With such a broad collection of audiences to reach and a large team of internal stakeholders involved how do you manage a fully aligned, effective Twitter strategy for a University?
We chatted to Alistair Beech, Senior Social Media Coordinator at @OfficialUoM, to learn more about the approach they take at The University of Manchester.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Alistair, a digital communications specialist with over ten years experience including five years in Higher Education. I work with social media practitioners across campus to encourage coordination and share best practice, maximising engagement with our key audiences and supporting the University’s core goals.
Tell us a bit about The University of Manchester.
Part of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, The University of Manchester is one of the largest universities in the UK, and was the first of England’s civic universities. We have 25 Nobel Prize winners among our current and former staff and students, and our history of brilliant breakthroughs includes the first stored-program computer and discovery of the atomic nucleus.
In short, the university is an incredibly inspiring place to work!
How does Twitter fit into your marketing mix?
We use Twitter to engage with many different audiences, including students (prospective and current), staff, alumni, and wider stakeholders (local, national and international). Twitter allows us to gather feedback on University campaigns, student or staff initiatives, and amplify our world-class research within key audience groups.
In addition to driving engagement with the University's news and research stories, Twitter also helps us connect with our audiences on a one-to-one basis. Followers connect with us on Twitter to share their experiences, offer feedback, and alert us to issues affecting them. Twitter is an invaluable listening tool for an organisation of our size.
What are a few Tweet examples that you think really capture your character?
We’ve started to use threads to draw audiences into a story, rather than tell them everything in one Tweet. For example, we recently announced new funding for a gallery at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, which is part of the University. Through a series of Tweets published over four hours, we were able to share artist’s impressions of the facilities, a live video of the announcement from the Prime Minister Theresa May and links to information about the University’s research beacons. We love how threads can be updated and re-shared, so we added content from a news article produced by our Media Relations Team a few days later to round off the story.