Monthly Archives: April 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

Time for some shameless self promotion: Boston College Pinterest was recently tagged by Boston Inno as one of two schools in Boston “doing Pinterest right.”

Here’s Lauren Landry’s article “Beyond Boston College & Babson, The City’s Schools are Basically Mute on Pinterest”

Praise and a BC puppy photo – doesn’t get much better than that!

The “new” social media channels

The two newest social media pilot projects at Boston College are Pinterest and Google+. These channels will be the topics up for discussion at the Student Affairs social media roundtable on Friday, April 13.

HubSpot just came out with a new eBook, Battle of the New Social Networks, (download the free PDF here). In framing the discussion, HubSpot states: “Last Monday, Google+ reached 100 million active users while Pinterest was rated the third most-visited social network in the U.S. For marketers, these networks can’t be ignored.”

Pin This: US News just published a story about the growth of Pinterest at colleges and universities and the struggle to justify the resources to yet another social media channel. The article states: “For schools looking to promote admissions, people between the ages of 25 and 34—which would traditionally be alumni—make up nearly 30 percent of Pinterest’s overall users, according to comScore; users between the ages of 18 and 24 make up about 17 percent, and users between 12 and 17 years old make up about 4 percent.” US News then focuses on Drake University, and the great work they are doing with this medium. It is one of the schools we follow closely. Click here to see their page.

Taking a step back, one of the best articles we’ve found that both explains and educates about Pinterest basics is here: “The Ultimate List of Pinterest Tips” from BloggingWithAmy. In this article, Amy Lynn Andrews provides a great Pinterest primer, points to the official Pinterest guidelines and shared some of her own Pinterest pet peeves. All are important, not only to figure out how to administer a successful page, but also to find out what annoys people.

Amy’s blog post also dives into the issue of copyright surrounding this medium. (And here is the article by Joel Garcia that is credited with bringing the whole issue to the forefront) While great for driving traffic to blogs or a website, there are very real concerns about ownership of digital materials. (Here’s an article by Dave Copeland at ReadWriteWeb that explains how Pinterest is getting around the copyright laws.) We won’t pretend to know all the legalese, but at this juncture, we’ve decided to continue on the site, while closely monitoring the issues. (For more about BC Pinterest, read our earlier post here.)

Waiting for Google+: We’ve written a little bit already on Google+ here. To be honest, in the last two months, not much has changed. Our numbers continue to grow modestly, but truth be told, we’re experiencing far greater success on our other channels. This will be one area that we will review around the one-year mark and determine if it makes sense to continue on this channel.

According to the HubSpot, we’re not alone. After citing that general confusion of the medium among users continues to plague Google+, HubSpot states “users spent an average of just 3.3 minutes on Google+ (compared to nearly 8 hours on Facebook and nearly 100 minutes on Pinterest.) Do then, marketers want to spend time on a social network their audiences aren’t using?”

For Boston College’s purposes, we are encouraged that one of the two of the biggest user groups on Google+ are college students (the other is software developers.) It is also interesting the majority of users are male at 63%, compared to Pinterest’s 83% female audience, according to HubSpot. It simply remains to be seen if we can make this a dynamic space.

What has been your experience on Google+ and Pinterest?

It’s Official – Social Media Council @ Boston College

It’s official! The first meeting of the Boston College Social Media Council was held March 29.

The introductory meeting brought together ten departments and divisions from across campus to introduce themselves to colleagues, share challenges and explain how their social media efforts are being administered. With hopes to expand the Council to include members of the academic side of the University in the very near future, this core group oversees Boston College’s largest social media channels.

Among the many challenges voiced, one issue that seemed to achieve consensus across the board: limited time and resources. Many departments are interested in maintaining meaningful social media channels, but feel overwhelmed that this must be done in addition to other work.

In upcoming meetings, the group will focus on setting University social media guidelines, establish a social media directory, provide cross-departmental support on social media campaigns and hear from experts in the field to improve all of our social media offerings.

For the next meeting, each member agreed to do some “homework” – a one-page fact sheet, outlining the channels that they maintain (Twitter handles, Facebook aliases, Blog URLs, etc.) and share any existing guidelines that help current page administrators. That information will be distributed prior to the meeting electronically. The agenda is still being finalized, but the next SMC meeting will be held Wednesday, May 2 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Lynch Center/Fulton 513.

Social Media and Student Athletes

This article from the New York Times was especially timely, given a discussion that recently came up during our first Social Media Council session.

The article asks some questions that many colleges and universities are facing when it comes to the Twitter feeds of their athletes: “Where should the line be drawn? Can colleges monitor athletes without being invasive? And is it legal for a university to require that a student make his private information available?”

The article reads: “The debate on college campuses mirrors the larger conversation throughout the country over how much access to personal online activities private individuals can be compelled to give to employers. University administrators face a tricky situation when it comes to their players’ activity on social media, balancing issues of privacy while trying to guard against the possibility that an errant posting on Twitter or Facebook could result in trouble for an athlete or the athletic department.”

How does your department deal with student accounts? Should colleges and universities monitor the Twitter accounts of their athletes? Should it go beyond athletes?