Starting to Use Social Media

My main task over the past few weeks has been to start to generate content for the University’s social media sites which will be interesting and relevant to businesses – as mentioned before I’m primarily focussing in Twitter and LinkedIn.

I’m initially focussing on three key areas of the University’s business and community engagement:

  • Events: we run a variety of business-facing events, ranging from regular business breakfasts to research profile-raising and partner finding events. A common concern is attracting different clients to these events, ensuring that we not only have good levels of attendance but that we are reaching a diverse audience.
  • Funding opportunities: Coventry University has access to a significant amount of funding which it uses to provide grant support to businesses, particularly through the European Regional Development fund. We therefore often need to share these opportunities and ensure that grant funding is fully taken up. On the other hand we’re often looking for industry partners for funding applications so finding new collaborators is also key
  • General profile-raising: something that arises frequently in our interactions with business and community partners of all sizes is that they don’t know what we are doing or what our capabilities are. There a number of reasons for this, one being that our website is difficult to use and often out of date, but I think that social media might provide a way to start seriously tackling this issue.

The problem I’m currently encountering is gathering information – whilst I’m aware of a lot that’s going on in the University I don’t know everything! I’ve had some suggestions via email but not a huge amount. I’ve also started using Yammer which is a social network aimed at encouraging collaboration across large organisations but it seems to be sparsely used by other staff members at the moment which is frustrating.