Connect With Your Students: How CIOs Can Use Social Media To Better Serve Their University

Connect With Your Students: How CIOs Can Use Social Media To Better Serve Their University

Keeping in touch with students isn?t just about a weekly email update anymore. Social media has provided students with a way to open a dialogue with administration, and give that dialogue an audience. People at the top of the educational system are realizing that students want these open lanes of communication, and they want to be able to voice their concerns and comments over social media where they will be seen and followed by other students or faculty.


As this trend continues, it would be wise to develop a plan for interacting with and helping students over social media if you’ve not already done so. So we?re here today to give you some ideas for using social media constructively, as well as dealing with feedback from students and maintaining a dialogue with them.


  • Students want to see action from their university on issues they care about. Even if immediate action isn?t possible on an issue, students want to see that they aren?t being ignored, and a good way to do that is by responding and communicating through social media. This doesn?t mean the chancellor needs to respond to every tweet thrown his way, but it does mean that he or she should maintain an active presence on social media, especially Twitter.


Twitter is a platform that allows students to directly message higher ups, and it gives their message a huge online audience, as it’s basically a public blog post, unlike tools that require community registration or “friending.” Failure to respond to a well-reasoned request or concern gives off an impression that administration is ignoring students, or simply doesn?t care. Conversely, a timely response, even if it disagrees with a student?s position, at the very least shows that there is someone on the other end considering their argument, and this goes a long way with a student body who may feel uninvolved in university processes.


  • Another way to improve communication using social media is by giving departments their own Facebook or Twitter page. This works to the students? benefit because it gives them easy online access to ask questions or get in contact with departmental resources. The CIO-led IT department is especially important because of the huge increase in online services and technology that students now use on a daily basis. One misstep or bad link can end up giving students, and faculty, a huge headache. Being made aware of a problem quickly makes it easier for departments to deal with it, and social media gives students an opportunity for quick notification and resolution.


  • Quick notification is also invaluable in case of a campus emergency. Colleges are finding that disseminating information on social media is a much quicker way to warn students than email and allows viral propagation, even to those not registered for a fast, targeted service like SMS messaging. This improves safety for students and faculty, and helps build a stronger relationship between students and the university.


If you would like more information on the intersection of education and technology, contact N2N Services today.

More EnlightenEd Entries

What is an Enterprise Service Bus?

If you?ve been looking for all-in-one software solutions to streamline operations at your school, you might have encountered the term ?Enterprise Serv