How Educational Institutions Can Motivate Internal Stakeholders for Increasing Their Involvement and Participation to Use Social Media
The best way of increasing participation and involvement of your faculty and staff is through appreciation and acknowledgement using social media. Social media is a great tool for colleges to improve internal branding by acknowledging people. We see a lot of academic brands talking to their external stakeholders such as students, parents, recruiters etc. but least do they care to connect with their internal audience with the same rigour and passion.
So, we thought of helping colleges and universities create a strong bond with their faculty and staff through social media and ensure that their internal customers are also properly nurtured and engaged in the process thereby enhancing involvement.
There are a lot of examples from the corporate world already using such successful practices to provide the necessary support to their employees for improving performance and participation. Companies are using Twitter and Facebook to provide updates and tips to internal stakeholders on how to improve customer satisfaction and many more such things. The same practice needs to experiment in the academic world.
Off late colleges and universities have started appreciating the rise of social media as an integral platform to connect with the student community. This is leading to a whole new trend. So why not use some of the successful strategies from that approach and apply it to appreciate people (faculty and staff) to improve performance and involvement through social media engagement.
To drive the agenda forward, we have collated a few tips for your college to see if it helps to motivate faculty and staff to increase their involvement and participation in enhancing social media effectiveness of your college.
Show Appreciation and Recognition
Employees want to be recognized and appreciated for their work. College management can use social media posts to celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries and other important occasions of employees’ life to appreciate their relationship and commitment.
Social platforms can be a great way to thank faculty and staff for their contribution and welcome feedback and suggestions to enhance it.
Colleges can start user-generated social media follower campaign to boost the personal following of faculty and staff. After completion of the campaign, those getting maximum followers can be rewarded.
Educational institutes can also use this opportunity of employee engagement on social media to run monthly challenges like “pin a photo” contest where faculty and staff can be invited to share some of their best photo moments. At the end of the contest, the ones getting topmost engagement in terms of like, share, comments can be given attractive prizes. There can be similar campaigns in which the winner can get a “congratulations” from the institute along with a certificate of appreciation.
Also, social media can be used to highlight any unique work done by the employee such as a CSR initiative and promote it extensively on all institutional social media accounts.
Give Targets and Acknowledge
Give targets and acknowledge them when they are achieved.
Colleges can thank their internal stakeholders when they achieve a certain milestone. This could either be when a post of the institute becomes viral or starts trending on account of their efforts to promote it or the university reaches a certain number of fans or performs better against competitors on social channels in terms of likes or engagement.
When this happens, even a simple one-liner saying “it couldn’t have happened without you” can go miles to nurture your institute’s relationship with them.
Start Hashtag Campaigns
Use hashtag campaigns to expand your stakeholder community. This will help in creating a chain of new followers and make your college into the trending news.
Use Social Media as a Listening Tool
Sometimes it’s possible to show appreciation by listening to your faculty and staff. For this purpose, academic institutes can take polls or feedbacks on social channels, and these polls or suggestions can be used to create strategies that the institute would create for next year.
Appreciating your employees’ feedback can bring huge benefits to the college. In the process, it will also allow your institute to truly enhance its social media effectiveness by bringing everyone on board.
When institutes acknowledge their internal followers, whether, through online appreciation or even contests, it strengthens your college’s brand image and builds a loyal follower base on social media.
Why is Social Media Important for Academic Institutes to Involve Faculty and Staff
Social media has given an outlet for everyone to express and be heard. People can freely voice their concerns and create impact through online conversations. And so can organizations in bringing their fraternity together for a common goal.
Colleges and Universities need to make sure that they have a clear cut strategy and a vision to increase internal stakeholder participation in all important channels of business communication. For this purpose, you should first educate them about its vast potential in building a cohesive brand image. The strength of the brand or for that matter its weakness too will have a consequential effect on everyone associated with the brand if it does not have credible mouthpieces.
Initially, colleges can start taking small steps to generate a stronger following on social media by faculty and staff. Start discussions around trending topics. Teachers are a great source of learning. They can be motivated to share snippets of knowledge through their social media posts.
If educational institutions sit down and analyse to find what has worked and what hasn’t worked in past and how they can re-strategize their efforts in increasing faculty and staff participation on social channels, then it will be a great start in this direction.
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