Simmons Voice- She’s the voice of Simmons online, from Facebook to Twitter, from the 300 The Fenway blog to articles on the Simmons website. Amanda Voodre, the web editor and social media manager at Simmons, has taken the College to a new level of leadership in the online world.
“Our goal is to raise Simmons visibility and the best way to do that is through social media,” says Voodre. “A lot of people have this perception that social media marketing is just posting a link on Facebook, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a lot of strategy and content-development. You’re trying to produce enough content for a 24-hour news cycle.”
A young, but overwhelmingly smart woman, Voodre arrived on campus almost four years ago as a coordinator in the Public Relations Office.
“When I got here, we weren’t anywhere online,” says Voodre. “I came to Simmons with the background of ‘the new thing is social media.’ I thought about how Simmons could use it.”
Voodre saw this as the perfect opportunity to have someone in the College who focused on listening, monitoring, and being a part of that online conversation, she says.
She put a formal proposal together and presented it to the vice president of Marketing at Simmons for a web editor position. Following this, she moved over to the web team and now oversees all of the content on the main Simmons website, the student sites, the blog, and social media outlets.
“We are really exploring all things Simmons,” she says. “Where else are we in the world and what do we stand for? There is a general love around Simmons and everyone is here to have our back. I love to see that sort of engagement.”
“If I see prospects saying, ‘I have to fill out my financial aid application and I need help with this,’ then I’ll put something on the website with five tips for applying to financial aid,” says Voodre. “The job is evolving to be more customer-service related-I’m listening and monitoring and making sure that it’s being taken care of.”
The best part of her job is that she has so much freedom to experiment, says Voodre.
“It’s never the same on any day and it’s always evolving and I’m always learning,” she says. “Whenever there’s a new platform, I’m allowed to check it out and see it would work for Simmons.”
The College has begun to experiment with location-based applications such as Foursquare and SCVNGR, which Voodre said she worked with for one of the orientation sessions.
“The best part of being in the social media industry, everyone is learning together,” says Voodre. “It’s so new, not even five years old.”
Voodre grew up connected to the online world, she says, explaining she naturally gravitates toward being online.
“You can’t just sign up for Twitter and have a thousand people talking to you,” explains Voodre. “It took Simmons two years to get to a position where we can really leverage it.”
Simmons was founded on a revolutionary idea that women can go to college, says Voodre, and that we want to be the voice of women’s issues. Simmons’ online conversations should be a place where the public looks to the College as an authority and thought leader on those issues, she adds.
“Two to three years from now, as an alum, you’re still engaging with the sites,” she says. “We are really able to engage through the lifecycle of a Simmons woman. From the time you’re a prospective to when you say ‘I’ve been accepted!’ to when we say ‘Congratulations, let us know if you need anything,’ to coming to the College on move-in day, through your four years to being an alum.”
Written by Victoria Soloman- published on 4/7/11 in The Simmons Voice