Before you read any further please watch the following video which served as inspiration for this post:

Don’t start with social media!

Please don’t start with social media.  You don’t understand Twitter, or tweeting, or mybook, or facespace.  Only young kids do that stuff.  The fastest-growing segment on Facebook isn’t the 35+ age group.  It’s impossible to connect with people on Twitter.  Social media is not the future of the web…

Sound familiar?  Maybe those are not your sentiments but those of someone in your administration, admission, or marketing offices.  Maybe you understand the importance of using Social Media but don’t understand how to use Social Media.  Well, I’ll assume that if you are still reading this post that you would like to start and, in the words of Danny DeVito, “Before another student gets clipped…” I’m going to tell you how to start.

It’s actually quite simple.  You need to start listening.  But what does listening to social media actually mean?

Listening means learning.  This type of learning takes many forms and has many different goals:

  1. Learning takes the form of listening to what the web is saying about you and/or your school.  If you think you can still control your school’s message you really need to conduct the searches I will suggest later.
  2. Learning takes the form of becoming familiar with the social media vernacular, acronyms, and conventions when participating on the various social media networks.  This type of learning allows you to become comfortable participating in social media and will help you transition from a pure consumer of media to a consumer AND producer of media.

There are many ways in which to start and many ways to begin listening but let’s do this the easy way.  I would like you to check out 3 websites on a daily basis for a week.  The  websites are:

You should try searching for your school’s name and even your name.  I would also try searching by adding the following extension to your search: -site:school domain, e.g. Sewickley Academy  That extension will remove any content from your school’s domain which in my case would be

I hope this exercise will be enlightening and help you start listening and learning about social media.  In the coming weeks I will explain how I listen and monitor what people saying and in turn, use that content to help extend our brand.

Good luck and I’m glad that you are starting with social media!

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