“Social media is not as simple as you might think” | Meet the faces of #FACE16 – Dave Musson

“Social media is not as simple as you might think” | Meet the faces of #FACE16 – Dave Musson

Our education marketers conference, From Application to Conversion and Enrolment (#FACE16) is fast approaching, so  we’re taking the opportunity to get a bit more familiar with our fantastic line up of speakers. Today, we’re talking to university social media guru and Net Natives guest blogger, Dave Musson.


Hi Dave! We’re super excited to welcome you to the speaker line up at our education marketers conference! Can you tell us a little bit more about your role at University of Warwick? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Sure! I have very long job title with lots of words and even a set of brackets, but essentially I am the strategic lead for social media, within the University’s central marketing team. It was a brand new role when I started back in January 2014 and, in many ways, I’m still working out what it needs to be. I don’t necessarily have a typical day, but do have a number of things that crop up regularly. I guess the biggest thing to note is that I don’t actually do much of the day-to-day posting from the University’s main social media accounts – that’s done by people within my wider team – but I set the tactics and strategy for them to follow. I’m essentially an internal consultant for people across the organisation to use; I’ll work with departments, teams or individuals on a variety of things connected to social media, from training through to in-depth content planning and evaluation. On top of that, I do lots of analysis and evaluation of the main University accounts, get involved in big projects and lead a network of digital champions from across the organisation, which meets once a term to network, share case studies and eat cake. I also look after the day-to-day social media for our alumni channels and I get involved if any crisis situations develop. 

I think that covers everything!

Can you give us a little teaser of what you’ll be speaking about at FACE?

When it comes to conversion, social media is not as simple as you might think. Students are often not that forthcoming in engaging with an institution via social media before they arrive on campus to start their studies, but they might still use social media to see what’s going on and try and picture themselves at that University. My session is all about ideas and inspiration for you to take away and use – how can we use social media and what sort of content can we share that could play a role in conversion and maybe convince a student to come and study with you? I’ll be picking examples from a variety of institutions and a range of social channels – from Facebook and Twitter through to Instagram and Snapchat, and even looking at the under-rated world of blogging.


If you could only choose ONE social media platform to use, what would it be and why? (For university profile, and personally)

That is a tough question! For the University of Warwick, I would have to plump for Instagram – it’s our most relaxed and conversational channel, we’ve got our most engaged audience there and I think we do it really well. It also continues to grow at a far faster rate than our Facebook and Twitter followings.

For me it’s trickier. Up until a few months ago, I would have gone for Instagram too, because I love photography and loved the community elements of Instagram. However, since the algorithm came in and the rubbish new logo landed, I’ve really fallen out of love with it as a space – it seems to have lost that community feel and now seems more bothered about being a brand. So, by not picking Instagram I’ve left myself with a really tough choice. I love Snapchat but it’s very resource heavy for not much return, Twitter is always useful and I’ve even grown to like using LinkedIn this year – it’s a great space for blogging and learning. However, I’d probably have to pick Facebook – it does everything pretty well, I’m very comfortable using it and, with a bit of management, my newsfeed is actually pretty useful. Also, it’s an invaluable tool for promoting my band and my podcast.


What’s your favourite social-media fail of all time? (And are you guilty of any?!)

Am I only allowed to pick one?? There are some great examples of Twitter chats gone wrong – any involving professional footballers are usually a bad idea, while one with the author of 50 Shades of Grey was especially funny. Tesco wanting to ‘hit the hay’ in the midsts of the horsemeat scandal was also quite special, but Homebase’s attempts to jump on the #RIPPrince hashtag earlier this year is probably my favourite of the past few months. It ticked all the boxes of a classic screw up!

As for me being guilty of one…no, not yet! But, as they say, there’s always tomorrow!


Want to hear more from Dave about using social media for conversion? Then don’t miss out on our Education Marketers Conference – From Application to Conversion & Enrolment (#FACE16) on Wednesday 23rd November. Reserve your space for free, right here.