Social media are popular among young people, and the focus on online communities is important for universities to develop online communication between the staff and students. The purpose of this report is to evaluate the Social Media service presented on the Deakin University website and to propose the potential improvements and recommendations. The strengths of the service are in organisation, and the weaknesses are in the volume of the provided information regarding the service’s goal, purpose, and regarding the social media resources. Potential improvements to the service include the development of the feedback system, provision of the statistics, and the presentation of the detailed information on the service. Recommendations to implement the third improvement are based on stating the goal, distinguishing between the information types, presenting etiquette guidelines, and developing the Q&A session.
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Evaluation of Social Media at the Deakin Website
Social media are the part of the young people’s everyday life, and students spend much time communicating online. References and links to social media, where it is possible to find the information about the certain university, are presented on many university websites, including the website developed for Deakin University. Social media serve to support students’ communication and to provide the platform for sharing information between the students and university’s staff online. Thus, the covering scope of this report is examination of the Social Media service provided on the Deakin University website.
The purpose of this report is to present the information on strengths and weaknesses of the Social Media service and to propose possible improvements. This report aims to research and evaluate the current state and the future direction of the Social Media service and to provide the necessary recommendations to improve the service’s work. The practical usefulness of this report’s findings is in opportunities to implement the recommendations on the services’ improvement to facilitate the communication between the students and university’s staff and in opportunities to present the researched information directly to the university administration.
Evaluation of the Current Service
The Social Media service presented on the Deakin University website provides students with links to the Deakin University profiles in such social media as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Blog, LinkedIn, and iTunes U, and with the information which is shared with the help of social media resources. The service can be discussed as effective in relation to encouraging the communication between current students, enrollees, young people interested in the university, and the staff because of providing links to the university’s communities.
Strengths of the service
The strengths of the service are in presenting the complete list of the university’s profiles which can be found in different social media. These links provide users with the opportunity to find the necessary information quickly. The users’ needs are also identified and met with the help of doubling the information shared in the social media on the website. Following the link to the profile, the user can see the comments to the post. The user can comment the post after logging in on the social media websites. The other strong feature of the service is the opportunity to access it while becoming interested in the university’s news and events. Thus, the users can respond to their needs to learn more about the university’s events with the help of social media tools. The complete list of social media and the detailed links to the profiles are organised effectively, and they provide users with the opportunity to know what services are available for them (Social Media 2013).
The weaknesses of the service
The weakness of the service which can also be discussed as the issue to be resolved is the lack of the users’ involvement into developing media contents and collections because students cannot leave comments and feedbacks on the website page. Furthermore, one more key issue related to using the service is the necessity to organise the statistics on using this or that social network in order to monitor the users’ interest in services. This statistics can also be related to the popularity of the certain posts which are important to be examined. The service is also weak in providing the information on how to use social media in order to improve the communication and which information can be found on many community pages.
Evaluation of Potential Improvements to the Service
The Social Media service presented on the Deakin University website should be improved in relation to providing the information on the service’s functions and possibilities. Thus, the Social Media service should include the explanation of the service’s goals and detailed explanations of the opportunities associated with communicating in online communities because different social media are good for various purposes. The list of potential improvements can include
- provision of the users with the opportunity to comment on changes related to the website page and leave feedbacks associated directly with the social media work;
- provision of the statistics on the popularity of social media among students and staff;
- provision of the detailed information on the Social Media service’s functions and associated opportunities (explanation of the purpose and goal, distinction between types of information, etiquette of online communication).
The proposed improvements are effective to attract more students and staff to using the social media to find and share the information about Deakin University. However, the easiest way to encourage the students and staff to use social media resources is the provision of the additional detailed information on the functions and resources of the social media in order to justify the effectiveness of posting the announcements, commenting on the posts, sharing the information and experience among students and staff. Although social media are actively used today, the additional information on the use of definite resources by the university’s staff is necessary. Thus, the third improvement can be implemented easily, and this improvement can contribute to intensifying the online communication significantly.
To implement the proposed improvement, it is necessary for the service’s head and designers
- to state the Social Media service’s goal and the purpose of using social media pages related to Deakin University (for instance, it is possible to state that the purpose is in encouraging communication between students and staff);
- to provide the explanation for the users on the type and function of different social media and on the character of information which can be found there (for instance, Deakin University relies on Flickr to provide photo reports on the university events);
- to present the etiquette guidelines for the users which are developed to meet the principles of online communication;
- to provide the information on the social network which is used by different faculties in Deakin University for asking and answering important questions (Q&A session) because today students are inclined to ask questions in different Deakin University Facebook communities.
The Media Release: The Social Media Services at University Websites Can Be Improved
Melbourne, 25 December 2013 – Deakin University organised the investigation group to research the Social Media service at the university website in order to conclude about the service’s effectiveness. The necessary improvements and recommendations to elevate and advance the work of the service were proposed by the researchers.
In their report, the researchers state that the service is effective to encourage and stimulate communication between the university staff and students, and they focus on such strengths of the service as the convenient organisation and accessibility of the main resources. However, some weaknesses in the work of the Social Media service are also found. To improve the overall work of the service, it is proposed to expand the volume of the provided information which is presented on the page.
The researchers conclude that the service can work better with the developed feedback system. Furthermore, open statistics and the detailed information on the service’s functions and goals should be provided. Referring to the recommendation on providing the additional information about the Social Media service, the researchers propose to formulate and state the service’s goal and purpose, to distinguish between the presented information types, to provide the necessary etiquette guidelines, and to design the Q&A session in order to improve the service’s work.
The improvements mentioned in the report on the Social Media service on the Deakin University website are necessary because social media play an important role in the students’ life, and the implementation of the proposed improvements can stimulate the students’ interest in the website’s resources and enhance their online communication.