As any Extension professional knows who includes social media and other technologies into their programming, it’s that these tools aren’t easy to report in RiV at the end of each month…. (okay… each year!) This is an issue many of us have found ourselves in the past several years. We’re using (relatively) new tools, doing great things with them, and the reporting system isn’t keeping up. How to gauge impact from technology use, and then report that impact, is a topic our Ed Tech Team has been working on over the past couple months. We’ve been in contact with Debbie Lewis, as well as members of the Promotion & Tenure committee, to begin putting together easy-to-use guidelines, or at least tidbits of information for everyone in the organization to use during end-of-the-year reporting.
Here is what we know so far:
- There IS a correct way to gauge and report social media impact, especially if you have a business page or fan page. If social media use is PART of a program, you should include reach and engagement data (post clicks, likes, shares, comments, etc.) under that particular program in RiV. If social media use is not part of a specific program, it still needs to be reported under “Programs”, but by itself separately. Additionally, if you write blog posts, that information should be reported under “Creative Works”. (We’ll post more detailed information on how to do this in December.)
- There IS a way to get analytics and/or impact data with each social media tool. Some tools provide this information much easier than others. Facebook for example, provides mind-boggling amounts of data in their “Insights” for business and fan pages. Twitter impact data, however, is harder to gauge if you’re not using a social media manager platform for analytics (i.e. Hootsuite or Sprout Social).
- It DOES help to have a tech or social media strategy in place before diving in. When our intended outcomes or impact are documented early on, it’s easier to track impact for reporting purposes. If you’re not sure where to begin, list 2 or 3 goals or outcomes for your tech or social media use and then track how you’re fulfilling those goals over the next few months.
- Our Ed Tech team is working hard to assist with how to properly document and report technology and social media use for P&T purposes, and we will be offering our recommendations to the P&T committee.
- If you are struggling trying to figure out how to report what you’re doing, you’re not alone. This has been an on-going issue since URS turned into OSU:Pro and OSU:Pro gave way to RiV… all while many of us began working very, very differently. It’s become not about how the reporting system is going to adapt to how we’re working (it will never be able to keep up), but more about where can we report activities to accurately get credit for things we are doing?
What to look for in December:
- A series of EdgeU Tech Blog posts on how to report social media and technology use and impact in RiV
- Updates on technology use and how to report/document for the P&T process
- Based on the responses we received from the organization-wide Social Media Survey (we’ll share those results soon), there will be two different social media workshops offered in each EERA next year – a “Basics” workshop and an “In-Depth” workshop. Both workshops will provide information on how to find, document, and report social media use. Dates and locations of each workshop will be announced at Annual Conference.
In the meantime, please consider attending one of the RiV Webinars via Carmen Connect offered in the coming weeks. The next session is today (11/19) at 1:00pm. Additional dates and times are listed below:
- November 20 – 10 am to noon – CarmenConnect
- December 3 – 10 am to noon – Columbus, 4-H Center, Multi-Media Room (second floor)
- December 11 – 9 am to noon – Ag Administration Building, Room 5 – geared for promotion / tenure candidates