Tulsa Community College (TCC) career services has found social media to be an effective way to connect with students across its campuses. Currently, the office uses Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to promote resources and events and to share local job postings with students.
In particular, TCC career services posts “Job Market Monday”—which is a popular offering among students and employers—on Facebook each week. The post includes information from employers about current local job openings or internship opportunities, each in a digital flyer format.
“We send guidelines and recommendations to the employers about the post, such as size and details to include,” explains Heather Crain, career development specialist at TCC.
“We ask for employers to send us the post to ensure we stay away from copyright or licensing issues. Once the employers send us the post, we approve it and then schedule it for the next Job Market Monday.”
If there are only a few job openings to post, career services staff occasionally will include job readiness tips, such as tips about building work experience, resume writing, or interviewing.
“Job Market Monday gives students something specific and consistent that they can expect to see on our social media pages each week,” Crain says.
“It also provides a quick and simple way for students to see job postings. A student may not actively log into our online job board all the time, but they may see our post about potential opportunities. Job Market Monday has also been popular with employers. This provides a great alternative to traditional flyers.”
TCC career services has been posting Job Market Monday for about two years. To measure its effectiveness, staff look at the social media analytics on both Hootsuite—a social media management tool—and the individual social media platforms.
“Overall, our social media following has increased substantially since we began incorporating more intentional social media planning and posting,” Crain says.
“Currently, our Job Market Monday-related posts are ranking with the highest engagement percentages on each of our platforms.”
In terms of its overall social media program, Crain says one of the main challenges staff have encountered is finding the time to keep each social media channel continually active while attending to their daily responsibilities.
To clear this hurdle, TCC career services uses Hootsuite to schedule posts.
“This has helped us be more efficient in our social media because we can pre-schedule posts and post to multiple platforms all at once,” Crain notes.
“Also, we have found that creating a stock of social media photos and videos to use for posts is very helpful. We don’t wait until we need to post to shoot a video. If we have videos and photos taken ahead of time, it is much easier to create posts. This doesn’t work all the time, especially when sharing about events or similar things, but it certainly helps. It also prevents us from not posting because we don’t have enough content. By keeping a folder with potential posts, it lessens our chances of having large gaps of time with no posting activity.”
She shares other recommendations with her colleagues for using social media, such as setting goals and creating a schedule to help them stay consistent with posts.
“By making a goal of a certain number of posts per week,” Crain explains, “you can ensure that your social media channels have regular content. This consistency will strengthen your department’s social media presence. We strive to post weekly on all of our social media platforms.”
Another tip is to reach out to current students and have them help with the social media postings.
“Whether it is a work-study or volunteer, having a student point of view makes such a big difference,” she says.
“We have also found that short 15- or 30-second videos are very effective and tend to receive more responses than other types of posts.”
TCC career services has found social media an effective way to reach and engage its students, especially since the school is a multi-campus, large community college serving more than 20,000 students.
“It is important for us to find ways to connect to today’s student,” Crain says.
“Social media has helped connect students from all campuses to our office. It adds an extra form of campus engagement and connection. It gives us more opportunities to share with students about career services and the resources that we offer.”