Engagement + information + relationship management = effective combination for a social media professor in the classroom
Juntae Delune just posted a really good quote from Gary Vaynerchuk about Twitter, which states “I’m not using Twitter to consume information, I’m using it to consume engagement.” What exactly does it mean to be engaged on social media?
Jason Falls had a good quote about what engagement stands for overall on social media for professionals – but why shouldn’t this be included in the classroom as well?
As professors, what we need to do is instead of just passing along information and relevant articles to our students on social media, we have to consider how to inspire them to be engaged.
How do we go about in doing this exactly?
- First, you have to be there for the conversation [Engagement]: Take on a role as a lead discussant for the class online and be prepared for some ice breakers. For me, I have shared various items like articles and such, but I follow up with saying – what do you all think about this?
- Apply and personalize ideas for classroom content from practitioners and brands [Information]: As professors, we have several brands we are a part of. We are part of our respective universities, departments, profession – as well as managing our own professional brand and our class brand. There are many ways to brainstorm ideas for how to create visual, personalized, and memorable content for our classes for social media. We see this done for brands and our students create ideas for how to do this for their campaigns class – so why can’t we do it for our classes and our professional brand as professors? The answer is – of course we can!
- Being open and available for the conversations that emerge [Return On Relationships]: This is the thing when it comes to social media – you are not only engaging in conversations with your students on social media for your classes, but you are allowing a window and virtual seat open for others to join and be part of the conversation. Practitioners, fellow colleagues, and other students even can see what you are sharing.
- Walk the walk, tweet the tweet: In order for getting engagement from your students – you as the professor have to set the standard. Be part of the class, do the same activities, and show students the potential and amazing opportunities that can arise from being active on social media. The conversations, networking connections, and updates are all public for them to see and be an eye witness to. Once they are able to see what you are able to do, students may be more likely to follow your lead. You first have to show them the way on how to do this with fellow social media professionals, brands, and agencies. Take on the role as a coach and mentor in this area rather than just passing along information.
In summary, there are a lot of benefits for being an engaged part of the social media community as a professor. There is a combination for everything to work out – you do have to be engaged not only with providing relevant content for class, but be there as well. Answer questions, have conversations that showcase your personality, and be open to comment on items your students share. The mixture of all of these updates is what creates a dynamic, energetic, and vibrate learning environment that will last not only in the class, but also create a community that can be sustained even after the students graduate from your university.
You never know who may be observing your conversations online with your fellow students. All of the conversations I’ve had with students have been professional and related to class, and I had one of my Twitter friends and fellow social media colleagues comment on this last night.
Russell is the director of digital media for the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department, and he shared this with his followers based on a conversation I had with one of my #FrebergGrads graduate crisis students. This comment really made my evening – it was very humbling to hear this from a well respected professional like Russell about my teaching and how I am using social media as a professor. Thanks so much, Russell!
Hope you all are having a great day!