Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Staff Council

Wheaton Goes Social: revisited

Posted on May 8, 2012

“If you think of a website as a home, then social media platforms are like an RV. The latter is transient and will move and change constantly depending on popular trends.” —Leveraging Social Media” Conference, sponsored by the North East Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP), March 5, 2012

Even if you don’t use a computer on a daily basis, you have no doubt heard of Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even the newest kid on the block: Pinterest. But what is each of these platforms good for, and where are Wheaton’s pages? Here’s a quick and dirty cheat sheet of Wheaton’s social media channels today.

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking services with more than 845 million active users. Users typically post status updates on their “walls” (which is the main view on their home page), exchange messages with others, post pictures and play games. Wheaton uses the site to share news about alumnae/i and current students, as well as to highlight faculty accomplishments. Several departments at Wheaton have their own groups and pages on Facebook. Just click on the “Wheaton Pages” box on the home page to find them.

Twitter is called a “microblog” because it allows users to post short messages – only 140 characters long – called “tweets” on their pages. Users can also post images or video links and “retweet” other people’s posts that they like. Wheaton uses the site to keep followers up-to-date on campus news and events. Again, several departments are active Tweeters. On Wheaton’s main page, click on “Lists” and select “Wheaton_Tweets” to follow them.

YouTube is a video-sharing website. Videos are uploaded to what are called “channels” (just like TV) and viewers can share links to them through email or on the other social media platforms. Wheaton has an entire library of videos about campus life, recorded lectures, and commencement ceremonies for you to watch.

Flickr is a site that is used mainly for sharing pictures in groups resembling photo albums. Current photos highlight our beautiful campus and student activities. Search for “Wheaton College (Massachusetts)” to see various slideshows.

Pinterest is a photo sharing website which functions like a digital bulletin board. Users can “pin” any image that they find on the internet onto their own page (depending on copyright options).  Wheaton’s own new pinboards highlight images that make the college unique.

Wheaton has a social media presence on other sites as well, including Google+ and FourSquare. As you can imagine, managing all of these various social media channels can be extremely challenging and time-consuming. Nonetheless, the goal of all of these channels is to engage our community and hopefully draw them to visit our website, which is our primary base for information.

If you are thinking of developing a social media presence for your department or program, please talk to the Web Team and Communications Department first. This summer, they will be holding another Web Salon during which they will share some simple tips about effective and efficient practices for Wheaton’s social media content. Write to web@wheatoncollege.edu to be placed on the announcement list.

Submitted by Michelle Monti
Wheaton College Communications Department

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