Mar
24
2017

Social media engagement – Social Media Community session

I recently accepted an invitation to visit the University Social Media Community to discuss plans and prioritise future development for social media sharing functions and visitor feedback in EdWeb.

EdWeb social media sharing functionality from Duncan MacGruer

Social Media Community

The University’s Social Media Community is a space for staff who manage social media presences for the University to meet up and share ideas, experiences and offer support to each other.
Social Media Community wiki (EASE login required)
We reasoned that this would a good focus group, filled with our target audience for these functions, on which to test our assumptions about what would be useful in EdWeb.

Minimum viable product – core sharing buttons

Graphic mockup of sharing buttons at the foot of a University web page - including buttons for facebook, twitter, linked in, email and 'more'

Example graphic design of social sharing buttons at the University

As Neil has previously noted, our ethos is to focus on what will return the greatest impact with the least possible development resource.

The Kano model: helping us think about the value of features

Using this model allows us to prioritise essential features that we believe most editors will use:

  • Sharing buttons for core media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email
  • Available on all pages, always at the foot of the page, with an on/off switch set at home page level
  • Some simple analytics

I was very pleased with the reception that these plans had at the session, as they covered exactly what was expected.

Next phase of development

We then moved on to consider what could be next in our development plans for social media. I gave each attendee three votes, and asked them to indicate which features they most required for their business (they could vote two or three times for a single item, if they considered it essential). The results, shown below, will allow us to correctly prioritise the next phase of our development in this area.

Table of results of the dot vote conducted at the social media community session

Results of dot vote conducted at the Social Media Community session

I was surprised by the popularity of functions to set “follow” buttons on homepages, but I suppose that’s why we conduct research. I was gladdened to see that the analysis of the effectiveness of social media presences and campaigns was well represented. Knowing the impact is the only way to responsibly manage and design future campaigns, and analytics helps us do that.

Use Google Analytics to measure campaign success

Future community engagement

Although the exercise was very useful to us in terms of prioritising features we’ve already identified, we’re still interested in hearing from the community on what we should consider next.

  • What are University web publishers trying to achieve with social media, and what are your minimum requirements to achieve this?
  • What implementations of social media have worked well for you, and why?

If anyone want to add their thoughts to the future of social media and visitor feedback development in EdWeb, please do contribute to the community discussion on our wiki space.

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