Social media is everywhere, but it’s still Greek to many at MIT. Even if you’re familiar with the basics, would you know how to plan your department’s social media campaign? Or how to leverage the latest technologies when creating an email newsletter for your lab?
Geek or non-geek, you now have a friend on campus. Her name is Stephanie Hatch.
Hatch is MIT’s first social media and email marketing specialist — a new role in a new group, Communication Production Services (CPS). CPS provides some of the communications advising services formerly available through the Publishing Services Bureau (PSB), offers basic graphic design and digital printing through MIT CopyTech, and manages Reference Publications.
MIT’s own social media specialist
As the Institute’s central resource for digital strategies, Hatch is here to help beginners as well as those who have been using social media for a while. She sees her role as providing help in three fundamental ways:
• Advising on social media strategies
Check the blogs and RSS feeds: Every day unveils new social media tools and trends. In the face of this groundswell, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why talking to a specialist like Hatch can get you headed in the right direction, matched with tools that have already been vetted at MIT.
Hatch has the breadth of knowledge to provide insightful advice. She’s been there and done that, most recently for the School of Architecture and Planning. She follows several social media forums, among them Dave Kerpen’s blog on likeable.com, TechCrunch and Mashable. And with other members of MIT’s Social Media Working Group — which she’ll lead starting in January — she confers about best practices.
In fact, the Working Group has developed a basic set of social media guidelines for MIT. These will be expanded and revised over time.
• Providing learning opportunities
Hatch plans to schedule group-learning opportunities on a range of topics about social media and email marketing. Some sessions may focus on new platforms and software; others on building relevant skills, such as using analytics to understand your audience.
To be alerted about these opportunities, contact Hatch via email.
• Advising on email marketing
If your DLC is planning to send out an email newsletter, there are many factors to consider, from visual design and HTML coding to your target audience and service provider (e.g., Constant Contact, iModules). Hatch can provide advice on all these steps and also share tips on engaging your readers — from using effective subject lines and including share buttons to deciding on timing and frequency.
As Hatch sums it up, “There’s a lot that goes into email marketing that impacts the way people interact with it.”
Advice for the asking
MIT is already making its mark in the digital arena through innovations and contributions in every type of forum. If your DLC is looking for a guide in this brave new world, remember this: Stephanie Hatch is your friend. You can contact her by email or by phone at 617-258-9353, or on Twitter @hatchsteph.