Today we found out – via Twitter of course – that SDSU has been recognized by CollegeSurfing.com as a Silver Medalist in the Web 2.0 College Olympics. SDSU came in 10th on this list of the Top 50 Social Media Innovators in Higher Education. Quite an honor as we’ve really emphasized over the last year our efforts to be innovative, fun, creative, enthusiastic and strategic in our use of social media.
CollegeSurfing had this to say about our efforts:
10. San Diego State University – The SDSU news team does an excellent job of disseminating college info that’s relevant in popular culture: Teen tanning salon laws limit access, not exposure: New SDSU study making news nationwide http://budurl.com/j2xm and Cool video from the opening of SDSU’s Student Veteran House http://ow.ly/pxpd. The first on campus vets residence in the nation. SDSU boasts a blog by the marketing and communications folks as well as individual Facebook pages for the news center, bookstore, library, and admissions department. And profs are dedicated to using social media like wikis and Ning in the classroom.
It’s great to be validated. But it’s also a challenge. As a colleague said to me shortly after I shared the news with the team, “How long before one of our goals is to move up this list?”
My job is to help us meet that challenge. We certainly can’t rest on our laurels. Afterall, we’re still young enough to compete in the next Web 2.0 College Olympic Games!
Some of the things we’re doing right now include incorporating social media strategies into our annual SDSU Month activities. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Twibbons, Twitvites Twitpics, photo galleries and more will all be used to help tell the SDSU Month story this year.
We’ve convened a group of social media communicators across campus to share and discuss best practices. We’re constantly experimenting with new tools and applications, like Google Buzz (follow me please!) and others to see what might be the next thing we need to be a part of.
But most important to our efforts is we have been able to find a balance of being communicators first, finding good stories to tell and then using the technologies and tools available to us to tell the stories and reach our audiences in a variety of ways.
Also important to the effort is to watch what others are doing. The CollegeSurfing list provides a great number of examples to be followed and/or tried. Sadly, there are many others out there (I will not name names) who have yet to fully grasp how to use social media and are, every day, sharing their lack of understanding with the world. We learn from them as well. The one piece of advice I would give to any university (or other organization) looking to embrace the social media wave, is to watch, learn, emulate. The Retweet is the sincerest form of flattery in Social Media. So don’t be afraid to do what others are doing.
How’s that for an acceptance speech?
We truly appreciate the Silver Medal and we’re looking forward to moving up to the ranks of the Gold Medalists soon!