How can I best use social media to promote women in computer science on campus?
August 22, 2012 5:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm newly in charge of social media for my campus' Women in Computer Science group. What should I do to be the best at this?

I've been handed a Facebook page admin-ship and a Twitter account. I already know to have anything that the group is doing posted, but what else should I post? Would things like a 'weekly historical fact' blurb be beneficial, or would it more likely be seen as fluff?
Also, beyond what I post, what else should I keep in mind, and are there other things I could do in order to help out the group & group goal as much as possible?

(I already make sure to keep a relatively quiet/functional role in the group, so as to make sure that I don't overshadow anyone, though of course it's something I'm always working to be more mindful of.)
posted by CrystalDave to Technology (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm assuming you're supposed to be promoting the group in general and your goal is to get new people to join? Or is it more of a role that is designed to serve a well-established existing group that doesn't need to recruit more members?

One of the best things you can do to increase attendance and investment in a group is to invite people to join it personally. I know that this doesn't seem like a "social media" job, but asking people to join/friend/follow the group in person will really do wonders for participation and engagement, if that's one of your goals.

I think historical facts are a great idea. You can also simply ask at the next meeting what the members of the group would like to see.

Hope that helps--!
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:50 PM on August 22, 2012

I wouldn't be interested in a "weekly historical fact", but occasionally posting timely links to other women-in-CS stuff sounds helpful - relevant awards and scholarships, other organizations, etc. Also posting about interesting local engineering meetups and recruiting events (gender-targeted or not), unless most of your club members are also part of a general-purpose club that distributes information like that. I'd just keep non-directly-club-related posts to once a week or less, so they feel interesting instead of spammy.
posted by dreamyshade at 5:53 PM on August 22, 2012

occasionally posting timely links to other women-in-CS stuff sounds helpful

Be sure to solicit these contributions from group members on a regular basis.
posted by bleep at 6:08 PM on August 22, 2012

Best answer: I think half of the core responsibility of a 'social media coordinator' type role is what you're already planning on doing: posting information about group events. On Facebook, you should also be creating event pages and inviting group members to the events - some may say this is annoying behavior but I think it's fine when constrained to the members of a particular group, as opposed to mass inviting all your Facebook friends. With Twitter, you could even tweet a "we have a meeting tonight at 7" type message or a "meeting tonight is cancelled" as necessary. And the young rope-rider is correct: the other half is adding people to the FB page and following them on Twitter, and promoting the account.

If you want to post content, that would also be cool, in my opinion. As a hypothetical member of the group (I'm not actually in CS) I would be more interested in current events articles and interesting blog posts than historical facts, although if it's, say, Grace Hopper's birthday, you could certainly post some historical stuff. I also like dreamyshade's ideas.
posted by capricorn at 6:53 PM on August 22, 2012

I think what's most important is to first figure out what your goal is. Support current members? Gain new members? Answer questions? Something else entirely?
posted by radioamy at 8:38 PM on August 22, 2012

You should talk about what the women in your Women in Computer Science group are doing with their skills. Promote them. Think of it like a development house where in addition to software, the group is producing women computer scientists who do things worth talking about. There could also be blogging involved.
posted by rhizome at 12:58 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Metafilter user handee is involved in something like this, I think. Maybe drop her an memail.
posted by zoo at 5:02 AM on August 23, 2012

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