Some of Lehigh’s most experienced social media communicators recently shared their knowledge with an in-person audience of 50 staff and faculty, as well as others following along via the Twitterhashtag #LehighSocial.
“The idea for the panel actually came from feedback we get on surveys after our workplace learning programs,” said Human Resources Associate Linda Parks. “Employees were specifically asking to hear from people who could help them use social media in their work.”
The panel represented different areas of the university. All use social media in different ways to reach and engage their audiences. Panelists included:
- Lauren Sammak Furrer, Business Services
- Hillary Kwiatek, Human Resources [full disclosure, that’s me!]
- Jordan Reese, Communications and Public Affairs
- Kelly Federico Sather, Development
- Jennifer Tucker, Communications and Public Affairs
- Amy White, The Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship
The presentation covered eleven different social media tools, ranging from the most established like Facebook to the upstarts like the six-second video tool called Vine. Each tool was looked at in terms of the size and composition of its audience, what’s unusual or special about the tool compared to others, and how staff and faculty at Lehigh could use the tool in their work.
Real world examples of social media in action at Lehigh provided opportunities for audience members to consider what tools and techniques might work for them. Amy White showed howThe Baker Institute used Tumblr to capture the sights and sounds of a student trip to Silicon Valley. Kelly Federico Sather explained how Linked In is becoming a strong networking option for Lehigh alumni.
Jordan Reese, who manages media relations for the university, explained how he uses Twitter to reach out to journalists. Jennifer Tucker noted that through Twitter, they have connected with major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and MSNBC.
Lauren Furrer showed the way in which the bookstore is using Pinterest to draw in shoppers, posting not only information about merchandise, but also recommendations for local dining and fun examples of Lehigh’s signature brown and white.
The audience was invited to check in to the event via Foursquare, and to join in the conversation by posting to Twitter during the presentation. Tweets that included the hashtag #LehighSocial were projected onto the screen during the event, and questions that came up in the Twitter feed were then addressed in real time.
The success of the panel was encouraging. Post-session surveys from attendees indicate people would like to attend more sessions that take a closer look at a smaller number of the tools. The workplace learning team is now considering ways to build more social media learning into its program schedule.
After the event, I used another social media tool, Storify, to collect all of the Tweets, photos and videos that included #LehighSocial. You can see the Storified version of the event here.