So in the past couple of weeks I’ve ended up on some lists regarding social media usage. I did a podcast with Dr. Josie Ahlquist who is a digital media expert that was posted at the end of October.

Dr. Ahlquist then released a list of 25 higher education presidents to follow on twitter. She did a list in 2014 where I was in her group of social media rockstars with some really cool folks. But appreciate being mentioned in this new list:

On November 1st Education Dive released a list of 10 Twitter accounts every higher ed leader should follow. 3 are presidents, listed as “model presidents winning the social media game.” Again, I found myself in great company (and second time I made an Education Dive twitter list of 10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right in 2013.

So let me confess. I RESISTED using Twitter. I started with Facebook in 2004, and soon after I had my own blog at Philander. I felt like those two platforms would do the trick for me, which was a way to broaden the message of the college using the most inexpensive means possible.

Enter Sericia Cole. @sericiacole

Sericia was our director of communications (or something like that) at Philander Smith College, and she currently serves Philander as the Acting VP for Institutional Advancement and External Relations. She tormented me all the time- so mean! LOL And she was pushy. Do this. Do this. Don’t do that. We had a great relationship because we could pitch creative ideas off each other and make things happen.

I remember her bringing in a consultant to talk about our media strategy and part of that was for me to get on Twitter. I’m a Taurus- 100%. I was just not going for it. But she kept pushing and insisting that I do Twitter.

So, on November 3, 2009 (the day before my son turned 1), I started my Twitter account. I decided to use my Hip Hop Prez identity and branded it via Twitter. As the news media and other digital platforms began to embrace Twitter, I found that I could more easily share news and engage many more people than Facebook or my blog.

So eight years later, it looks like she was right (but don’t tell her I said it). I definitely think all presidents should use Twitter. It works best when it is authentic- something you do and not done for you. You don’t have to tweet all the time, but just stay consistently engaged.

It is never too late to start. You’re not too old. You might make mistakes. But overall I think the benefits are phenomenal.

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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