Learning how to stay literate in the digital age

As part of UH’s Social Media Week last week, the UH Library hosted training sessions to teach students how to better understand social media platforms and to utilize them to their fullest capacity.

UH Social Media Manager Jessica Brand, the woman behind all of UH’s social media, including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, taught the classes.

“Ideally, if my social media team could support students more, that would be great. I’m always open to ideas,” Brand said.

Brand said that throughout the week, the classes received an overwhelming response from staff and not much from students.


Social media literacy is not only about staying safe online; it’s also knowing how to capture the attention of the audience. Justin Tijerina / The Cougar

“A lot of students end up managing social media accounts for themselves and for their student organizations. In a way, they are also representing the university. It would be nice if I could show them tips and new ideas, as well as be a resource on campus and help them,” Brand said.

Communications and Marketing Assistant Jennifer Watson, who works for Enrollment Services, attended Friday afternoon’s training session to learn how to use social media more efficiently and engage more students.

“I’m a social media professional,” Watson said. “My main concern is engaging the students and trying to make sure they are a part of the conversation.”

Watson and her colleagues are using social media to bring students crucial information on platforms that they are most comfortable with.

“It’s not just about telling them ‘Okay your payment is due.’ but also about being thoughtful about what would capture their attention,” Watson said.

“We’re seeing that Instagram is the most popular now. We want to have visual representation of what the Welcome Center is. We want students to get their voice heard and get recognized.”

Mike Dawson, College of Technology and Digital Media Program lab manager, attended Friday’s session to learn how to use Hootsuite and apply it into the digital media program.

“We’re looking into giving students access to our social media accounts through Hootsuite,” Dawnson said. “Hopefully the enterprise version, in order to help teach social media and personal branding. That is one of our areas of emphasis in the digital media program.”

Brand encourages students to use LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn is a very powerful tool for students and alumni alike,” Brand said. “It’s good to network with peers and have an existing online network. When you graduate, you have a place to go back and see if anyone is interviewing or if anyone knows someone who works at a company where someone might be applying. It’s a really good way to network and build a trusted set of people who are doing what you’re doing.”

With all of the social media platforms available, Brand said that she encourages students to create a Social Media Student Alliance on campus.

“We had a social media student alliance for a while,” Brand said. “It was created with the idea of people who maintain social media for student organizations and students who just want to be good at social media for their careers or become an industry leader.”

To access UH’s social media, please visit:

For a schedule of UH Library’s Tech Training, visit the calendar.

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