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Have you followed @PrezKaler?

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Guest blogger: Elizabeth Giorgi ( egiorgi at )

Elizabeth Giorgi (Liz), social and multimedia coordinator in University Relations, has some giorgi_lg.jpgwords of wisdom about the whimsical world of social media. Liz manages the U's Facebook page, YouTube channel, and the recently launched @PrezKaler Twitter account. In her free time, she also blogs about social media, Internet culture, and general geekiness at Her conclusion here may seem intuitive: ask yourself the most important question of all: Would I read this? But the road to a good Twitter post and indeed much social media is fraught with the perils of tedium.

Here's what Liz has to say:

You may have noticed that our 16th President has a beard. Did you know that he is the first since U president William Watts Folwell? It's these kind of quirky details that we hope to capture with the @PrezKaler Twitter account.

People are already starting to ask me what my goals for our social media accounts will be in 2012. The introduction of the @PrezKaler account is a huge part of what I see as the future of social media at the U. Here's why: we tend to pay attention to and share the things that we see from friendly faces. As a large entity, we're not always effective in doing that.

When you break down the walls of academia and focus on one voice, you can make the conversation more personal and more impactful. So, how does the beard come in? One of the ideas we're playing with for November is to have people tweet their pictures of their "Novembeards" to @PrezKaler as a sign of solidarity. Who would you be more likely to send a photo of yourself to? A nameless face acting as a large department? Or a guy you see on TV or in the halls? We're betting on the latter.

Getting Twitty with it
In a nutshell: We need to be sassier, more personal, more risky, and more ever-present.
As for the larger accounts that do represent us as a whole, aka the University of Minnesota page on Facebook, the U's page needs to find a way to more clearly distinguish ourselves from other information on your news feed. That's where sassiness comes into play. We recently posted a photo album on Facebook with some autumnal scenes. One caption reads: "The Lilly Plaza is a little-known study spot. Oops, did we just let out the secret?!"

When you look to establish your goals for social media this coming year, think about what you can do to distinguish yourself and use a more personal voice. And ask yourself the most important question of all: Would I read this?

1 Comment

I'm looking forward to Novembeard! Last year's Movember was a bit of a letdown.

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