Whether it’s information about Genesee Community College’s study abroad options, its Army ROTC program, campus closing information under the threat of an impending snow storm, or just a place to connect and share memories with a friend – social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow GCC students to connect with peers, faculty and staff almost instantaneously.
“With 600 million people on Facebook alone, social media platforms are a great place to have a conversation with students, alumni and the community,” said Kevin Manne, Genesee’s New Media Specialist. “Students are becoming more comfortable using social media than traditional forms of communication like direct mail or even e-mail.”
In two months time, Genesee Community College’s social media presence has seen rapid growth thanks to a renewed, re-focused effort. Genesee’s Facebook page has seen 169 percent growth, with a total of more than 1,100 “likes” from students, alumni, faculty, staff and local community members. Genesee’s new Twitter account, @sunygcc, was established in December and has already connected with more than 140 “followers.”
A big advantage of these digital platforms is the analytical information that can be compiled and analyzed for future use and reference.
“The majority of our Facebook fans are between the ages of 18-24, a segment that we regularly communicate with because that’s the age range of most of our students,” said Manne. “But the demographics show that we’re connecting with people from 13 to over 55, illustrating that the reach of these platforms goes beyond the ‘traditional’ student.”
Social media are attractive to businesses because most are free to use, but Manne said organizations should be prepared to invest a significant amount of time to them if they hope to achieve social media success.
“Facebook and Twitter don’t shut down when you leave the office at the end of the day,” he said. “A social media administrator should listen, respond and provide relevant and entertaining information in a timely manner – and that means keeping tabs on your social networks beyond traditional office hours.”
Along with the College’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the YouTube page (videos), Flickr page (photos) and student Wordpress blogs have been revamped with a new look and more unified usernames.
Other new communication technology Genesee is using includes applying Quick Response (QR) codes to print ads, fliers and posters. These black and white two-dimensional bar codes allow users to “scan” the code using the camera on their mobile device or smart phone to instantly connect online.
In addition, the College will soon begin using geolocation-based social networks such as Foursquare and Facebook Places to offer special deals when users “check in” to the Stuart Steiner Theater for discounts on tickets.
Get connected with all of Genesee Community College’s social media pages from the College’s homepage using the special icons on the lower right corner.
Kevin Manne, the New Media Specialist for Genesee Community College started in early December, and leads Genesee’s communication efforts across social media, blogging, web and other emerging mediums. He previously served as communications and public relations specialist at Catholic Charities of Buffalo. Kevin earned his Associate degree from Genesee Community College and graduated magna cum laude from Buffalo State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Communication. Kevin serves as secretary on the Public Relations Society of America, Buffalo Niagara chapter board of directors and is a member of its E-Communications Committee. In 2009, he was awarded the platinum “best of show” Excalibur award for development of a web-based employee newsletter and in 2010 he received a silver Excalibur in social media.
Manne and other guest speakers are available to present to local community groups at no cost to their organization through the Genesee Community College Speaker’s Bureau. For a complete list of available speakers, visit www.genesee.edu/resources/SpeakersBureau.cfm.
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Editor’s Note: A QR code can be found at http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/SocialMediaQR.jpg Scan the QR Code with the camera on your mobile device to connect with all of GCC’s social media pages. To download a code reader, open your mobile browser and visit scan.mobi.