Help: different approaches to managing departmental twitter feeds

I just discovered that the Psychology department at Salford University has an innovate approach to maintaining their department twitter feed. Each week a different person tweets from the department, encompassing all students and staff. This has left me interested in the different approaches that departments can take to managing their twitter feeds. These are the ones I know of:

  1. Paying a postgraduate student to manage the department’s social media presence.
  2. Including social media work within the workload allocation for staff within the department.

I imagine these are also possible:

  1. Not paying a postgraduate student but getting them to do this work anyway.
  2. Not formally allocating this work to staff but running it as a voluntary commitment.
  3. Including it within the workload of existing administrative staff.

Does anyone know of any examples of the later three approaches? Are there any ways of managing a departmental feed that I haven’t included? I’m writing a chapter about these issues for my upcoming social media book and any ideas would be much appreciated!

11 responses to “Help: different approaches to managing departmental twitter feeds”

  1. We’ve had a mix of #2 in both lists! Much of it has been voluntary-> out of interest, etc. But it is getting formalised, made more even between subject: and therefore now factoring into workload allocation models…

    This has benefits, and drawbacks..

  2. While it is good to have work recognised via allocation models (though they often very flawed, but that’s another story) – there is a danger that:
    1: You end up having to have a twitter account for each area, and end up with staff that are doing it as a chore imposed on them- that doesn’t help make it engaging.
    2: formalising can endanger spontaneity, if too many corporate communications policies lead to an overly strategic use of twitter.

    I think we are seeing Comms depts of HEIs getting more organised- so much of this is going to happen: but yes- lots of real opportunities too. I was on #REChatUK earlier tonight – talking with primary, secondary and FE colleagues in Religious Studies- very exciting..

    We need to enable the best to emerge in terms of engagement etc: and not see twitter merely reduced to another marketing tool..

  3. Yep I definitely agree in that sense – it’s why I’m so interested in how this can be institutionalised within departmental structures, as it’s a likely bulwark against comms departments insisting on taking control of twitter feeds.

    I had naively assumed the work would only be allocated to willing parties – this now seems like a rather questionable assumption…

  4. Where you have willing parties- that us fine- but across, say, a bunch of subjects in a faculty: not all may have staff keen to jump in!

  5. hi Mark, I do have some recognition in my workload for running a dept twitter feed. I think one of the issues here is about what the dept wants the twitter feed to do/be for (and sometimes this might not be clear, or might be dependent on who runs it). I’ve tended to resist the idea that our twitter feed (@socandcrimKeele) should be seen as a main communication channel with students. I’m not necessarily resistance to that idea, but I think if that was the case it might be more appropriate to have the feed managed by a member of admin staff, or have shared ownership of the account.

  6. Thanks Emma that’s really helpful – hope it’s still ok to get you to give feedback on some chapters when the project is a little further along?

  7. I am in position 1 of your second list – was nominated unbeknown to me to be the student rep for the twitter feed. I am also the editor of the departmental blog – neither of which are paid positions, nor have much support from the rest of the faculty. I had a fight to get access to the Twitter feed to link it to the blog…..

    In addition to me, there are only two other people with access to the feed, both faculty. I think it would be better if more people had access to tweet from departmental events etc, as it’s an unfair burden for this to fall to only a few people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.