National Social Media Award for UCC
After recently being selected as a finalist at the national Social Media Awards, UCC has gone on to win outright for best social media engagement. The Social Media Awards, or ‘Sockies’ as they are more affectionately known, are an annual initiative that seeks to reward best social media practice.
Following on from the 2013 Social Media Awards, where UCC was selected as a finalist for 'Best Use of Social Media by a State Body', this year the university won out in the Social media effectiveness category. It delivered the best performance in terms of conversions and metrics, despite an extremely competitive playing field.
This year's event was held in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, and was hosted by broadcaster Rick O'Shea.
Colleagues in UCC International also made it to the semi-final stages for Social media only campaign.
The win reflects the commendable efforts of the many individuals and groups across campus that feed UCC’s multiple social media channels, with the overall effort co-ordinated by UCC’s Digital Estate Working Group (DEWG), tasked with helping to map out UCC's digital future.
Some of UCC's efforts on social media over the last year include:
- A dramatic increase in its Facebook presence, increasing from 11,096 likes to 20,685 since May 2013.
- Particularly aimed at keeping existing and past students engaged, UCC's LinkedIn presence is lively. Since October 2013, group membership has grown from 9924 to 10,973 members, with 19 separate sub-groups around the world also active.
- UCC's Twitter account (@UCC) increased from 10,844 followers to 17,900 since May 2013.
- UCC now uses a range of tools to further its social media presence, such as TweetReach, the #UCCChasingIce climate change conference in January 2014 being a recent example.
- UCC established two additional platforms, bringing its main social media presence to six (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Storify and Tripadvisor). UCC's Storify platform is home to many colourful multimedia stories, rounding up the best of online and social media coverage of UCC events and news. UCC also now has a formal presence on Tripadvisor, enabling it to respond to reviews directly. Since October 2013, UCC has climbed from 5th place out of 176 attractions in Cork and 170 reviews, to 3rd place out of 180 attractions and 196 reviews, retaining its 4.5 Star rating.
- A UCC-wide social media mailing list was created, featuring the admins of dozens of UCC-affiliated social media accounts who share each other's content (see http://www.ucc.ie/en/connect/) (if you would like to sign up to this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Conscious of cyber-bullying in particular, UCC also launched a strong social media policy that is subject to regular review (and is used as necessary e.g. http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/facebook-u-turn-on-sexist-ucc-page-248613.html).
See http://socialmediaawards.com/ for more information on the Social Media Awards.