad fact is a lot of people think that there is a low bar for content posted to social media. However, this is far from the truth as social media has matured and the quality of content from brands and media outlets has increased rapidly and dramatically. Blurry cell phone photos and shaky videos no longer cut it.

Social media is the voice of your brand, so why would you settle for anything less than excellent?

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Keeping a Social Media Ace Up Your Sleeve

As much as we try to plan ahead, anything can happen in social media and social media managers need to be ready to post at a moment’s notice. This can range from breaking news, a crisis situation, or a trending hashtag you want to make the most of. In these situations, crafting quality images to accompany the post may not always be easy. It takes skill and preparation to be able to act upon the unexpected. Here are few ways you can keep an ace up your sleeve and be ready with social media ready images whenever the need strikes.

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Farewell YikYak: The Devil You Know

I first heard about YikYak from the very social media saavy university police department when I was working at the University of Central Arkansas. Since then, it became a part of my daily tasks to check into YikYak for possible threats and other issues that might occur on campus. I cringed every time I opened it, knowing that I was about to read some pretty vile stuff. So when I heard last week that the anonymous location based social network so popular on college campuses was going away for good, I was surprised to find myself a bit sad to see it go. Despite all that was horrible about it, it did have its advantages.

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Instagram Stories Deserve Their Own Content.

When Instagram released their “Stories” feature there was quite an uproar of thievery followed by a sigh of praise. Yes, Instagram totally ripped off Snapchat, but they also made it their own and made it better.

For social media marketers, it can be frustrating when a new feature like this is released. It’s another thing you have to create content for in order to stay competitive. You can hardly blame social media marketers when they simply choose to import their Snapchat story over to Instagram and have two identical stories in two different social networks. After all, a lot of your Instagram audience doesn’t follow you on Snapchat. Right?

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Stop Using Acronyms and Jargon and Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Confession: I work closely to help market campus programs, but when asked what the acronyms that make up their names stand for, I couldn’t tell you. In addition, higher ed is filled with terms jargon that baffle me…and I have Master’s in English.

And I am a high ed lifer. I’m committed to the field. I haven’t just drunk the Kool-aid of higher ed, I’ve chugged it. So believe me when I tell you that in higher ed, we have a problem with unnecessary acronyms and jargon. Okay, I don’t want to call anyone out specifically. So here are some examples I’ve made up. But, trust me. They aren’t that far off from ones I’ve actually seen.

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