Since Hannah Strickland ‘14 started as Hillsdale College’s social media manager two years ago, the college’s social media platforms have grown to reach more than 1.8 million people per month, according to Brad Lowrey, director of digital marketing and social media.
Later this year, however, there will be a new operator behind Hillsdale College’s various social media platforms. In June, Strickland is getting married and moving to Chicago, leaving behind a big role to fill.
Strickland said the goal is making each of Hillsdale’s social media — Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest — more conversational, and she said she’s proud of what they’ve become.
“It’s been a neat experience to watch our audiences grow and get to talk to people from all over the world about the liberal arts and the Constitution,” Strickland said. “People say you don’t really get Hillsdale until you come to campus, so we’re trying to give people a taste of that community feeling through our social media by interacting with them and being a really interesting brand to talk to.”
Conversing with others through social media has been the most rewarding part of the job, Strickland said.
“We’re talking to all of those people about the things that matter: the higher things and the liberal arts,” she said. “Social media gives us the ability to talk to more people than the ones who come to campus or go to our events.”
It’s not a one-person job, though, Strickland said. The marketing team works together to radiate Hillsdale’s mission through its online presence.
“I have amazing student workers, and Brad Lowrey has taught me so much about social media,” she said. “We have this amazing team, and we’re all passionate about telling the stories of the college.”
Junior Josh Liebhauser — who has worked for Strickland for nearly a year — calls his boss “approachable, kind, and always available to help.”
“She encouraged me to always contact her with questions, and she has always equipped each of the student workers with all the tools needed to perform well,” Liebhauser said in an email. “Her work has done much to market Hillsdale’s brands, and, in my experience, she is always innovating and refining her approach to gain the most positive interaction on our content.”
Now, the marketing department is looking for another team member. Lowrey said the department is conducting an internal search, which includes graduating students from both the undergraduate and graduate schools. The internal posting is open through Feb. 24, Lowrey said, and anyone interested in applying may contact Sharon Lucas, hiring assistant and student employment coordinator.
Lowrey said the ever-changing nature of social media means the department is looking for creative and innovative candidates with strong writing skills.
“Our timeline will be to begin interviews in the next few weeks and then hire someone afterward, the goal being that we have a few months of overlap for onboarding before Hannah leaves,” Lowrey said in an email.
Strickland said the role as social media manager is a huge responsibility — which she doesn’t take lightly — and she said she’s hopeful for her successor.
“I just hope whoever it is loves the college as much as I do and loves talking about it as much as I do, because that’s the thing I love so much about working in this industry for Hillsdale College — I get to talk about the college all day long,” Strickland said. “I’ve gotten a better understanding of the college, so I hope the next person gets that, too. I hope they get this greater appreciation for what Hillsdale does for the country. I’ll be praying for that person.”