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Social Media and the Department
November 3, 2010 - 10:15pm

I was hoping to engage in a dialogue with this community about how departments (or units or divisions etc.) can develop a social media strategy.

What are some appropriate goals that can be attached to utilizing social media as a means of communication?

In discussions around social media, I find that we tend to want to jump to the tools and the platforms. What we need first, I think, is a discussion about the goals we are trying to achieve.

The department level seems like a good lens to look at social media, as the people in departments can utilize social media tools today to reach their goals (without relying on central IT units and without the need to invest many resources). Departments (hopefully) can be agile and can experiment.

Possible Goals:

  • Make the workings of the department transparent to other people/departments at the institution.
  • Share the work being done by the people in the department, to highlight the skills of the department members and the projects that are being worked on.
  • Open up a space for a two-way dialogue between people in the department with folks throughout the institution.
  • Increase transparency and dialogue with people in the department and people outside of the institution.
  • Provide a space where department members can share, synthesize and build their knowledge.
  • Develop a record of departmental knowledge and best practices.

What are some other possible goals that may lend themselves to a social media approach at the department level? Interactions with prospective students or alumni of the department? Interactions with prospective and past employees?

Has your department utilized social media tools to reach goals that are similar to the ones outlined above? Other goals? What have you learned?

I’ve been very influenced by Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, what books would you suggest to help craft a departmental level social media strategy?


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