Social Media Consortium vs. Manager at Drexel University

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joseph Master, Assistant Vice President, Marketing & Digital Strategy at Drexel University, joins the podcast to discuss the pros and cons of a shared services approach to social media management and why social media manager is the most misunderstood role in higher ed marcom.

I think, Mr Alson, that social mediamanager may very well be the most misunderstood under resource reductive,entirely misnamed, tactically, mismanaged title and Higher Ed Marcom, you're, listening to enrolment growth,university from helic education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to enrolment growthuniversity, a proud member of the connect e Du podcast network, I'm EricWilson with helic education and we're here today with Joseph Master Assistant,Vice President of marketing and digital strategy at Drexel University. JoeWelcome to the show. Thank you very...

...much for having me are really excitedAtakah today about the pros and cons. They share its services approach tosocial media, but before we dig in, can you get the listeners a littlebackground on both Drexel University and your rule? There? Oh absolutely so.My name is Joe Master, a VP marketing digital strategy forDrexel. In my role for the central communications team, I oversee a teamthat manages the brand for Drexel, so we oversee front and web development insocial media management, governance all paid media initiatives, the governanceof those initiatives, brand elevation campaign called ambition, can't wait. Afew other things, I'm probably forgetting drexel, is a very, verydifferent kind of university. We run on the quarter system and we have acooperative education program, which is our I guess unique selling point in avery crowded market love. It appreciate the background JOE TO KICK US off today,talk about losing your social media...

...strategist in the middle of thepandemic, the non ideal timing of that loss and the larger question it forcedyou with okay. So, let's see, let's see where do I start into this story? Sonothing about this pandemic has been ideal or even I guess, marginallytolerable, for so many people were probably going to be listening to this.It was crisis, comes all the time which at some point means it's not crisisanymore. It's just. This is coms now right, yeah, so our social media,strategist, going into the pandemic, was actually a really phenomenalgraduate student and she graduated shut out to Dana glaze by the way she'scrushing it right now. We had never actually had a social media position onthis central team and it always been duties not otherwise assigned whichagain is not ideal and coming into the role I'm in now, which has been aroundfour years in this row. I spent a lot...

...of time advocating for social ingeneral and FTE in particular. This is at a time when Drexel, like mostuniversities, was releasing more official statements from the presidentin one week, then we would usually over an entire term. Not only were wedealing with coved, we were dealing with the racial injustice, protests onthe streets of Philadelphia, the city wild. We call home calls to defunt epolice and just general anger to so many people felt and social was thefront line and we were getting absolutely crushed, and people werevery unhappy in talking about this. I kind of like in it too, when someone'sflight gets delayed. Like five times- and they just slept on the floor in theterminal and like they woke up at their mouth, stuck to the rug and they justwaited in the longest line ever to finally get on the plane and they thinkthe stewardess just gave them a dirty, look or said something sarcastic andthey flip out. It wasn't about the...

...stewardess. It was about the situationyeah and on social, as any social media manager can tell you. We've all beenthe stewardess. We had already established this method ofdisseminating presidential messages for each social channel, with instagramstories being like the biggest most visible one that required the most work,and I made a point to dissect each message for each channel, and I told mystaff- I never asked them to do that that I personally do it, but when welost our social media strategist, you know this was not some act of GeniusEric. This was, you know, keep the lights on tactic at first, it was okaywho, from the team wants to step in so our digital content, designer lauren orso analyst, Nigel and online content. Writer George stepped in it wassupposed to be a stock gap, but it became a bridge kind of that we'restill using today. Yeah. Let's talk about that, because now, whether it wasa it was an accent or your brilliant...

...force sight talk about this socialmedia consortium that you established, semi organically and how you run socialtoday at Drexel, okay, so the idea originally was to get together and tosay: okay, we're down somebody. We need to have a smart way that we don't justmanage social, but deal with this massive information disseminationoperation that our university and all others had become. I mean I can't statethis enough. It was nearly every day where I think across the country.Universities were all coming to grips with. What do we need to comment on atthis moment? And there was a lot to comment on, so it was very tactical atfirst, it was okay who wants to manage each channel? Okay in the time that weneed to get these messages out who's going to design it. We had templatesfor instagram stories, for instance, and then I would chop up the wordsalways and I had told the team at the...

...time I'm going to do this, I'm not evergoing to ask you to take these official statements and chop them up, but I evengot into I guess unhealthy spot with chopping the language up, because Iwasn't asking the team for their input or their feedback. I was just saying:Hey everyone, here's what to post on each channel and we would use slack todisseminate this and like one day I actually asked what do you think andlike they disagreed with me, and they were absolutely right. So you know,maybe I had a bad case of founder Itis, but you know it was very liberatingit's like. Oh thank God. I don't want to do this a more so and so from thenon. I stopped asking and then was the problem, so so I mean that was we'retalking more than a year ago. At this point right. But what ended uphappening is that you now when we do have a full time, employee with socialmedia. In the title and place and this consortium still in place, there's aweekly standing check in meeting. We...

...even have the the individual who runssocial for admissions accounts who joins our weekly, stand up meeting andit's great it's great to see so many different new buckets of content comingout from this collective team. So I think it's so helpful to understand howyou valued the consortion model from a talent standpoint in a world wherewe're asking one person to run social for our university. What are all ofthose talents tax, those Unicorn as specialties- that were really askingthem to be great at all right, so you can't see it, but I just took out mysoap box and I'm going to just send the position on the soap box so ready foryou. I think, Mr Alson, that social media manager may very well be the most misunderstood under resource reductive, entirelymisnamed, tactically, mismanaged title...

