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How Duke University Succeeds with Social Media

Posted Under: Social Pros Podcast
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Daniel Lemin

Convince & Convert

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Convince & Convert

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Sonja Likness, Director of Social Media & Content Strategy at Duke University (Communications Office), shares how she runs social media with numerous departments, collaborators, and over 15,600 students.

Collaborate on social How Duke University Succeeds with Social Media

Coordinating social media content across campus with a large number of departments is no easy feat. However, Sonja Likness, the Director of Social Media & Content Strategy at Duke University, has created a seamless structure that upholds the university’s reputation while still giving departments their own voice on social.
As Sonja stated in this episode of the podcast, “a part of my job is to educate, give best practices, consult when they run into trouble, and to facilitate everybody talking to each other.
Social media practitioners can learn a lot from Sonja, who effectively structures countless collaborators on campus covering a range of different topics and navigates social for a popular university with approx. 15,634 students – not to mention, juggling all of this and keeping everything aligned during a global pandemic. Hear how she does it without breaking a sweat on this fascinating episode of Social Pros.

In This Episode:

  • 04:14 – How Sonja coordinates social content across campus
  • 06:16 – How Duke University’s ‘social media working group’ works together
  • 07:26 – How audience prioritization differs across different social media platforms
  • 12:57 – Why additional governance is necessary when approaching profound topics such as COVID-19
  • 15:07 – How Duke University leverages influencers and user-generated content
  • 18:13 – How Sonja’s team are creating new video content during the pandemic
  • 20:40 – How Duke University uses highly-polished video content vs. authentic video content
  • 23:38 – The importance of social listening
  • 27:40 – Why (and how) Sonja builds relationships with key social media leads across campus
  • 32:40 – How Duke University targets graduate students with social media marketing

Quotes From This Episode:

“We don’t just monitor what people are saying about Duke University, we monitor what people are saying about issues in the news and things that are currently happening” @SonjaLikness
“A part of my job is to educate our smaller units and departments about the what kind of content they might have that we would want to pick up and amplify” @SonjaLikness


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