3 ResLife Pro Quick Tips for Engaging Residents through Social Media

Roompact’s “Quick Tips” series highlights ideas and suggestions you can put into your practice as either a professional staff or student staff member working in residence life and education. Click to read more from the series.

Social media can be an excellent platform for student engagement. We wanted to provide three tips for those of you looking to engage with residents on social…

1. Be comfortable with lack of control.

One of the scary things about engaging students on social media is its unpredictable nature. What if you say something that sparks an unintended controversy? What if a resident says something inappropriate? It can happen. This is what makes social media engagement exhilarating and a little bit scary. Before you engage, understand that you’ll have to be comfortable with a certain lack of control. The benefits, however, can far outweigh the risks. Use common sense, be authentic, acknowledge mistakes, and roll with it.

2. Go beyond advertising, build community.

One of the powers of social media is the way it connects people. Rather than seeing it as a one-way opportunity to push out advertising, think about it as an engagement tool. How can you engage your followers so they become fans? How can you celebrate and amplify the voices of members of your community? How can you listen to what your campus constituencies are talking about? Take a look at Campus Sonar’s free book, “The Fundamentals of Social Media Strategy: A Guide for College Campuses” for guidance. It’s an excellent primer.

3. Find your voice.

You have a lot of options for your “voice” when engaging on social media. You could maintain a more formal “institutional” tone. You could be more informal and use memes and emoji. You could speak as a third party, or make it personal. There are a lot of choices you can make and no one is better than the other. Think about what goals you are attempting to accomplish, who you audience is, and how you want to interact with them. This can be your guide. (And don’t be afraid to experiment a little!)

Roompact provides a number of digital engagement tools that you can use in residence life. From text messaging to community discussions. Ask us for a demo if you’re curious!

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