Sustaining social media strategies

Twitter birds by Chris Wallace

I was checking out the Twittersphere the other day via TweetDeck when I noticed a rather edgy tweet by Brad J Ward:

How sustainable is your social web strategy? 4 tweets since June from @elginspartans. Just some food for thought. via @bradjward

Brad’s tweet got me thinking about how I approach the Twitter accounts that I manage for OSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. We have two accounts: HHS Advising and OSU HHS. My personal Twitter account, @ericstoller, is not affiliated with the HHS accounts. I keep everything separate during the work day with the help of CoTweet. If I am on vacation, out sick, etc., our web team can access CoTweet and post on the HHS Twitter accounts. Our social media strategy in HHS is not predicated upon the social media following of any one individual. It’s a team effort. It’s an organizational strategy that will (hopefully) continue regardless of individual personnel ebb and flow.

In the case of Elgin Community College’s Twitter account, it appears that the departure of a single individual torpedoed the school’s social media initiatives (at least on Twitter). Elgin’s previous Director of Communications, Sarah Evans, built up a mega-following on her personal Twitter account and was apparently the catalyst for Twitter activity from Elgin.

More from Brad J Ward:

The true test of a marketing strategy is if it lives on past the original champion.

and

Schools need a long term strategy that extends beyond one person.

Sarah Evans appears to have been the social media “champion” for Elgin Community College. Without her presence, their tweet frequency is almost nil. Sarah was featured in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education last April — “10 High Fliers on Twitter.” Sarah may be a high flying higher education Twitterer, but without her, Elgin Community College’s Twitter strategy seems to be sinking fast.