Earlier this month, we brought you our 2013 list of the most popular career services departments on social media. Because the article garnered so much attention, we decided to dig deeper and find out how the centers at the top of the list got there.

heather-tranen-wasserman-career-centerIn our first interview of this series, we asked NYU’s Heather Tranen to let us know how they do it at the most popular career services department in America – the Wasserman Center for Career Development. Heather’s answers here are great advice for other career services departments and budding marketing professionals alike.

Who does the bulk of the work managing your social media?

Our office is entirely team-based. The Communications team, which social media falls within, is one of our larger teams. As the Associate Director of Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, I spearhead the overall strategy and operations of our 12 social media platforms, as well as our website and messaging.

Within the team, there are different members of the Wasserman Center staff ranging from Assistant Directors to administrative staff. These individuals have ownership of our different platforms in addition to their other responsibilities in their various roles. No one has formal social media training, and we all made individual efforts to become up to speed with the latest trends and platforms. Additionally, we engage student workers in our efforts. We very much rely on their perspective to inform our practices.

What metrics do you use to measure your success on social media?

We measure ROI in a few different ways – both quantitatively and qualitatively. Beyond vanity metrics (numbers of followers, likes, etc.), we also focus a great deal on actionable metrics (retweets, shares, etc.). Through strategic assessment, this data provides us with invaluable insight into what actually engages students. We post via Hootsuite, which has an extremely helpful analytics tool.

Additionally, resources such as TwitonomyKlout, and Facebook admin panel are also extremely helpful in gathering quantitative data. Qualitatively, we collect the feedback we receive from our different stakeholders.

How often does social media come up in department-wide meetings?

Our Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs/Executive Director of the Wasserman Center, Trudy Steinfeld, is very much committed to keeping us on trend with the latest social media practices. The entire staff is committed to ensuring that we communicate effectively with all of our constituents. As a result, we regularly discuss social media and communication strategies in meetings and planning sessions.

Do you use social media to promote job listings?

We recently transitioned into a more content-based approach to our social media strategy. As a result, we no longer promote postings as individual social media posts. Instead, we will cross-promote a job description with additional career development content. If employers wish to write a content-based blog post about their industry, company culture, interviewing tips, or a Q&A with a senior staff member, they are welcome to do so. Within the post, we also include the job posting link so students can seamlessly go directly from the post to the position.

Similarly, employers can tweet a day-in-the-life through our @NYUWassEmployer handle. While informing our students of what their days look like in 140 characters or less, they can also cross promote their position. We also create a Storify of the tweets, and include direct links to the employers positions. This allows their position to get additional exposure through a different context.

The results astounded our team. Since transitioning to this model, click-throughs increased by 333%. We had to do the math several times to make sure we were correct!

Do you use social media to promote events hosted by your department?

In a similar vein, we also take a content-based approach when promoting our own initiatives. For example, when a career fair is approaching, we will link to our Attire for Successful Hire Pinterest board so students know what to wear, or will direct them to a blog post or Wassertube video about what to expect from a career fair. We also reap the benefits of this approach. Many of our events saw record numbers this year.

What else do you use social media for?

Overall, we use social media to engage our constituents and connect them to NYU. It is extremely important to us that we provide our students with the most opportunities possible and prepare them for their life after college. We see social media as an incredibly powerful way to connect our students across all 14 of our global campuses, to introduce them to our services, to provide valuable content, and to support them in their career development. From an employer perspective, we see social media as an additional way for them to build their brand at NYU, and to connect them to appropriate talent. We also engage with alumni in our social media initiatives and use the platforms to stay updated on industry trends and career-related topics.