Does Your B-School Website Have a Social Media Directory?
By Rodney Alsup, MBA News Digest

Social media is an integral part of the marketing efforts of graduate management education (GME) programs. The number of available social media websites and applications can overwhelm program managers, directors, and website visitors.

There’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc., with more becoming available almost daily. While many of these application buttons appear on various program websites, it does not mean the application’s use is the same for each GME program. Thus, the challenge: How to communicate with staff and website visitors what social media accounts are available to them and how they are being used. One way is to create a social media directory.

What is a Social Media Directory?

Similar to the campus phone directory, a social media directory is a curated list of the social media accounts along with the account name and a link for connecting with the account or program owner. There appears to be no uniformity in where a directory resides or its format. Also, directory management is sometimes at the university level and sometimes at the academic unit level. Published directories include everything from names and links to purpose and action triggers. The format is as diverse as the websites that host the directory.

Where to Start

There are many ways to create and deploy a social media directory for your GME program or B-School. One starting point is to take an inventory of the social media accounts being used within the academic unit. Then post the list with links on the program’s or B-School’s website so visitors can view the options available to them. A simple list works well. But several B-Schools are doing something that goes beyond the simple list. They are creating social media directories with more information and making it available to website visitors, inviting them to follow, friend, connect, etc.

Directory Examples

Examples of social media directories include the following:

  • Babson College
    The social media page opens with an action trigger, an invitation to connect with the Babson community, and a sidebar listing of the social media categories from which a visitor can drill-down to see the active individual and organization accounts available for connecting, following, etc.
  • Champlain College
    The directory page also opens with an action trigger. Champlain uses a matrix format to display available organization accounts. The directory does not include individual accounts.
  • Montana State University
    This directory page opens with two well-positioned action triggers. The first is inviting visitors to “Connect. Communicate. Engage.” And the second invites visitors to have their account added to the directory page.
Benefits of a Social Media Directory

The directory design determines the benefits. Assuming the directory is all encompassing in its design, benefits include the following:

  • Visitors have a quick way to see what social media accounts are available.
  • Program managers have a checklist for reassigning responsibilities when staff changes occur.
  • It’s easy to incorporate action triggers into the directory’s design.
  • Published with permission of Rodney Alsup, MBA News Digest. Visit here for a free subscription to MBA News Digest.