How MIT Uses Social Media to Make Complex Topics Approachable

How MIT Uses Social Media to Make Complex Topics Approachable

Jenny Fowler, Director of Social Media Strategy at MIT, shares how she makes social content for this academic stalwart accessible, engaging, and consistent.

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Full Episode Details

Accessibility and organization How MIT Uses Social Media to Make Complex Topics Approachable

Managing social for an historic institution like MIT requires agility, clear-thinking, and great strategic planning. In Jenny Fowler, Director of Social Media Strategy, they have all of those essential skills and a whole lot more.

Jenny is the only dedicated social media resource at MIT, with no direct reports, but coordinates over 200 department communications professionals to keep MIT’s voice, content, and purpose consistent across every channel. As she says in this episode, “my philosophy has always been to empower my community to succeed.”

Social media in higher education is a different beast to many other sectors, but Jenny has tamed it with grace and intelligence. Walk a mile in her shoes with this episode of Social Pros and you’ll be sure to pick up some fascinating tips and tricks along the way.

In This Episode:

  • 05:40 – How social is structured at MIT, with Jenny as the only full-time dedicated resource
  • 08:13 – How Jenny shares her expertise with the 200 departmental communications teams that produce social content
  • 11:18 – MIT’s most strategically-important platforms
  • 19:05 – Which metrics matter for Jenny – and why strategy is always the deciding factor
  • 26:08 – How MIT are using social to communicate essential information in the pandemic
  • 29:22 – Why being asked to “work your social media magic” isn’t innocent, but indicative of a deeper ignorance of social media professionals’ role and skills
  • 37:36 – How Jenny uses social to make complex academic topics more accessible
  • 39:45 – How Jenny started exploring MIT’s TikTok strategy

Quotes From This Episode:

Policing the amount of accounts that grow on campus is like herding cats. My philosophy has always been to empower my community to succeed. Click To Tweet

“I see a like and a share as a vote for that type of content.” @thejennyli

“You have to stay within your culture and your wheelhouse – I had people telling math jokes on our TikTok!” @thejennyli


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