Best Practices for Blogging: Higher Education

Social media is becoming more and more popular as technology continues to grow.  In higher education/student affairs, we are always using social media since that is what the students are using.  Many in higher education have realized that the best way to reach out to the students is through social media since the students are always on the different social media sites.  We aren’t going to send them snail mail when they are always on their computers and we can reach out to them via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

When it comes to blogging and tweeting in higher education, there are some dos and don’ts/ best practices that everyone should be aware of.  You don’t have to be an amazing writer to be a successful blogger

Five steps that will help someone who is not a good writer to be a great blogger include:

  1. Play Mad Libs with headlines- this helps to grab the attention of those that might be looking through blogs and draws them in to view your blog.
  2. Write your subheadings- this is a great way to provide a little more information on your blog without the viewer going through your entire blog to figure out it isn’t what they were looking for.
  3. Do your research- “Research is what separates the winners from the losers” (How to Blog, 2013).
  4. Don’t be a try-hard- Some people try too hard to get their point out there and make their work too complicated.  Write as though you are talking with someone and the viewer will be more interested in what is being said.
  5. Promote- make sure to promote your blog!  This is a great way to gain followers.  This may be a slow process, but the more promoting of the blog the more followers that will eventually jump on board.

You can view more information about best practices for blogging at http://socialmediatoday.com/hishaman/1545026/how-to-blog

When it comes to Twitter, there are also some dos and don’ts to know about just as there are when it comes to blogging.  The first step when it comes to Twitter is to make sure that your username is unique and people will understand what it is.  If your username is completely random, chances are people are not going to follow you.  There are many different best practices when it comes to using Twitter. 

According to The Tao of Twitter, by Mark W. Schaefer, there are five set-up basics when it comes to Twitter.

  1. It is important to use a picture with your Twitter account.  Twitter users who have a picture have more followers than those that do not have a picture.
  2. Include a link to your website.  This will drive people to your website where they can learn more about the organization.
  3. Create a biography with your business interests.  This helps when people are searching to bring them to your website.
  4. Choose a short, easy to remember username.  This allows people to easily find you.
  5. Even if nobody is following you yet, still send tweets.  This allows for people to read your tweets and see if they want to follow you.

As previously mentioned, higher education/student affairs is using social media to reach out to the students.  I believe that this is still relatively new in the industry and that they are doing a great job so far following these best practices.  It is important to follow these guidelines in order to be successful at what you do.  If there are any in the industry that are not following these best practices, they might want to do a little research and change what they are doing.

 

References:

Best practices.  (2013).  Retrieved from https://business.twitter.com/best-practices

Dholakiya, P. (2013). How to blog (even if you can’t write).  Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/hishaman/1545026/how-to-blog

Schaefer, M. (2012). The tao of twitter. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.