Perspectives: Tips for comms and promotion
Associate Editor and Social Media Editor,
Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
How it started
I had been working in higher education for a couple of years and was a happy and proud member of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) when the pandemic struck. At the time Perspectives was affiliated with the AUA, so when there was an announcement that they were looking for Editors to join the board, I felt it was a perfect way of staying connected to my profession, at a time when the higher education sector was going through an extraordinarily tumultuous period.
I met with Bland Tomkinson (Journal Editor) and Dr. Matthew Andrews (Editorial Board Chair), to discuss the journal and what became quite clear, was that up until that point, Perspectives had no independent social media presence and was therefore increasingly being left behind in the industry monitoring mechanisms that are so integral.
I was working as a Communications Manager at the time and felt that I could contribute most meaningfully in helping the journal navigate this digital centric landscape. At the start, it was as easy as just identifying which platforms would make the most sense to our readers and contributors, then it became a case of building out our audience and engagement. The social media channels were launched in March 2021 and to date we have amassed 255 followers on Twitter and 141 followers on LinkedIn.
The work around our social media presence is far from over, and since normality has slowly but surely resumed the biggest resource that one was able to dedicate to the project – namely time – has once again become a rarefied commodity. When faced with the question, why is social media so important to this and other journals, I must always point to the metrics that help propel all journals to ever higher quartiles. Namely, how many times others view/download our articles and who cites us.
When I joined Perspectives there was a whiff of jeopardy with regards to the future of the journal. The largest task was to get our metrics looking healthier and heading upward to reflect our ambitions for ourselves and I am thrilled that that has been happening. We have been going from strength to strength and are always looking to expand our digital eco-system and contribution. But that is not to say there have not been challenges along the way.
We experience the typical challenges – namely around finding enough time to dedicate to the social media beast that needs endless content feeding! To making sure that we stand out and have a distinct feel and look to what we post and celebrate. In order to get a sense of how we overcome these challenges and more generally, what we found works, I have included our Top Tips below –
- Know your audience and choose the right platform to engage them
We’re very lucky in that the journal caters for a specific audience and we’re always on the look out for our base requests – mainly to review or submit an article for us. As such finding platforms that work best for this was straightforward, but this is not always the case, so before even your first post, you must have a clear understanding of your target audience and what it is that you’re requiring your social media presence to achieve.
- Keep the content dynamic and regular/frequent
This sounds like the easiest but is in fact the hardest. If you are promoting anything that is not yourself, generating new and dynamic content is not only the bread and butter of your social media contribution it is also, the most challenging to keep consistently generating. Ideally you would also have videos or photos that go alongside any text so that you can stand out and keep the audience engaged. And do this on a weekly, if not daily basis!
- Find ways of knowing your content creators handles. Content always performs better when shared and re-shared
Perhaps this is a top tip unique to journals, but this is something that we have been trying to champion from the moment our authors/editors/reviewers come into our orbit. And I am pleased to say that now, when an author submits an article to be published, our publishers Taylor and Francis, have included a prompt for them to include their social media handles. It is always better to tag and hashtag relevant people or themes in your posts, so finding social media handles to include is a must.
- It takes a village – ask friends and colleagues for suggestions, opinions and content.
We are very fortunate that our board meets quarterly and we have included a regular standing item to discuss our social media presence. It can be difficult to think of points of view or generate content on such a regular basis without input, ideas and creative suggestions from a wider team. If you can include more people in the conversation – both online and in real life – the benefits are immense.
Anastasia Orekhov is the Senior Manger of Global Experiences at the London Business School as well as an Associate Editor and Social Media Editor for Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Please follow and like us on Twitter @PerspectivesHE and LinkedIn /perspectives-journal-he/ or email us PerspectivesHE@gmail.com
Most importantly, as Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education has gone fully digital you can find our latest volume and back catalogue including this brilliant piece by Dr. Joanne Caldwell on ‘Professional identity and professional services staff: understanding and impact’ https://bit.ly/3pXPQm1
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Also in this issue of Development Monthly