On Friday, I unloaded tangled cables and a computer monitor from my car to set up my new, temporary office. It’s a grand space with a comfortable couch, 68" television, and a fridge full of food; now decorated with power cords and ethernet cables running in different directions. I do have to share the space, though, with a four-legged colleague who doesn’t work much. In fact, she sleeps most of the day.

That’s right — it’s my one-bedroom apartment.

An incredible number of people are now working remotely around the world, and this is undoubtedly an uncomfortable and challenging transition…

This is Andrew. He’ll probably hate that I’m putting his name and picture in this post, but it’s something he’s gotten used to.

Andrew sits with a flight of beer in front of him, waving. I am taking the photo as a selfie holding a beer.
Isn’t he cute?

Andrew is one of those “older millennials” in a weird spot — he distinctly remembers a time without the internet, and qualified for Facebook when you were required to have a .edu address. I did not. I’m squarely a millennial. I remember getting a computer in the house when I was young, and can recognize the AOL dial-up noise from the first fuzzy beep.

I also have found a career in social media. I have expertise in…

I got my first big girl job in 2013. I was hired to do web and social media for a community college. I believe it happened because of luck — I was a millennial and I knew how to “social media.” Granted, I only had to juggle a Facebook and Twitter account at the time. Then I had to grumble my way through Instagram.

I was thrown into an entirely different experience from what college prepared me for. I was a trained communicator, as good as a girl fresh out of college could be at journalism, radio, and mass communication…

University of Central Arkansas

Any social media manager would tell you that the key to connecting with an audience is being authentic and relevant. That means being up to speed on “what the kids are doing these days,” as well as using digital assets like emoji and gifs to take part in a conversation.

But how can one manager understand references from every gif out there? Jon-Stephen Stansel’s solution is to make his own. “I would spend 15 minutes finding the perfect gif to send to one student on Twitter,” explained Jon-Stephen Stansel, digital media specialist at the University of Central Arkansas. What took him so long? It’s the perfect storm of having an abundance of reaction gifs to choose from and simultaneously not always understanding the context, movie, or television show reference. …

In the age of technology, many social media managers are finding there are more and more data points available – both natively and within other tools – to measure social media efforts. But with an increase in data comes an increased likelihood of confusion for managers and their teams. Which data points matter? Are the number of “fans” important anymore?

As social media became a larger part of the digital strategy for many institutions, these growing data points have been gathered up, thrown into charts, graphs, and presentations and then sent off to senior leaders to show the ROI of efforts.

But who said this report had to be boring?

Jamie Lewis and Kalena Stull sure didn’t. As members of the Division of Marketing and Communications at the University of Georgia, they spearheaded a templatized and designed social media annual report that looks so good even people who hate numbers will want to read it.

Have you ever hoped to determine what types of content drive the most traffic to your website from Facebook? How about what channel was responsible for the spontaneous spike in visits to a particular website story last week? Or even coming to a conclusion, once and for all, on the effectiveness of those website banners you spent half your monthly budget on?

It’s possible, it’s free, and all it takes is a few keystrokes.

What Is a UTM Code?

The secret is in UTM codes, uncommonly known as Urchin Tracking Module, and better recognized as the long string of letters and symbols at the end…

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I’ve grown up with Judaism as a large influence on my life. I went to Hebrew School, spent hours studying for my Bat Mitzvah, and participated in countless community events. It’s a part of me, and always will be.

Being Jewish often made me “different.” It made me the “other” in a lot of situations. I was fortunate that I wasn’t always the only “other,” but still not “the same” as everyone else. It always bothered me. I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my faith as I grew up, and most come right around this time of the…

Courtesy of Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Higher education social media managers often jump on the opportunity to be part of a larger conversation in the noisy social media space, and Halloween is one of the few holidays they can get involved.

Here’s a roundup of some spooktacular content from colleges. Share your favorites from Halloween 2018 in the comments!

Pumpkin Carving

Many institutions decorated pumpkins with their school mascot or other notable symbols.

UT Arlington worked with the Fab Lab on campus to develop a vinyl sticker
Newcastle University experimented with Facebook’s new 3D photo feature
University of New Hampshire dedicated an entire blog post to pumpkin carving on campus
Creighton University couldn’t resist a Halloween pun paired with a dedication to their mascot.
UNL highlighted their supply chain management degree opportunity with a cool pumpkin.
Michigan State skipped the carving but kept the school pride.
University of Delaware might win for best photo.

Ghost Stories

Halloween is all about spooky stories, right? These institutions told tall tales about their history.

Lancaster University told the history of the institution in a Twitter thread

I don’t remember when I first started listening to podcasts. I don’t even really remember why. Now my subscriptions are taking up most all of the data on my phone. Some are about higher ed, but most are on topics that I’m passionate about or just make me laugh.

Podcasting through the years

This trend is growing. According to the Pew Research Center, monthly listening has increased 15% since 2008 among adults and the number of podcasts available grow by leaps and bounds year over year.

The only thing that is constant is change. — Heraclitus

I believe Heraclitus was ahead, very ahead, of his time when he spoke these fateful words. Any social media manager would tell you coming into work is like walking into battle. Alright, that was dramatic, but with changing algorithms, the addition of new features, and removing features we just created a new strategy because of, it can be hard to create a great social media strategy to meet internal goals.

Data Driven Decisions

Marketers and social media managers would agree that the best way to tackle tough choices or develop a marketing strategy…

Jackie Vetrano

Buffalo at heart. Voice of Jackie Watches Stuff Podcast. Cat’s nickname is Potato. Digital marketer. I run for beer and costumes.

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