Community Building Capacity of Social Media

NEAR-Social-Media.pngAre you part of the #IRWaterCooler? Are you in the know about #HiEdData? If you attended the recent #NEAIR16 annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland, you may have been introduced to these hashtags as a way to connect with IR professionals (#IRWaterCooler) and others interested in broader topics related to higher education data and information (#HiEdData). These Twitter hashtags and other social media tools, such as LinkedIn groups and Facebook pages, have allowed the Social Media Team that is part of the NEAIR Membership Committee intentionally draw people together for knowledge sharing, networking, and community building.

What started as a group of IR professionals sharing through social media in advance of a conference presentation has blossomed into a way to connect regionally, nationally, and internationally through the power of social media. Annual conferences provide excellent ways to connect about IR, assessment, and data and information use in higher education. These social media campaigns provide ways to both connect while at the conference (find the other atendees Tweeting from the conference using their Twitter profile photos) and keep the conversations and connections going all year.

Users of these tools can gain knowledge by passing along links to articles; send well wishes to others in the community unable to be present at a conference (as NEAIR attendees were asked to do by using #NEAIRiness and tagging an absent member); and connect with the national conversation, as NEAIR conference attendees did at the (joking) request of Rich Reeves from NCES to communicate with IPEDS via memes. Social media provides the opportunity to connect quickly and creatively, and leads to friendships that span geographical boundaries for IR professionals.

Join the conversation by following @NEAIR_IR and @AIR4Data on Twitter and tagging #IRWaterCooler and #HiEdData in your Tweets; liking IR-related pages on Facebook, such as the AIR page; and joining LinkedIn groups, such as the AIR group and NEAIR group.

What are some ways you are engaging with social media to share with others about topics related to IR? Do you, your IR office, or AIR affiliated organization (AO) have a Twitter handle, Facebook page, LinkedIn group, or other social media platforms where you are connecting about IR topics? Please share them in the comments section, below:




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Total Comments: 4
Melanie posted on 12/19/2016 2:18 PM
I have found connecting with NEAIR and IR colleagues through twitter and other social media to be both incredibly easy and rewarding, thanks in no small part to the patience and kindness of our savvy IR colleagues. Believe me: if I can tweet, anyone can! It’s a space worth joining. @LarsonTweeter
Claire posted on 1/19/2017 12:49 PM
I use the #HiEdData and #IRWatercooler tags on Twitter for sharing what I’m working on, asking quick questions, and generally engaging in conversations with others beyond my office. For more in depth detailed discussions the AIR LinkedIn group has been helpful, along with NEAIR forum. I make use of the search function on LinkedIn groups / NEAIR Forum to see if my question has already been asked.

LinkedIn is useful for engaging IR staff. I do enjoy Twitter for talking data and data related topics with other higher education professionals.
Angela posted on 1/20/2017 11:26 AM
We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of our IR offices. The #IRWatercooler on Twitter is just one fantastic way to remember you're not alone! Its a fantastic way to get and stay connected with other IR colleagues. Start conversations, post questions, get a laugh...seriously great resource!
Shawn posted on 1/23/2017 11:10 AM
By using various modes of social media (SM), I have been able to have questions answered, further conversations, find subject matter experts, and grow and enrich my network. I find SM an invaluable resource. @SL_MWCC