...and Higher Ed Marcom to manage socialfor our institutions. Someone, let's see if I get the list right, has to doPR. Digital marketing crisis, cons, executive COMS, community building,community outreach, institutional research to some measure, events,photography, video design and that's just by Monday afternoon. I'm probablymissing things to I could add in GDP expert. At this point, these roles havebeen so reduced since they first came around, and I know this because I wasthe first wave of social media managers. You know in high hrat more than adecade ago. It's not just that their true scope is expansive, whilst their titles and jobdescriptions are typical, higher and silo, and minimizing is that we haven'teven begun to tap our social media professionals for the panoply of whatthey can actually bring to the table in terms of digital marking, Pr SocialListening Community building and that's...

...the why there it's simple: it's becausewe're all in separate stylos. We already have folks doing mediarelations. We already have entire titles to do with digital marketing,I'm one of them. Designers, videographers, so like social medialives as this horizontal that cuts through these verticals and we tend tobuild towers in higher ed rather than the bridges right recently, I wasreally jazzed. I saw Kate Ledger who's in a VP over at a university ofPittsburgh, my Alma Mater. She posted a social media position with theexecutive director and the title, and we need more of that, and I almostdon't, like the word social media at this point. These are websites on theInternet and these are sites that we don't own, but that we pay for with ourdata- and you know facebook is in the congressional hot seat this week, whenour schools had to go remote during ovid our students and parents in alumni,they were letting us know via social...

...media if they thought we handled itright or wrong. The facebook changes this month alone in terms of targetingrequires someone to be a social media researcher on the daily it's too much.So these sides need to be taken very seriously, all right, soap, box,dismount, I love it. You can get back in thereany time, I'm silently cheering it so joe after living in this world for awhile, now nearly a year give us the pros and cons of this shared servicesapproached to social media moving forward all right. So first two headsare really better than one and not because you know they're infallible toquote s as Lewis, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the samedirection. Now this is really important, because when I was a social mediamanager, I didn't have to face what we're facing now like it there's a lotgoing on. You know I just soap boxed it...

...for you being able to vet ideas throughthe lens of Multiple Smart People on a team who are coming to social fromcompletely different mindsets. Is You know, that's the tide that rises allboats and we need that for social. We have it with our other verticales. Wehave a team of digital marketers, we're all talking about what should we dowith the media Max this year we have a team, we have so people and by we Imean the collective way. I think that it's really important for social tohave as many eyes and hears all the senses on it, because you know thereach. You know I'll raise your email, delivery and open rates by the themillion of impressions we would get in a month on instagram stories for ovidcontent. THAT'S INSANE! So I'm having a hard time coming up with cons a yeah. Ithink that the the implicit can here would just be that. As I said, this wasnot some act of brilliance. This was an...

...act of necessity. I think the CAN isthat if we had, you know the collective we again the budgets, resources andunderstanding to fully stack out social teams. We wouldn't have to do thingslike built consortium to do it right do really great stuff. Finally, any nextsteps advice Prince Ducas, who might be dealing with the same issue where theyhave Grad teams helping to do this or even leading it thinking about how tostaff their social media responsibilities for their long term.How should they think about that all right? So, while the consortio approach worksreally well- and you know, as we continue to scale up social, I don'tthink we'll ever turn back from having people who might not have it as theirnumber. One platform that they're responsible for owning, but as peopleon a team of peers and respected colleagues who are helping each otherfor the common good. I just think that that's a great model, while that doeswork well, you still need at least that...

...one role dedicated to social media. Youneed someone to drive it and own it. So I guess my first piece of advice is toadvocate for the full time staff for social and and to do so in a way. Iguess that speaks to the value of social for the entire organization,rather than just mark Om, because if the goals are just your teams,marketing or communications goals, a lot of times, that's not going to beenough of an incentive to get the buyin that you need. You have to kind ofreframe how you make that pitch. Would you have a publication without a singleperson as editor? Would you buck it? Media relations under duties, nototherwise assigned how about analytics? Is that a job you can spring on thelate person? You know I could just go down and add analogy, so I think ittakes. You know it takes making a case. You know I'm a big fan of the memo. Idon't know if they still exist in other...

...organizations, but I happen to benefitfrom having a pretty great boss and I have sat down and put you know, pen dopaper and you know said here's what I'm thinking. What do you think- and youknow in my experience, if you can use the data to back it up, contextualizeit for the organization rather than your tower within the organization it'sgot. I guess some longer legs also I'd recommend reading as much stuff outthere and you now plug for lives, gross and campus sonar, but you I'd read upon all as much as you can, because it's important Joe thinks so much of yourtime today and yes, Liz grows in the team of capisene are amazing andfriends of the show Joe. What's the best place for listeners to reach out.If they have any follow up questions, you could check me out on twitter atJoseph J master. My Name Awesome Joe thanks so much for joining us today. Ohabsolutely thanks. So much for having me Eric attracting today's new post,traditional learners means adopting new...

...enrolment strategies. Keleks educationsdata driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquelyhelping colleges and universities thrive in this new education, landscapeand Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solvetoday's most pressing and Roman growth challenges download it today for freeat Helos Education Com play book. You've been listening to enrolmentgrowth university from helic education to ensure that you never missed anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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