I recently reviewed how the top 70 of the Fortune 100 companies tap into social networking channels. This research was critical in shaping how University Relations approached using video on Facebook pages. What I discovered was that many posted video using the standard Facebook "Video" tab. But, more importantly, what I unearthed was a way to embed video straight from umn.edu. WAY COOL! The electronic communications team has been working with Facebook to have the U of M domains white listed and are getting very close to having this solution ready for prime time.
Analyzing how corporations engage their audiences via social channels is one of the many benchmarking activities the electronic communications team does. Other methods include (but are not limited to): usability testing, focus groups, auditing, peer checking, anecdotal evidence, outreach, and lots and lots of conversations with peers both within higher education as well as colleagues in corporate and non-profit.
Taking the time to see how corporations reach their stakeholders, whether B2B or B2C, is important. After all, the same folks that shop at Target may be looking to attend the University of Minnesota. Or, the buyer of oil rigs at Exxon may be considering donating to a research hospital. Understanding how some of the most esteemed organizations in the United States are rallying their communications efforts could potentially spark some innovative approaches for the U of M.
Check out my research at: https://netfiles.umn.edu/users/lijew006/socialnetworking_comparison_2010.pdf
If you know of some really cool and innovative uses of social networking tools, I'd love to hear from you. Please share your recommendations.
P.S. I have also conducted some analysis specifically focused on video and higher education. Time permitting, I will be conducting more in-depth analysis.