My Social Media Sabbatical

This post also appeared on my blog, www.drewmillikin.com

 

I took a social media sabbatical last year—not a full on, delete all of my accounts and don’t post anything sabbatical—but for the first time in 7 years I didn’t have a Facebook, Twitter, or some other school/college account attached to my phone/computer. I also limited my posting to many of my own accounts as well. I didn’t spend a ton of time on Twitter, in fact I hardly posted anything there at all. I did use Instagram a lot, and posted to Twitter and Facebook through that, but otherwise, the Twitter and the Facebook were quiet compared to where they had been years prior.

 

Why did I do this?

After starting social media projects at two schools and pretty much being the social media guy at both, I was feeling a bit stale. I also had started at a new job which was very demanding of my time in other areas. We also had someone who was producing some really good content here for us as a school and we didn’t need more of it. In short, I didn’t need to be on it and thus, I wasn’t.

 

What did I gain?

No new personal insight, that’s for sure. I did, however, come into the end of the summer refreshed and ready to reengage with social media on an institutional level. It was nice to not have that pressure of creating content for multiple channels everyday.

 

I thought a lot about collaboration.

How do we spread the work across multiple offices and how do we make sure we aren’t duplicating content? I’m still a big believer in the idea that there should be one main account for a school rather than special interest accounts. While the audience for the Alumni/Development office obviously differs from that of the Admissions Office, but there are similarities, and there’s no reason we can’t tag-team events to make sure we have both covered.

 

I took a step back.

When you’re focused on creating content you can get hung up and lose sight of the big picture—the why? I used to spend a lot of time tracking engagement stats. It’s important information to have, but if you get too much into the numbers, you can lose sight of the big picture goals you may have.  How are your efforts in social media helping your annual fund numbers? How are they helping enrollment?

 

Looking ahead.

Now that I’m back on the horse, I’m excited to reengage in social media, if not as a direct user then definitely as an influencer. We’ve started getting to work our multiple offices across our campus can coordinate, collaborate and create while keeping the big picture goals in mind. I’m really excited about the work we’re going to do this year.

 

Drew Millikin

Drew Millikin

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Vermont Academy

Drew Millikin is a social media hang-a-rounder. After a brief stint in banking, Drew decided that education was a much better place to hide. That brought him to his alma matter, Saint Michael's College. While there he worked in the Office of Admission helping to create and develop Saint Michael's social media marketing strategy. After five years of rabble-rousing in higher education Drew decided to move into the boarding school glam life.

http://www.drewmillikin.com/