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General, Social Media, Technology

New project: FollowEDU – searchable directory of Twitter users in #highered

Over the next two months, I’ll be developing a website called FollowEDU, a searchable directory of Twitter users in #highered. I’m in the early development stages now, but things are rolling along and the site will hopefully launch in early October. Get updates on the site’s launch by following @WhoToFollowEDU.

What can you expect from FollowEDU? It will ultimately be a way to find and list yourself in a higher education Twitter directory that will include administrators, educators, and schools.

Sign up for beta access and receive an update when FollowEDU launches »

I encourage you to share this to your community so that when we launch, the directory has a wide representation of Twitter users in higher ed.

Are there features you’d like to see in FollowEDU? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Social Media

Facebook Page Redesign: How It Impacts You

Facebook is at it again with redesigning features within Pages. New features were revealed accidentally in December, but now all Page administrators have the opportunity to tour the new features. Admins also have the ability to “upgrade” their Pages to the new design.

What changed in the new design? Here’s a quick summary:

  • Photos are now at the top of the Page in the new layout
  • Profile picture size of the Page adjusted from 200×600 to 180×540
  • Wall filters have updated
  • Notifications are available whenever a user posts or comments on a Page you administer
  • Tabs are replaced by a menu below your Page’s profile picture
  • Additional moderation features added that allow you to filter posts proactively
  • Using Facebook as a Page – admins can choose to interact with other Pages as their Page
  • Admins can comment and post to their Pages as either the Page or as their personal profile

Read about all the upgrades in Facebook’s Help section or their PDF manual. Waiting to upgrade? According to InformationWeek, all Pages will automatically be upgraded on March 10.

How does the upgrade impact your school’s Facebook Page?

The Wall

You still have the option to display posts by Everyone or just your Page’s posts. But, if you select to show posts by Everyone, Facebook’s algorithm determines the “most engaging posts” and pushes them to the top. What does that mean? It appears that more weight is given to posts by friends, posts with more interactions and comments, or posts by the Page. But, each fan of your Page may have a different experience with your wall, depending on their connections across Facebook.

Go to Edit Page -> Manage Permissions to change this option

So, if there’s a controversial post, or a thread that is getting a lot of attention, it may ‘stick’ at the top of your Wall. If you choose to show posts by Everyone, simply posting multiple items to push something down the Wall may not be effective PR anymore.

At Emerson College, we’re discussing changing the Wall to just show posts by Emerson College so that we’ll maintain the reverse-chronological listing on the Wall. We’ll still maintain a high level of customer service by checking the Everyone section and responding to questions if users post to our Page.

More information about the new option to moderate content posted on Pages is available from Facebook.

Photos at the Top

The most recent photos that you post to the Wall as an admin, or photos you tag your Page in, will display at photos at the top of your Page. I’ve also found that any photos added to Page albums will also appear in the photo strip at the top of your Page.

If you want to control this real estate on your Page, I would suggest creating an album dedicated to photos you want to appear at the top of your Page. If you post a photo to your wall and want to remove it from the top of your Page, simply hover over that photo and click the ‘x’ in the top-right corner.

Using Facebook as a Page

To switch to this option, go to the Account drop-down and select “Use Facebook as Page” and you can choose from any Page you administer.

The option to receive notifications (either by email or by switching to your Page) is a great addition for administrators that keep a careful eye on their Page interactions. You can also change those settings if you’d like. If you are using Facebook as a Page, you have the ability to:

  • Receive red on-site notifications about new people who like your Page.
  • Receive red on-site notifications and email notifications about people who comment and post on your Page.
  • View a News Feed for your Page. This News Feed will be populated with stories about your Page and stories about other Pages you like.
  • Like other Pages and comment on posts by these Pages.

So, be careful when switching back and forth between using Facebook as you, or Facebook as a Page. Just to note, if you would like to post or comment on your Page as yourself and not the Page, you can change that setting in Edit Page -> Your Settings

Feedback

How are you adjusting to the new Facebook Page design? I’d love to hear your feedback and lessons you’ve learned after using the new design for your school.

This post was originally written for .eduGuru.

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Social Media

Social Media Policy Resource Guide for Higher Ed

When developing a social media policy, it is important to remember the nature of “social media” as a web platform. By creating an official presence for your college or university on a social media platform, you are immediately opening a dialogue with your audience. With every post you make, you’re engaging in a conversation that may have different rules and regulations than your existing communications policy.

One of the best ways to begin is to look at a wide range of policies developed by other schools. Here are some examples of social media policies from higher ed institutions:

Some of the most common key messages in these social media policies are:

  • Authenticity and transparency
  • Protecting confidential information
  • Respecting copyrights
  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Respecting your audience
  • Obeying terms of service on specific platforms

For information on responding to negative comments or posts from your audience:

If your plan is to cover blogging in your policy document, here are some resources:

You don’t have to start from scratch, either. Check out the PolicyTool for Social Media, “a policy generator that simplifies the process of creating guidelines that respect the rights of your employees while protecting your brand online.”

Remember, your social media policy document doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Coca-cola had a very simple approach to their social media policy. They listed 10 Key Principles for Online Spokespeople and supported it with a 3-page document. Adam Brown, Head Of Social Media at Coca-Cola, explains in the video below.

And finally, make sure that you’re well-prepared for an official social media presence. Robin Smail put together a great, simple presentation called 10 Signs You Shouldn’t Be Doing Social Media. It’s up-front and honest about the key traits you’ll need to have, like social skills, humor, and openness.

Do you have a social media policy document at your college or university? What’s working well for you? Please share your examples in the comments.

Photo credit: webtreats

This article was originally written for .eduGuru.

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