As part of this month’s Follow February theme, social media expert Dan Zaiontz shares his insights with APEX on how higher education is staying on top of and contributing to the fast-paced, evolving world of social media.
1. What person, topic or hashtag do you follow religiously?
“#HESM – Don’t get the wrong idea here, it stands for Higher Ed Social Media. Important clarification in this post-Fifty-Shades world we live in.
I keep track of the latest social media trends, discussions and research in higher education by checking up on (and contributing to) this hashtag almost daily. Now, get your mind out of the gutter!”
2. Why do you follow them?
“#HESM is quite simply a-one-stop-shop on Twitter for all things located at the global intersection of post-secondary education and social media. That intersection is the one I happen to find myself squarely in the middle of with my consulting and writing work as well as the research I do (I know! Shameless plug, much?).
The immediacy of Twitter means that when new social media issues, stories or social networks pop-up on college or university campuses affecting higher ed leadership or institutional priorities, I can learn about, address and respond to them as they transpire, evolve or develop.”
3. Why should others follow them?
“Given the unique demographics of higher education [AKA college students], this sector is often an incubator for emerging social media platforms, issues and trends before they go viral or become as pervasive as the Facebooks, Instagrams, Snapchats and Twitters of the world.
By watching this space and following #HESM, you can monitor the best practices being employed by colleges and universities whose approaches to social media can often serve as models for other sectors and organizations.
You can also observe the challenges that higher ed institutions run into on social media and what innovative strategies they’re employing to tackle those problems. Higher Ed is truly on the cutting edge of social media implementation and crisis management and is using these tools to achieve meaningful results. In my mind, it’s an intersection worth visiting regularly.”