The Social Media Managers Group (SMMG) received the 2017 Outstanding Collaborative Unit Award for its success in uniting and promoting Wright State through social media.
Founded in 2013 by Katie Halberg, director of social media, SMMG consists of approximately 250 university professionals and trusted students who manage one or more social media profiles on behalf of Wright State. Members represent every college, school and division, including Lake Campus, and run more than 600 social media accounts to represent Wright State online.
Social media managers do so much more than share information online; they create relationships for the future to support recruitment and retention, encourage alumni engagement, enhance donor support and manage the university’s reputation and brand.
Halberg leads regular SMMG meetings to review the best practices, university events or opportunities and to learn from each other. She promotes consistent use of hashtags, such as #wrightstate, #WrightStateRightSchool and #WrightStateGrad. She also coordinated the adoption of Sprout Social, the university’s social media management enterprise platform, which managers use to schedule content, monitor brand mentions and pull valuable data. Sprout Social is Wright State’s first alert at news, crises and engagement opportunities.
Seth Bauguess, director of communications and a member of the SMMG, commended group members for their ability to strengthen the Wright State brand.
“Social media managers across the university do an excellent job of posting Newsroom stories and videos, which greatly increases the number of people, both inside and outside the university, who see our content,” Bauguess said. “It helps strengthen our existing internal brand advocates — believers in Wright State — and create new ones.”
Bauguess also said that social media is vital in managing crises at Wright State.
“Social media is almost always the first place we learn about a crisis and is a critical communications channel for campus constituents during a crisis,” he said. “The university’s social media subject matter expert is an invaluable resource when crises (small and big) occur. I know I can count on these social media professionals to get accurate information out in a timely fashion.”
The SMMG is not only useful in a crisis, however. Sharing positive content that informs the campus about Wright State’s community members doing excellent things is vital to morale on campus. Additionally, social media managers across campus utilize their channels to help maintain as much transparency, customer service and engagement as possible.
Social media is particularly relevant to Wright State because for many community members — especially prospective and current students — it is often their number one source of information. Social media is so important that it cannot be accomplished by one person or even one office. It requires a vast network of communications and marketing professionals across campus.
Kim Patton, assistant director for advancement communications, said the SMMG plays a vital role in the social media strategy of Wright State.
“Together, we are shaping the public perception of Wright State on social media and promoting the Wright State brand,” Patton said. “Truthful, honest communication is essential to the future growth and success of any business, organization or institution of higher education.”
Current members of the SMMG:
Vanessa Borelly Vega
Ty Lea Brewsaugh
Andrea Del Mar Flores Hernandez
Allison Hurtt Roberts
Pam Knauert Lavarnway