This week, I had a chance to join colleagues Dr. Melanie Harrison (NOAA in California), Sara Xayarath Hernandez (Director of Diversity Programs for the College of Engineering at Cornell University, and winner of a US Presidential Award for Mentoring), and Dr. Ashanti Johnson (Executive Director for the Institute for Broadening Participation in Maine) to present a session on social media at the Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN) Conference in Atlanta. Thank you IBP for the invitation to present, and thank you to Chris Cash and Liv Dietrick for taking care of all of the details for the panel. This session supplements IBP’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (How to Use Social Media to Advance Science Programs), and an IBP white paper on social media (Using Social Media to Build Diversity in your REU) which includes my contributions from best practices with the PROMISE AGEP.
My 10 points for the WEPAN 2013 Social Media Panel were as follows:
- What is the purpose of your website (For PROMISE AGEP: Original articles, blog posts, job leads)
- How do you want to use your website ( For PROMISE AGEP: Announcements, sharing successes, knowledge transfer)
- Have dynamic content on your front page (For PROMISE AGEP, we use a wordpress.com template)
- Use campus intranet for free hosting, internal controls, and campus visibility
- Facebook can provide more personal interactions among stakeholders
- Twitter can provide international coverage, mobile access, up-to-the minute updates, and connections
- Who is your audience for LinkedIn (Our primary LinkedIn users are: alumni, faculty, staff, and others outside of campus and the state.
- Blogging: Determine which platform works best for your organization (We also discussed managing content, RSS feeds, and scheduling posts.)
- Keep an eye on search engines and metadata
- Look at your statistics, pay attention to your reach (We have phased out some platforms, and boosted frequency of activity on others after seeing that one of our PROMISE AGEP sites had a 272% increase from May 2012 to June 2013.
Social Media and PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)
* Find events for grad students at UMBC, UMB, and UMCP through PROMISE:
FOLLOW on Twitter, @PROMISE_AGEP: http://www.twitter.com/PROMISE_AGEP
LIKE on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PROMISEagep