3 Things I Learned When I Took Over @UofOklahoma Social Media

Weeks ago, our social media maven chose to leave us for a vacation, her first in two years. With it serving as a true vacation, wherein she would be releasing the reigns of OU social media entirely, the operation of OU’s web presence fell to the rest of the team’s shoulders.

Beginning on Friday, I was to take on our main accounts and keep them alive and well until the workweek began anew, when I would hand it off to another teammate.

Wide-eyed, I logged into the Twitter, and the Facebook, and the Instagram, turned to the horizon, and accepted my weekend-long fate.

1: Social media never stops

I was appalled at how often I refreshed the University of Oklahoma Twitter feed, and the Facebook newsfeed, and so on. I felt a need to be on top of everything going on on every network at all times … All times! I stayed up late watching people interact with us! I woke up early to see them calling out to us for attention! Look at me! I’m here, too! I love you, OU, be my best friend! I make $10 billion a day at home just on the Internet!

The university is more than a collection of buildings, a bunch of students, a bunch of faculty and staff, and a football team, and people genuinely care about it, and want to be a part of it. While those who run the university’s online presence (sometimes) walk out of the office at 5 p.m., our fans don’t stop loving us.

2: Our students need to be taught about social media

I’m being wildly judicious about how I approach this subject. Suffice it to say, I spent the day watching people give their opinions on varying topics in which the university was involved, and my jaw was slack for a portion of it.

We owe it to our students to teach them how to be constructive, and how to appropriately criticize, and how to know when and where an opinion is appropriate. This skill has relevance in every possible facet of life — to know when to offer feedback, and how.

People represent themselves on social media, sometimes for better, others for worse. Our students need to know how to avoid the latter. Thankfully, Steven Lee, Summer Programs Coordinator and his team offer ‘Brand U’ presentation to students to help them understand how they should control their social presence. Also, our team here in WebComm Web Marketing is happy to sit down with departments and help them know how to represent their office online.

3: There remains work to be done

The University of Oklahoma represents many things to many people. To some, we’re a football team. To some, we’re a fancy collection of buildings. To some we’re a family to aspire to join. Who knows what else OU represents to the world. What this means for us who support the brand of the university is that we must continue doing all we can to remind people of all the good things that come from OU: our students, our research, our faculty, our community support, our atmosphere, so on and so forth.

These messages have to be told so that people outside the walls of the university will see ALL that OU is, in its entirety.

All in all, I’m thankful she returned from vacation, and I’ve done all I can to bribe HR to remove what remains of her vacation hours so she can never leave again. I also see just how integral her role is to the continued success of OU, which is paramount to all of us. I hold a degree from here, as do many, so we care about how our university is represented.

And now that I’m done with it, it’s in good hands.

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