Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been concentrating my efforts on understanding what the University currently does with social media and other new technologies – both to try and benchmark where we  are at the moment and to start to think about ways we might be able to update our business engagement techniques.

As anticipated most of our social media activity is student-focussed with our facebook and twitter pages primarily interacting with prospective and current students, alumni and to a certain extent the wider community – not unexpected as the University is very much at the heart of life in Coventry. We also have a presence on newer social media sites such as Google+ and Pinterest but no official presence on LinkedIn which is the main social media site for business-to-business networking. In addition we use sites like YouTube and iTunesU for content sharing but the content does seem again to be very student-focussed. Which left me thinking – is there any demand for more business-facing content?

That meant talking to the people who create the University’s social media content… I’m in regular contact with the research marketing team who are already integrating Aurasma virtual reality technology into our research magazine Innovate and are currently doing a survey of our Innovate mailing list to see how they’d like to receive the magazine – in paper form or electronically. Obviously I’m hoping to feed the survey results into this project!  I didn’t know however that we’ve recently appointed a dedicated social media officer who is not only responsible for content but also for contributing to the whole strategic direction of the University’s social marketing. It was really great to talk to him about what I’m trying to do with this project and get a sense of how it might feed into the future direction of the University’s whole marketing strategy. One of the major developments taking place over the next few months is the launch of an entirely new web platform with much more social integration. We will therefore be able to feed the findings of this project into a complete redevelopment of our business-facing webpages. Exciting times ahead!