Every Thursday at 1pm EST, Student Affairs professionals from all over the world participate in a conversation over Twitter called: #SAchat.
This is where I started my not only my Twitter networking, but my networking with social media in general. Now, I "lurk" more than anything on #SAchat to give my friends that open experience to network like I did. However, this past chat was on a topic that was right up my alley, and I wasn't able to participate.
In fact, my Twitter Bestie, Colleen (@cmmarqua), was kind enough to not only point out that I was gone, but that she missed my thoughts (none of this was sarcasm, I appreciate that you think so highly of me friend). So what was the chat all about?
Well, it was: "Social Media conduct as a SA professional" Without looking at anyone else, here are the MOD questions with my thoughts. I am keeping these response brief because these would normally be tweets. Based on the questions, I'm thinking this isn't necessarily disciplinary conduct, but in the way Student Affairs professionals use social media.
Agree? Disagree? Want me to go more in depth into a response? Comment below! This is a "chat" after all!
Q1: Does your school have policies dictating appropriate social media use for professional staff? If so, what are they?
For our personal use of our sites, there aren't really any policies regarding out use. If we operate department accounts, there is a whole set of policies and guidelines that we need to read and follow. The 3 "documents" are:
Social Media Policies: click here
University Visual Identity / Branding: click here
Writing Style: click here
Q2: Do you find that these policies make your job more difficult given the expansive use of social media by students? Why?
In all honesty, the only problem (and it is a good problem) is the conversation of student's being in control of the accounts. The policy states that there needs to be at least 2 full time employees on the accounts, but it does not say that student's can't be involved. It just adds to the strategy and guidelines within the department.
Q3: Aside from #SAchat how do you use social media to build your brand as a SA professional?
Since getting involved in #SAchat, you can also find me primarily now with the #SAtech chat on Tuesdays at 1pm EST. I also make appearances on #EMchat, Thursdays at 9pm EST, and #StrategyCar, Fridays at 3pm EST. Honestly, these chats have helped me grow professionally and have connected me to so many different opportunities that I know I wouldn't have had otherwise. My social media is also my way of sharing my content being generated from this site.
Q4: What are differences between students and SA professionals about appropriate interaction with one another via social media?
I am a little confused, so I am going to answer it one way and let you all correct me. The interaction between students and professionals should be "normal". I mean that in the sense that you know your barriers and limits as to what is appropriate. My suggestion is to set the parameters in which students can connect with you and don't go looking to friend them.
Q5: Does being connected with students on social media enhance or limit your online experience?
I know it personally has enhanced my relationships with them. Biggest thing is to be yourself with your one account. Makes life so much easier for you and let's the students that connect with you get to know you more as a person and that translates into great relationships elsewhere.
There are two additional features to a standard #SAchat. They are the FQ and the FT. Here's my thoughts.
FQ: It's called "Final Question", but I like "Future Question." They are questions you have that didn't get asked. I look at it as questions you could ask in a future chat.
Does anyone know of department/institution that is having conduct sessions for "behavior misconduct" found in things like photos or tweets?
FT: Final Thought
Practice what you preach. It sends the message that professional identity is important, but at the same time, keep being you. And one account! (Sorry that's two thoughts)