How Top Boston Colleges Are Integrating Social Media

My eighteen year old sister types papers on an iPad, has a Tumblr blog, Tweets everyday, and knows the latest music and fashion via Pinterest and blogs before most. A newbie freshman about to enter a college in Boston – she expects her college to keep up and be ahead of the curve when it comes to social media. She’s only one of many who expects such.

Luckily for her – and many other students, colleges have realized the stretch of road ahead of them and have hopped on by effectively using social and integrating it into their campus and curriculum at a fast pace. Boston being a central hub of college students has led the way with 4 of its colleges in the Top 25 of the Top 100 social media colleges in the United States.

Of those colleges include: Harvard University, Emerson College, Berklee College of Music, and MIT. A few things to note on why they shine when it comes to social media:

Harvard: The Harvard Social Media Dashboard gives a taste of all the University’s efforts in social including up to date videos, tweets, and more from each of its accounts. Each of its different channels and different accounts – whether it’s for alumni, research, a grad program, or the undergrad — have different strategies involved regarding the social output and the content generated for sharing with their audience. Harvard demonstrates that even if there are multiple channels and accounts, social media can be optimized effectively if the effort is put forth correctly.

Emerson College: Their social media classes are one to note of, as there are local guest speakers from the industry, social media strategy projects for local places, and other hands-on applications for students to learn, apply, and utilize as assets.

Berklee College of Music: The Berklee Music Network allows students the opportunity to collaborate, share, and find music, jobs, influencers, and friends all in real time. Music isn’t just about performances on a stage when social media can help lead the way through posting music online and sharing through different channels.

MIT: The Sociable Media Group demonstrates the mix of social and technology at the fringe of discovering what’s next. MIT known for being techy and savvy, demonstrates this even in the socialsphere.

Although Suffolk University was not in the Top 25, it must still be given recognition for its curriculum and conferences. Suffolk put on its first annual social media conference which was about bridging the gap between education and the workforce. It brought the likes of many influencers from around the nation demonstrating that the University was pushing ahead in social media and adapting to what’s new, at a fast pace. Along with its social media classes for undergrad and MBA program, Suffolk is also well on its way.

In short – it’s about ensuring that the students are continuously challenged through the school environment and through a curriculum that is ever-changing — since social media never stands still.

NOTE: This post was originally written for Social Media Club. My original post can be found here. 

Further Reading:

Bridging the Gap: Social Media Conference

Bridging the Gap: A Mashup of Academic Frameworks & Business Applications OR otherwise known as #BTG11 was the first conference I have co-planned, and with months of preparation, Friday, February 18th, 2011 was a great success thanks to the help of my amazing co-planners Sean Zinsmeister (@szinsmeister) and Paul Schmidt (@drumming).

Our main man MC, Joselin Mane (@Joselinmane) kicked it off with great intros and prizes to the audience. Academic Keynote Erik Qualman (@equalman) then started off the conference with a great energy and had the crowd not only roaring in laughter but applause. My fave part of his Keynote presentation was the tools he recommended (sorry for the blurry snapshot). I am a definite fan of some of these tools including all the free fun Google tools, Wisestamp, Hootsuite, and Grader. If you haven’t tried them out, definitely do!

Then the Facebook panel duo, Brian Simpson (@Bsimi) and Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella) were the perfect combo. They were informative, entertaining, and best of all, the complete opposites of one another. They were fabulous at answering the questions of the audience and the crafty ones that Tamsen McMahon @tamadear (our wonderful moderator) threw at them.

Paul Gillin (@pgillin) and Eric Enge (@ericenge) were both fabulous solo speakers who taught the crowd the importance of ROI and SEO, respectively. And although I learned a lot from each, my favorite part was when Meg Fowler (@megfowler) Tweeted, “The only thing in my life with a crystal-clear ROI is coffee. #BTG11″ during Paul’s session. I mean, come on…how can you not agree? Meg also won a kickass raffle prize for that Tweet. Win-Win!

Tamsen knocked it out of the park with her moderating skills for the Content Panel, which included C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman), Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs), Michelle McCormack (@Michellemmm) and John Deighton (@HBSMKTG). A great mix of on the panel, which allowed for great conversation on how content not only needs to be relevant, but one must take the time to create said content in order to reach one’s target market effectively.

Perhaps I am biased, but I must add that lunch was delicious!

In order to avoid food coma, Julia Roy (@juliaroy ) ensured everyone stayed wide awake with her lively presentation on Twitter for Business. It was not only entertaining but full of great case studies including Best Buy, Whole Foods and @comcastcares. Great examples of how brands should utilize Twitter…but please recall, as Julia stated, “There is no one right way to use Twitter for Business.” Great point!

And to close off the great day, Mike Volpe (@mvolpe) kicked ass and took names. He demonstrated the importance of inbound marketing and how social media is just a “piece of the puzzle”, yet an important piece of course. And one thing, people should definitely remember to take away when focusing on marketing and social media: “don’t dip your toe in the water, jump in all the way!”

But the fun didn’t stop there! There was of course an after-party for mingling, free food and drinks. And lets just say the song O.P.P. began playing…enough said? Bring it back to the 90s?

My last remark is that I am lucky enough to not only know many of these speakers personally, but am honored to know them professionally as well. Great people, Great time. What more can you ask for? #BTG11 Rocked! If you don’t believe me: check out below how much the conference Trended on Twitter. AWESOME!

If you missed out:

Presentation Slides

My Flickr Pics

More pics and videos will be added to the Facebook Page as well.

Save the Date: February 18, 2011

Suffolk University brings you Bridging The Gap: A Mashup of Academic Framework & Business Social Media Conference on February 18th, 2011.

Social Media and Inbound Marketing are making their way through business and culture.  This migration of ideologies creates opportunities and complexities within all organizations.  Our conference intends to connect academia and real world practices, strengthen the connection between the frameworks preached in schools and the practical applications being used in organizations.

The Info:

February 18th, 2011
Suffolk University
120 Tremont St
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Registration Time: 8:00 am

Lunch Included.

6pm Post-Conference Cocktail Networking Event at Red Sky

The Agenda (order may be switched):

1. Academic Keynote

2. Expert Panel on Facebook

3. How to utilize SEO in your Marketing Plan

4. Expert Panel on Blogging

5. Expert Panel on Twitter

6. Industry Keynote

Our two keynotes are Erik Qualman and  Mike Volpe !! In addition we have confirmed speakers such as Julia Roy, Brian Simpson, and Michelle McCormack with Joselin Mane as our main man MC!! Stay tuned to find out who else will be speaking.

Also stay tuned for the landing site (under construction) for up to date details.

Until then…Hit us up for more info:

The Planning Committee:

Pam Sahota

Sean Zinsmeister

Paul Schmidt