As the international headquarters for the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, Towson University is responsible for overseeing the organization’s programs, membership development efforts, policy agenda, and overall day-to-day activities. Since the organization’s founding in 1990, we have been producing a best practices journal Metropolitan Universities: An International Forum.


The journal has been on the cutting edge of many of higher education’s biggest issues over the past 23 years including community engagement, financial aid, economic development, faculty rewards, and education reform. The most recent issue Web 2.0 Technologies at Metropolitan Universities aims to address “how universities are currently using Web 2.0 technologies to educate students, collaborate with community members, and work more efficiently.”


I wanted to share three specific articles from the journal that I found particularly interesting:


Bobbie currently serves as the Executive Director for the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, headquartered at Towson University. The international membership organization is the longest-running and largest organization focused on supporting and growing a community of like-minded individuals and institutions who work together to develop answers to the pressing educational, economical, and social issues of the day.


1. Create a Facebook event page
A Facebook event page allows you to publish essential information about your event (time, location, etc.), and track who will be attending. This is a great place to post relevant articles and resources that will further engage the audience. It also gives the audience a place to make comments on the event and share the event with their Facebook friends. The sharing feature is essential because it allows your event to reach more potential attendees.

2. Connect with Guest Speakers or Event Sponsors
If your event features a notable guest speaker, be sure to mention him/her on social media. For example, you can mention the individual on Twitter or tag them on Facebook. You can also mention sponsors in the same way. Mentioning a notable speaker or sponsor on social media will associate them with your event, thus creating increased awareness and credibility. Blogs are also a great place to connect with guest speakers. For example, you can have a guest speaker do a guest blog post about your event.

3. Publish Event Updates on Social media
Social media can also be used to keep your audience up to date as the event approaches. For example, you may want to let your audience know about agenda changes, new sponsors, new speakers, or new attractions. You can also use social media to countdown to the event, and to let your audience know when the event is close to selling out.

4. Publicize Social Media URLs
Be sure to include Facebook, Twitter, and Blog URLs on all websites and/or print collateral that are used to market the event. This should result in increased traffic to your social media websites since the consistent appearance of social media icons and URL’s will remind the audience to connect with your event.  Be sure to create a hashtag and let your audience know about it through your marketing efforts. Hashtags allow the audience to follow conversations about your event if they search the hashtag on Twitter.

5. Use Social Media for Crowd Sourcing
You can also use Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to interact with the audience. For example, you can poll the audience by asking what they’d like to see at the event. This will allow you to hear the voice of your audience and to ultimately present content that is relevant to your audience, creating greater satisfaction with the event.

Check out how DECO is using social media!

Image Credit: fotographic1980