How to harness the power of social media for effective climate crisis management

How to harness the power of social media for effective climate crisis management

Use these tools to use social media as part of your climate crisis management plan.

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increase in online mentions in the 10 days following a flashpoint at Duke University, compared to previous 10-day period
increase in online mentions in the 10 days following a flashpoint at Duke University, compared to previous 10-day period

When a campus climate incident surfaces on campus, the event is often posted, shared, and dissected on multiple social media platforms—almost instantly, a local incident grabs national attention. Misinformation about an incident and misrepresentation of how the institution is responding can spread quickly as unaffiliated individuals contribute to the conversation. Senior enrollment, student affairs, and campus leaders express they feel powerless to control a social media firestorm that can tarnish an institution’s reputation almost overnight.

Despite years of investment, social media monitoring is an enduring challenge for colleges and universities. Most monitoring efforts are reactive, campus initiatives remain siloed across individual departments, and responses are too slow to keep pace with the rapidly moving conversations happening on various platforms.

Progressive institutions recognize the need for continuous and centralized monitoring—also known as social listening. Social listening provides actionable information on critical topics through continuous and sophisticated social media monitoring. Businesses and other organizations—and increasingly higher ed—recognize the potential of social listening for a variety of strategic uses, including crisis management.

Explore each tool

Use this tool to reflect on how you currently use social media to identify and respond to climate flashpoints and crises. This audit will be most useful for campus leaders and staff who are directly involved with your institution’s current social media monitoring efforts.

Use this tool to jumpstart your institution’s evaluation process for investing in an enterprise-level technology platform to support social listening. This Buyer Guide includes two components: a vendor compendium and a vendor scorecard.

Research and resources to guide your next steps

In the wake of tragedies on several campuses across the U.S., many institutions formed interdisciplinary behavioral intervention teams (BITs) to support and track students of concern. In this study, we identify best practices for expanding the referral network and streamlining the information gathering and tracking process.

The Student Perspectives Insight Center gathers our research on students—their mindset, their perceptions, and their growth phases across college—into one place.