Putting the Social in Social Sciences – getting used to SSMM

By Nov.21, 2012

Hey there,

So i’m now on attempt two of attempting to enter the blogging world so you’re in for a treat!

To give you some context we’ve been asked to write a blog post about a topic that we’re aware of that’ll let us demonstrate our skills – currently this is going well as I’m being forced to write this on two keyboards – one where the letter ‘b’ doesn’t work and the other doesn’t have a working ‘ctrl’ or ‘space’ – clearly the first rule of social media and blogging is test your equipment first!

So to give you some background I should start off with a topic that i know about – me and where I work. My name is Huw and I work in undergraduate admissions in the School of Social Sciences of the University of Manchester (Hence the witty title!) basically if you want a Degree in Development Studies, Course in Criminology or a Programme in Politics then let us know. Most of my role involves various admissions processes but where it comes into Search and Social Media (and the reason i’m here) is that I am also responsible for updating areas of our website and course information profiles.

So this blog post will be talking (briefly) about some of what I’ve learnt though the course, we’ll also be doing a presentation about this at the open evening where hopefully i’ll be expanding the points below with what i do not and what i’m hoping to do. I just wanted to raise a few key points that I’ve taken away from this course. Nothing technical – but just how my awareness of how SSMM is increasingly important and not how if we’re not making the best use of this then we’re just missing a trick.

  • Search and Social Media Marketing is a mindset – It’s not something that I’d considered too much in the past- concentrating more on just providing information that was useful but paying attention to what you’re writing , why?, who are you talking to?, what tone are you using? and how will people find and access this information? Even subtle changes to language and tone can be effective and structuring keywords and optimising your page can mean that your content is even more accessible. If you have better content and more people can find it then it’s win-win!
  • You’re not writing or designing for yourself – Whilst this sounds a bit obvious it is an easy trap to fall into – designing content for a website that appeals to you but not necessarily your target audience is a bit of a danger – forms of communication and the forms of social media that you might use need to be appropriate and it might be the case that your users want a different experience than you intend- also expect the unexpected – your users won’t necessarily find content or perform actions in the way or order that you would expect them to – with Search such an integral part of the web experience people will pop in and out everywhere so it’s best to be prepared!
  • Content is King – definitely a phrase that you will hear repeatedly on the Search and Social Media Marketing course! – it’s familiar because it is so vital. Marketing campaigns or improving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is helpful, but it is engaging – unique content that will attract people. We’re on the web for a reason – whether it is to provide information, engage with people or sell things – but it is only your content that will get your users to this end point!
  • Social Media is Social – Again this seems like fairly common sense but from the examples that I’ve seen it’s important that you’re talking with and not talking at people – engagement can be really useful – particularly where you’re trying to build a sense of community or stronger sense of brand. Key though is that you need to know what you’re doing before you get started (i do now!) and that what you’re doing and the social media that you’re using is appropriate for what you want to do. Don’t just have social media for the sake of it- but it really can work for you if done well.

Well – That’s just some of the things i’ve picked up (amongst the many others) – hopefully this is useful for you – though if you have any ideas about what you feel are the most important concepts in SSMM i’d be really interested in hearing them – please comment or tweet me (seamless social media usage there?) @huw.peters

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Putting the Social in Social Sciences – getting used to SSMM

  1. Alex Fenton says:

    Great post Huw, enjoyed your presentation yesterday. Nice to see your post can be found in Google already! Keep in touch and let me know how you get on implementing your social media strategy. Dont forget to tweet us also on #ssmmUoS

  2. harry says:

    Great post Huw, enjoyed your presentation yesterday

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