Kent State’s newest president Beverly Warren is using twitter. She started her account when she became president on July 1rst. Today she interacts with students by tweeting, using hashtags and taking photos with students. Lester Lefton, the university’s previous president, did not use social media. Instead he communicated with students through weekly emails and kept a website showcasing his photography. Warren’s use of social media offers students a new channel of communication.
Stefanie Moore, a Kent State public relations professor, teaches social media strategies.
“We get a glimpse of who [Warren] really is. She is showcasing her personality and I think it’s really effective because we are learning more about her and her brand online,” Moore said.
Warren’s twitter account is just one part of the university’s social media strategy. Nicole Carlone, the Social Media Community Manager at Kent State, makes sure Kent State’s social media strategy is consistent across all accounts. The university uses all of the major social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and provides support for over 200 departmental accounts that are regulated by the university’s social media policy. These accounts allow for students to have open communication with all aspects of Kent State.
“We make interacting with students a priority and encourage engagement from them as well…we implemented social media in our commencement ceremonies and it was a great success. Graduates, their family members and friends were fully engaged,” Carlone said.
In order for a social media strategy to be successful you have to know what your audience wants and what social networks they are using. The most popular social networks with incoming freshman are Snapchat and Instagram. Twitter is starting to play a larger role than Facebook.
“You don’t want to jump on Facebook just because everyone is doing it. You need to make sure that it is the channel your audience is on,” Moore said.
President Warren’s twitter account and other university social media networks offer more ways for students to interact with Kent State.