Whether the social media accounts you religiously follow describe the life of your favorite celebrity or that cutie in your chem class, there is always a real person behind those tweets and status updates.
For the University of Florida, that real face and voice belongs to Bruce Floyd, a web designer and self-proclaimed “social media guru.”
Floyd has worked in the university’s web administration office since 2007. He took on his role as social media manager and web manager in early 2009 when UF decided it should participate in the quickly growing trend of social media.
“We determined that our web presence goes beyond the sites we host here at the University of Florida,” Floyd said. “It made logical sense for us to manage a presence where there is so much growth and more and more discussions happening.”
Since the creation of the UF Facebook fan page, which is Floyd’s main social media platform on behalf of the university, more than 323,000 people have clicked that “like” button to join the conversation. The page has drawn in a wide audience of alumnus, faculty, staff, current students and even prospective students.
“My job is pretty much to engage with these different audiences and to get them talking about the university, hopefully in a positive way, but at least to evoke some kind of discussion,” Floyd said.
On a daily basis, Floyd evaluates how he can use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as other sites, to bring new information and discussion topics to UF’s fans and followers. He thinks in the mindset of those people to post content that would interest them and spark positive conversation and comments. Occasionally, it is Floyd’s job to delete ads and inappropriate comments or to sit back and watch the Gator Nation handle the situation.
“Someone posted ‘Go Noles’ on the Facebook page once, and quite a few commenters got involved in a polite way and explained to him that he was commenting the wrong thing in the wrong place,” Floyd said. “It was funny because that commenter quickly apologized and said, ‘I love Tebow.’ ”
Floyd has a long history with UF, and he takes pride in this opportunity to help positively and accurately represent the university to anyone who is interested. Floyd has two degrees from UF and has worked as a data and grade processor and as an admissions officer. He has even given campus tours to many prospective students.
Floyd draws from these experiences to continuously improve UF’s web presence.
“ I’ve had a lot of different vantage points as an employee in those different capacities and as a student, so I know those perspectives and I try to think in those regards when I’m approaching social media,” he said.
Although social media is so closely tied with his work life, Floyd said he still enjoys using Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites in his free time. For Floyd, staying up to date in the ever-changing world of the Internet is vitally important.
“As somebody who is a web designer and developer, I spend a lot of time trying to keep up with the new trends in the web world,” he said.
Floyd, however, is very careful in keeping a balance in his life.
“I definitely walk away from the computer,” Floyd said. “I exercise. I do other things. I’m not like one of those crazy guys that don’t get any sunlight.”
Floyd also enjoys playing the guitar, drums and ukulele. In his free time, Floyd especially enjoys doing something that social media doesn’t always provide: real human interaction.
“When I’m not on my computer, I’ll socialize with friends. I’ll go out and actually physically meet people,” he said. “I’ll usually use Facebook and Twitter to coordinate and organize those meet-ups, but I definitely meet up with people and see my friends.”
“I enjoy my time away from the computer,” he added.