Making 800 years of history relevant for social media

When it comes to big names in the global higher education sector, few have more clout or more gravitas than the University of Cambridge.

More than 800 years of history, an alumni community full of some of the most important and brilliant people ever and a plethora of the most beautiful college buildings you could imagine. In terms of aspiration, innovation, and reputation, it is right up there.

With all that in mind, you could almost forgive Cambridge if its social media presence was a bit bland or a bit safe – after all, who hasn’t heard of the University of Cambridge? But, one look at Cambridge’s feeds is all you need to take to know that their social media presence is far from dull…it is absolutely excellent, and it is the focus of this week’s episode.

Our guests on the podcast this time are Barney Brown and Lloyd Mann from the University’s digital communications team, who were kind enough to invite us to Cambridge for a peek behind the scenes at one of the biggest names out there.

We talk about how Cambridge approaches different social media channels, why they feel it is so important to get the voices of their students involved in their content and just what steps the University takes to make 800 years of history and influence relevant for social media audiences in 2018.

Show notes

Barney Brown is the head of digital communications at the University of Cambridge. You can find him on LinkedIn. Lloyd Mann is a videographer for the University. You can find him on LinkedIn.

Links referenced in our conversation:

University of Cambridge on Instagram

University of Cambridge on Facebook

University of Cambridge on Twitter

University of Cambridge on YouTube

University of Cambridge on LinkedIn

IbzMo on YouTube

Sir Cam Diary’s Instagram

Barney and Lloyd’s top three tips for making an 800-year-old, global behemoth of education and prestige relevant and exciting on social media (three each)

Have interests outside of work, take more walks and get out of the space where you currently are

Understand the platform you’re using and the technology you’re using – don’t use them for the sake of it

Check out your institution’s mission – you should be able to map everything you’re doing to that

Read Deep Work by Cal Newport

Only use a channel or technology if you can easily measure what’s happening on that space

Take time to do some training


5 apps on your phone you use the most

Barney: WhatsApp, PocketCasts, Outlook, Safari and Spotify

Lloyd: WhatsApp, Spotify, Outlook, IGN and KFC

4 people you’d like to invite round for dinner

Barney: My wife, Sarah Silverman, Terry Gilliam and Billy Joel

Lloyd: Chabuddy G, my wife, David Attenborough and my best man who passed away recently

3 words to describe what it’s like working for the University of Cambridge

Barney: Evolutionary, revolutionary and difficult

Lloyd: Rewarding, fun and bonerriffic

2 places/events in the world you’d really love to visit but haven’t been able to yet

Barney: The Essen board game convention in Germany and any of those big tech conferences like the Apple Events

Lloyd: New York and Japan

1 social media platform you love more than any of the others

Barney: WhatsApp

Lloyd: MySpace


Related Posts