Voodre also looks for messages from non-students, including parents, concerning the college. If a prospective student tweets a list of colleges they’re considering, including Salem State, Voodre says she’ll reach out to them.
“It’s a more high-touch, more personal experience they’ll have. ... That makes an impact in that student’s mind that we’re there to help them,” she said. “... How do we drive a positive reputation for our university? Social media is playing a huge role in shaping that. It’s a channel, a tool, that we’re using.”
Voodre, who came to Salem in June after six years in a similar role at Simmons College, tracks Salem State’s social media on her desktop computer, iPad and cellphone. In the evenings, she and her colleagues from the college’s marketing and creative services department take turns monitoring the accounts.
“It’s 24/7, you can’t turn it off. It’s a conversation in real time,” she said. “You can pretty much reach Salem State (anytime). We do have to sleep, but your tweet will be responded to within hours. We try and get to them pretty quickly.”
In addition to Salem State’s main Twitter account, there are more than 70 Twitter accounts for university departments, professors and student groups, said Voodre. The college also has more than a dozen different Facebook pages, as well as accounts on YouTube, Instagram, Flickr and other social media.
Salem State has a total enrollment of roughly 9,600 this year, including graduate, undergraduate and part-time students.
Going forward, Voodre said she’d like to increase the university’s social media presence even more, and make it more uniform by giving social media tutorials to professors and others interested in managing an account.
Amy Ouellette, a senior communications major, said she’s noticed the college’s increased — and better — use of social media this fall.