Hide and Seek: University Tweeters #2

Thanks to everyone’s comments on my previous post “Should University Tweeters Hide?” I’ve been thinking much more about this topic. Here’s what I heard:

  • There is a difference between someone at a university tweeting from a ‘university voice’ versus a ‘insert-personality-here voice’.
  • It could be more attractive to define yourself and your position at the university.
  • To attach your personal Twitter handle to the university account you manage might be a bad idea depending on your personal content.
  • When tweeting as a ‘personality’ you risk not being interesting to the audience.
  • Twitter is primarily used as a feed for those who ‘collect’ information, or as a more ‘personal’ account to interact with the university.
  • Some are tweeting as their role at the university (Jess K, Director of Web Comm at Suffolk University) versus as the university at large, both faceless (Suffolk University) and defined (Suffolk University, as tweeted by Jess K Director of…..).
  • Will students view a simple feed as ‘fake’ versus the interactive tweets provided by other university/branded accounts?
  • Rotating ‘DJ’s’ may be a good idea and could be topical/special event in nature.
  • Are those just feeding info missing out on the connectivity that is so specific to Twitter over other social networks?

Here are my next step thoughts on a few of these:

Can anyone really hide anymore?

As many of you have brought up, via search, open accounts and the general nature of the web, hiding is rarely possible. I’d argue that once people know who you are at the university, they could potentially find and follow you anyway. Why not just add that little extra something: show you are a real person, with real likes/dislikes. Become human.

Does hiding serve you?

What do we get out of being a masked man? A solidified University brand? Could we be better served with a identifiable person – not injecting their personality into the university tweet stream, but just manning the helm instead of a possible ‘bot? I’m not asking that we tell people what our likes and dislikes are via our university account, but just letting them know that you are a twitter user and showing them a little bit about  yourself by identifying who you are – either at the school, or via your personal account. I’m sure my workout schedule and TV faves are not distasteful content. :)

Twitter Talent

Wouldn’t it be beneficial to highlight Twitter Talent by sharing your personal handle? I’m not a millennial nor a student but for those that do use Twitter I’d think that showing some personal proficiency would go a little way in making your Tweets “believable”. Would they become real and something to watch out for instead of just check periodically? Also, maybe you make friends with students or prospects and social media takes on a different twist – its actual use, instead of feeding info. Wouldn’t that highlight the nature of your brand to create community rather than push content to it?

Again, just quick thinking out loud on my lunch break prior to my next meeting. :)  I find this conversation facinating as others come forward who I’ve not been following and their 2 cents gets added.

“Discuss amongst yourselves….” ;)

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One thought on “Hide and Seek: University Tweeters #2

  1. We can run, but we cannot hide.

    This is a good discussion. Taking it a step beyond Twitter, when our university was going through a name change a couple of years ago, we made a conscious decision that I would be the sole author and thereby the official “voice” of the name change process through a blog we created for the express purpose of sharing updates about the name change and gathering input. (The site is still online at http://namechange.mst.edu but is inactive.) This approach was important because the name change was a controversial issue and we thought it was important for the university to give alumni, students, etc., a venue to express their views on the process, but also give them an individual to connect with.

    Over the months of administering that blog, I developed several contacts with alumni who were at first disgruntled and opposed to the name change, who are now if not totally sold on the change, at least not totally alienated from the university because they had an individual to talk to, vent to, etc. They figured out that I would respond and listen, forward their concerns to other administrators, and become the “ear” if not the face of the university.

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