I speak “social” fluently, and fairly nonsensically.
It’s a relatively new language. Vague words that have become so big and misused they no longer communicate much at all.
Yet already, we have become slaves to these words. We have become determined to “engage.”
And we have become very good at it. We have mastered the art of “like” solicitation. Fill in the blank posts. Comment-baiting with easy questions that don’t require much thought to answer. Posting broad and generic content completely irrelevant to our schools. And month after month, we proudly report our record-breaking Facebook Insight metrics.
Accomplishments? I’m not too sure?
Because with my University’s location in the Chicago suburbs, “Hey Lewis! What’s your favorite place to grab a pizza?” would undoubtedly be our #1 engagement post of the month. And yet, I’m not too sure if that quantifiable engagement is really worth all that much to us?
I wonder if we can all too quickly become experts at creating “engaging” content that has nothing to do with the relationship we have with those who have decided to follow us.
So what if instead, we work hard to “find and tell the best stories happening on campus – so that prospects want to come here, students are proud to be here, and alumni are proud to be a part of it?”
Now, that’s an admittedly incomplete endgame. That pigeonholes social as a 1-to-many PR channel. And social media is absolutely bigger than that. That’s why we’ve chosen bigger words. But if we talk with that kind of specificity in our team meetings instead of using words like “engagement”, we might actually leave knowing what we’re talking about and what we’re all fighting for.