13 February 2017

Social media - the Harvard way

Author :

What’s it like running the social media channels of one of the world’s top Ivy League universities?

Robert Bochnak, Director of Social Media- Office of Alumni Relations, Harvard Business School, will tell you it’s a lot of fun- and a lot of work.

With Facebook likers totalling almost half a million, over 300k followers on Twitter and almost 70k followers on Instagram, it’s vital Robert has the right practices in place to ensure their social media presence is sustained and continues to grow.

So what are Robert’s favourite tools of the trade?

1.       Storify

“From the outset, the main objective of my social media work has been to engender as much alumni engagement as possible. This goal can be met through Twitter alone, but Storify opens up additional outreach opportunities. For example, once I publish a Storify I can send the link to classmates of alumni quoted in the story.”

2.       TweetDeck

“During a typical month, I’ll curate 2-3 chats on a particular business-or career-related topic via Twitter. These conversations usually last a few days and commence with a leading statement I want alumni to complete (“Leadership is…”) or a question I’d like them to answer (“Which HBS Professor had the greatest impact on you and why?”). In the hours leading up to the chats, I identify the alumni I would like to target–this can be based on everything from business interests to when they graduated–and then, using TweetDeck, I schedule tweets to these individuals.”

3.       Spredfast

“When I looked deeper into Spredfast and its functionality I found some very useful applications, one of which is its ability to provide excellent analytics. This is vitally important to my work since one of my mandates is to drive traffic to our alumni website. With these reports–which provide everything from clickthrough numbers to engagement stats–I’m able to provide yet another means to justify the impact and importance of our social media efforts.”


Robert is the international keynote at our Social Media in Higher Education coming to Sydney, May 3-5, 2017. 

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.
A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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