Effort sprouts cost-savings, collaboration for social media


The University of Michigan has selected Sprout Social to provide enterprise-level social media management, allowing hundreds of university-branded accounts, from all areas of campus, to leverage the same powerful tool to create posts, monitor trends and report results.

“Sprout will make it easier for marketing and communication staff to manage multiple social accounts and strategically share our stories with university stakeholders,” said Cathleen Curley, chief information officer for LSA.


“As social media continues to accelerate as one of our most effective and engaging communication methods, I’m delighted that LSA is leading the collaboration and bringing together critical U-M partners to provide new campuswide social media capabilities.”

The transition to Sprout Social is planned for early spring 2023.

The effort to identify a single technology solution began with communicators who manage two of the largest portfolios of university-branded social media accounts, Matthew Adams at LSA and Ed Bottomley at Michigan Medicine.

They partnered with the Office of the Vice President of Communications and a core team of social leads from the Alumni Association, College of Engineering, Athletics, University Human Resources and others to launch a Request for Proposals early in 2022.

With support from Information Technology Services and Procurement Services, the RFP process was completed in December, with Sprout Social selected. ITS continues to provide extensive support during the implementation process.

“The broad advocacy and support for this tool is a direct reflection of the critical importance of our social media communities to our overarching university communications efforts,” said Nikki Sunstrum, director of social media and public engagement.

“This shared social tool promises to foster more robust cross-campus collaboration and help to create a stronger network of online listening to encourage stakeholder engagement and mitigate institutional risk.”

LSA, Michigan Medicine, OVPC, CoE and the Alumni Association are underwriting the initial contract expense, inviting other units to buy in at a per-license discount. Units already using a paid social media management tool can expect a cost savings of up to 50%.

Adams and Bottomley said they see the adoption of an enterprisewide social account management platform as the next step to facilitate institutional collaboration to better support one another and U-M as a whole.

Broad adoption of Sprout Social will help establish best practices for content, processes and sharing resources. It also has the potential to mitigate risk, streamline workflows, improve efficiencies and gauge the cumulative impact of all accounts.


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