How Columbia University brought together a divided social promoting setup The Drum

“Columbia University is the oldest university in New York, and the fifth oldest institution for higher education in the United States. Its School of Professional Studies offers 14 master’s degree programs across a range of disciplines, and social media is a big part of co
ecting with new students, nurturing the alumni network and keeping the various programs aligned in their communications strategy.
But how can you bring social media to the forefront of communications in an institution that was founded in 1754? And how do you help entire faculties get comfortable with using social media as part of their everyday routine? I caught up with Caroline Henley, social media specialist at Columbiau2019s School of Professional Studies, to find out how sheu2019s been using social to make waves in the academic world.
What are some of the biggest challenges youu2019ve experienced using social in a higher education setting?
If youu2019re in a school with a wide variety of programs, things can quickly become chaotic on social if you donu2019t find a way to manage things effectively. Maybe a school has 60 different cha
els, and you have several people trying to log in to every account to post u2013 suddenly youu2019re on a constant hunt for passwords or for the right person to help you.
When I came on board at Columbia SPS, I immediately brought on a social media management platform. With Falcon.io, we have the chance to co
ect everything in one place, and to make the process of becoming active on social easy and accessible. It creates home for a school that might be delving into bioethics on one hand, actuarial science on the other, and it unifies a lot of programs that wouldnu2019t be co
ected otherwise.
Co
ecting and unifying cha
els might sounds simple, but a lot of higher ed orgs are very traditional institutions, and they arenu2019t necessarily ahead in the digital curve. When youu2019re on campus, sometimes you rely on ru
ing around into different buildings, and just knowing who people are. And so sometimes the marketing/digital team isn’t quite as in the loop as they might be in a more digitally-driven company. Unifying people onto digital through a platform was just huge for us.”

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