Creating content is hard. You've accumulated all of this insight, but how do you share it with students so that they will listen? This is the hardest part.
Even so, delivering content is central to your office’s success with keeping students engaged. Through a blog, for instance, you can get your students attention by providing them with interesting and useful information effectively on the web. In this capacity you’re like a publication; you have a number of experts, and these experts provide their insight to a demographic that both wants and needs it: students. Yet, as I said above, and as you already know, creating content is time-consuming and difficult, especially when you have other things to do.
A lot of schools we work with are posting great long-form content. For instance, check out Boston College’s blog. While these posts are awesome, blogging doesn't always have to be long-form, i.e., 1-2 page, text-heavy articles. There's another way, and it's called microblogging.
Microblogging, as the name suggests, is a condensed version of blogging; it is the sharing of small bits of text, links, photos, videos, audio, etc. Think Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. These platforms allow users to publish updates -- microposts -- directly to their profiles, enabling them to share content instantly with friends and colleagues. Posting takes a fraction of the time and is opportunistic; it is real-time content availalbe directly to your students. For example, if you see an article, image, or video that you want to share with your students, you can simply give a 1-2 sentence summary and add the link to the source content. If an alumni is making a visit to campus, you can describe the alum and what students may be interested in meeting him or her, then simply add a link to the alum's LinkedIn profile to provide context for your students. It’s that easy.
We recommend that you post these microblogs to your blog, which should be showcased on your website. If you don't have a blog, you can simply post them to your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn pages. The best of both worlds might be to embed your Twitter of Facebook posts right on your website. We see a lot of schools doing that. If you’d like some help understanding how to do this, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Is Microblogging so Important?
Microblogging platforms are the fastest growing social platforms out there. In fact, Tumblr’s active user base has grown by 120% in the last six months alone. Think of Snapchat, the hugely popular app where people send disappearing images to one another. Combine this taste for small bits of content with the fact that generation Zers, those born after 1995, are reported to have an attention span of just 8 seconds. These are your current and future students. To grab their attention it’s not enough to simply email. Students respond to real-time content, especially bite-sized content, delivered through your blog or through your social networks and microblogging platforms.
My point is not that you should focus solely on microblogging; my point is that you should feel comfortable sharing short tidbits of content rather than always forcing yourself to spend lengthy amounts of time creating and editing blog posts. There is a ton of job and career related content on the Internet. Through microblogging platforms you can share these resources with your students in quick and creative ways that don’t eat up a lot of your time. To reiterate, don’t try to become the central resource for your students through brute creation, become the central resource through a mix of aggregation and creation. A combination will make your content easier to consume. If there’s a meme that makes you laugh and that hamers home a point to students, post it on your blog or share it on Twitter. If there's a great YouTube video describing a company that recruits your students, post it on your blog or share it on Facebook.
By doing this your blog and website will actually become a more dynamic and rich resource for your students. It should be a pleasant thing, writing is enjoyable -- or at least I think it is. If your content strategy is balanced and planned, your staff will have an easier time writing long-form blog posts.
The combination of a varied content strategy will help you build your brand and presence on campus; to get your students ear, you need to be active in the ways they are active. By getting your content out there and sharing others’ content you can establish yourself as the go-to resource for your students.