@WorkingOrange – How to Manage a Higher Ed Twitter Account

@WorkingOrangeProfilePicIt’s an age-old (in social media time) and still relevant question – “what do we tweet?” The easy answer is, “something that’s useful, valuable, and fun for your audience.” For a specific example of a Twitter account that covers those three things and more, check out Syracuse University’s @WorkingOrange. The @WorkingOrange Twitter account is run by Syracuse’s Career Services department and is awesome, because…

First, it provides valuable information about a hot topic, especially for younger grads. Those of us who work in higher ed know there’s a lot more to a four-year degree than simply landing a job. That said, it is a big reason why many people attend college. Which means, finding a good and rewarding job is part of the “product” that colleges and universities offer. And successful brands provide adequate stellar customer service around their products. In large part, that’s what this Twitter account amounts to for Syracuse grads – a customer service channel to help fullfil that promise of meaningful work following graduation.

Two, it is highly engaging and interactive – lots of retweets and mentions. It might seem trivial to some, but to your most active and influential social media followers it is not – validation matters online.

When you think about it, we all like to be validated. Some of us at work, others by our families, others still by our friends and social circles. For those of us who spend a lot of time conversing on social networks, we also seek validation in our social media communities. @WorkingOrange provides that validation by truly communicating with the account’s followers. That activity matters, because it builds and strengthens relationships with supporters, which increases the likelihood of them becoming life-long supporters.

Three, it has personality! Most successful Twitter accounts have personality. Just have a look at the following tweets…

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 3.12.04 PM

Some Twitter accounts – @DeptofDefense, for example – need to be a bit more serious, most of the time. (Although even the Department of Defense can find appropriate ways of having fun on Twitter) But for the majority, it’s important to fit the attitude and style of the social network. For Twitter, that’s (hopefully) quick-witted, courteous, upbeat, useful, and timely. @WorkingOrange is all of those things and more.

Wanna talk more about social media for higher ed? Contact BWF’s Director of Interactive Communication Justin Ware by clicking here.


3 thoughts on “@WorkingOrange – How to Manage a Higher Ed Twitter Account

  1. Reblogged this on Engage Alumni and commented:
    Alumni Career Services on little to no budget? Here’s one FABULOUS thing you can do.
    Our colleague Justin Ware uses the Syracuse University @WorkingOrange account to illustrate 3 tips for managing your Twitter account.
    Bonus: We love their content! Syracuse’s Career Services department runs the @WorkingOrange account. They feature a weekly alumnus who guest-tweets about their careers and industries throughout the day. Lots of activity and interesting content for the online alumni audience.

  2. Reblogged this on Sam Edelstein's Blog and commented:
    @WorkingOrange is a great engagement tool using social media. I’m proud to work closely with SU’s Career Services office – the office that founded this account and initiative.

    A couple reasons why I think it works well:
    – It gives practical, quick advice
    – It is easy for others to ask questions and get answers from people with whom they might not otherwise have a connection
    – It engages alumni in a low-barrier-to-entry sort of way
    – It makes alumni feel good to be able to show off their craft

    A couple things to be careful of:
    – Making sure there is a constant stream of volunteers to tweet – you don’t want the account to go dormant
    – Creating a guide for what is and is not appropriate to tweet, and then paying attention to what is posted – ultimately, this account represents the university, so certain posts are not appropriate for a variety of reasons

    As a follow up to each day’s posts, Career Services also posts a Storify of each person’s tweets. See here: http://storify.com/WorkingOrange#stories
    This is nice because then people can find the advice later on, and the alumnus has a link to refer to when they want to remember what they tweeted.

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