Content creation and distribution
How does the University of Vermont know what to post on social?
I try to equally represent various areas of studies around the university, and fold in alumni and faculty stories. As I also manage our online newsroom, I have my fingers on the pulse of editorial content.
UVM is a university, so it goes without saying that the main target audience is composed of students and prospective students. What Andrea is able to do with social media is educate, inform and inspire that audience with content which is directly relevant to them. User-generated content plays an important role in the curation of content for the university’s Instagram feed - and who better to tell the stories behind the establishment than the students themselves?
Andrea harvests the precious UGC from students mostly via DM on Instagram. The main reason the exchange of content happens via private messaging is because a lot of younger students have private accounts. They want to participate in the social media activity of their university campus, but don’t wish to post the content themselves, so they take the pictures and send them privately. A lot of them have more than one account, perhaps a photography account, maybe a close friends and family account, etc. A picture of the UVM campus (as glorious as it may be) may not be the right fit for those kinds of accounts, so the fact that Andrea is able to cultivate it in another way is pretty smart!
What about the posting schedule?
The team of two works mainly off of a content calendar which is largely driven around the academic year, in order to anticipate the events and holidays they want to communicate on and plan their posts well in advance. But sometimes it’s more prudent to improvize…
“...In the world we live in right now, every day is totally unpredictable. One day, we'll think, oh, tomorrow we’ll post this nice photo of some mountains, to give people a moment of respite. And then you read the headlines and realize, okay, we're gonna seem really tone deaf. I think what our audience needs right now is a mix of the usual university messages, but also content that’s plugged into what's happening in the world in a much bigger way. They need us to be responsive to that.”
Andrea has learned during her time as a social media expert that sometimes, the best thing you can post on social media is nothing at all.