The institution that I have chosen to comment on is the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (UCCOM) where I am presently employed and plan to remain so until my retirement within the next 5 years.
Recently the College of Medicine has spent a great deal of resources to update their presence on the web. Their webpage has been reworked to better represent who they are to all interested parties. In addition, links to social media have been included and are used widely for a variety of purposes.
Using the Honeycomb method as outlined by Kietzmann, I will explore the use of social media by the UC College of Medicine.
Social Media Sites Used:
Identity: “Represents the extent to which users reveal their identities in a social media setting” (Kietzmann). UCCOM’s identify as an esteemed institution is proudly and clearly revealed in their use of social media. For example, on their Facebook page, the about section reads, “Established in 1819 the UC College of Medicine has a distinguished reputation for training prominent health professionals and conducting leading research” (Link: www.facebook.com/UCMedicine). Postings that are put out by UCCOM on Facebook are consisted with this statement. For example, in a July 14, 2014 Facebook post, UCCOM shares that one of their faculty members will be part of an important medical forum on pain management.
Conversations: “The extent to which users communicate with other users in a social media setting” (Kietzmann). This would be considered low in the case of UCCOM. On the whole there are not a significant number of either comments on Facebook or retweets on Twitter. The nature of what is shared on social by UCCOM is more informational in nature as opposed to creating a conversation.
Sharing: “Represents the extent to which users exchange, distribute, and receive content” (Kietzmann). Social media in this instance is excellent in its ability to not only distribute information but also allow ease of reception by interested parties. As an employee I see information being distributed all of the time. This, however, is not an effective method for user exchange.
Presence: “Represents the extent to which users can know if others users are accessible” (Kietzmann). On popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the number of followers as well as their names are clearly shown which would indicate a presence. Linked In would be considered the more professional platform for user connection and interaction.
Relationships: “The extent to which users can be related to other users” (Kietzmann). As with the other components discussed above, the UCCOM social media platform really does not support relationships so to speak with users and themselves. Linked In, however, would allow for those in the medical community to reach out to one another and to find common ground.
Reputation: “The extent to which users can identify the standing of others, including themselves, in a social media setting” (Kietzmann). The social media platforms used by UCCOM do not strongly allow for the ability of users being able to identify the standing of other users. There are some specific groups within the College of Medicine that may communicate on social media and allow for this but do so outside of the UCCOM designated platforms.
Groups: “Represent the extent to which users can form communities and sub- communities” (Kietzmann). Although not specifically in regards to the UCCOM social media platforms, groups can form communities and sub communities but do so in ways that are outside the public Facebook, Twitter or Linked In sites for the College. Students and subgroups of students do relate and form connections but do so in ways that are specific to them. For example, there may be a Facebook page specifically for use by first year medical students but would be private for their use only.
Medicine is a very old profession and especially medicine in the City of Cincinnati where the College of Medicine was established many, many years ago. This is a source of pride for the UCCOM, and they do a great job of promoting and informing on their sites but not so much as a method of communication. For interested persons, social media contact with the UCCOM will provide information they may be interested in, but not necessarily allow for conversation or communication between themselves, others and the College itself. I think this is simply the nature of the beast so to speak. Within the College, the students are as well connected as any group, but as mentioned above, this is their private method of connecting and is not reflected on the College’s public sites.
Kietzmann, Jan H. et al. “Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media.” Business Horizons 54 (2011): 241-251. ScienceDirect. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.