Jacque Montgomery, Associate Vice Chancellor for Integrated University Communications; Director, PR and Media Relations, UC Denver Office of Integrated Communications
November 9, 2010
Enhancing UC Denver’s Facebook to Increase Student Interaction
In this day and age, social media is an essential element of a successful public relations campaign. After having reviewed the University of Colorado, Denver’s facebook page, it has come to my attention that there are specific adjustments that could be made in order to enhance this site; subsequently getting more students involved and active with the UCD community. My suggestions come from a direct application of advice from DIOSA Communications. This company has created a list of best practices for facebook that helps organizations fine-tune and improve their page. Because so much is accomplished through social media outlets such as facebook, anymore, it is necessary that the University begin to place more emphasis on their facebook page, thus creating a broader, more interactive and aware community. The following suggestions will help to increase the volume of people visiting the site, and more importantly, the return users of the page. Establishing Involvement The UCD page has quite an influx of information via links that contain important details pertaining to the university, which is great. However, there is severe lack of interaction between the University and the students viewing the page. It would greatly benefit the University to begin to prompt interaction with the students on the page. This can be accomplished through suggestion six, “ask questions to spark conversation and activity on your page.” Facebook is an environment conducive to individuals making their opinions known through either “liking” a comment or replying with their own comments. By beginning to ask more questions of the students, UCD will gather a great deal more of student feedback, while also having the ability to address issues that may come up in the commenting process. It allows UCD to be proactive in answering questions and being available for students.
Create Strong Community Ties Being such a grand academic environment, there are many branches of the University that can be related to businesses and and organizations within the greater Denver community. There are countless ties that the University has to Denver conglomerates that are unknown by the University’s student body. It is important for UCD to publicly recognize these ties so that their student community may be more aware of the diverse affiliations that exists. This can be accomplished through using the “Favorites” application on their facebook page. In order to publicly recognize the businesses UCD is associated with in the community, the administrators of the page should simply search for all their affiliations and “favorite” or “like” them on their page. By doing this, the University allows students to view all of the links to public organizations UCD has and creates more awareness on the University’s involvement and ties in the community. Broaden Involvement on the Page The facebook page is clearly run by a few administrators who do a great job distributing information and announcements; however, there could be a greater involvement from the UCD Staff and Faculty community that would create a sense of concern and involvement from those who run the University. This can be accomplished by “asking fellow staff, board members and volunteers to regularly contribute, ‘like,’ and comment on the page.” By getting more involvement from those who work at the University, students are able to get a different perspective and are also able to receive important information from professors and staff that they know and respect. The more involvement the University can get as a whole, from both staff and students, the better off they are in creating a strong, tight-knit community in which involvement and interaction is encouraged. By refocusing efforts and honing in on specific aspects of the UCD facebook page, a greater sense of community and awareness will be accomplished. Additionally, by making these small adjustments, it is likely that more and more people will visit the page because it is more interactive and interesting. More students will feel as though they can come to the facebook page, not just for information, but also for advice, important tips, guidelines, suggestions and pointers pertaining to their education. Furthermore, students will get a better understanding of the depth of community involvement UCD really has and how that involvement can benefit them.