“Become what you are” is more than a great 1993 album by Juliana Hatfield (worth noting; I’ve had a crush on Juliana since roughly 1994), it is a great phrase to keep in mind when using social media for your school. I thought of Juliana Hatfield’s album title when I read this quote:


You don’t need a social media strategy – You need a brand strategy that leverages social media. Don’t get off the brand strategy just because there’s a new communications channel, that’s how you lose the plot as a brand. Technology is the tail, not the dog.”

– Chris Kirubi, Chairman of Coca Cola Nairobi

Print that quote and hang it on your wall. Give it to anyone with a hand in your school’s social media.

I work for a very conservative school; Xaverian Brothers High School is not comfortable jumping headfirst in the deep end of the social media pool, and it would be inconsistent with our brand image and overall communications strategy to do so. This can be personally frustrating from time to time, but we must remain true to who we are. Xaverian has a strong brand image that existed long before I arrived and will remain long after I’m gone. Ultimately many families choose Xaverian because of its conservatism. I cannot forget that because I’m excited about the newest social site.


Not long ago Starbucks discussed their 10 philosophical precepts that drive the company’s social media efforts and how they are engaging in social media – you can find an article about it here. Number five on the list of ten Precepts reads;

5. Be authentic.

Rule No. 1 in social media is to be genuine and transparent, so this precept is not breaking any new ground. What is crucial here specifically for Starbucks is that they remain true to the brand–they started with a coffeehouse culture, so the social media team is expected to be coffeehouse-like when engaging through social media. – Mikal E. Belicove

In other words a coffeehouse should act and engage like a coffeehouse. A conservative Catholic School should act and engage like a conservative Catholic School.


Xaverians approach to this new media landscape has been slow and steady, we’re creating our own content, we are on Flickr, our facebook page has over 1,100 fans and we have over 250 Twitter followers, and we just launched our first blogs. More importantly than numbers we engage on all of these platforms. We took a conservative approach. You need to become and reflect what you are, not reinvent yourself for the latest mode of communication.


What do you think? How as your school or business leveraged social media as part of its brand strategy? More importantly do you own Juliana Hatfields “Become What you are” and what do you think of it?


I can’t think of things to say.
Would if I could find a way.”

– “this is the sound” Juliana Hatfield

Read Juliana Hatfields blog here

Tim McDonough

Tim McDonough

Senior Customer Success Manager at finalsite