UA's New Social Media Manager Hopes to Raise UA Profile Through Collaboration

UA's New Social Media Manager Hopes to Raise UA Profile Through Collaboration

By Kyle MittanUniversity Communications
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Erik McEwen, the UA's new social media manager, said he hopes to create a more collaborative structure for all of the UA's social media efforts.
Erik McEwen, the UA's new social media manager, said he hopes to create a more collaborative structure for all of the UA's social media efforts.

Erik McEwen has had a busy first month at the UA.

The University's new social media manager, a member of the Marketing and Brand Management team, began in the position on May 7. The Friday of that same week, he was covering the 154th Commencement on several social media platforms. In the weeks since then, he has been meeting with social media managers across campus to see how he can help them promote the UA's brand on their platforms.

The idea, McEwen said, is to create a more collaborative structure for all of the UA's social media efforts.

"I've noticed that social media, campuswide, tends to be made up of a lot of different silos, if you will, so everyone kind of does their own thing," he said. "What I've been doing for the past four weeks is meeting with everybody, talking to them about community and about the possibility of working together throughout the entire University, and everyone is extremely excited about it."

McEwen hopes, in the coming weeks, to develop a "family tree" that shows the relationships of all the UA's social media accounts and social media managers. He also is looking for ways to help those platforms extend their reach.

President Robert C. Robbins' plans to make the UA a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is an opportunity to use social media to increase the University's visibility, he said.

"I feel like we have such a huge voice," he added, "and we can be even bigger."

To invite and foster campuswide collaboration, McEwen has created a form that social media managers can use to offer content or events for sharing on the University's primary social channels. The form can be accessed here. Submissions go directly to McEwen.

A San Diego native, McEwen attended Chapman University in Orange, California. He graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in theater and dance, then moved to New York to work in musical theater. Seven years later, he left New York and theater performance for Los Angeles to attend cosmetology school. His career as a hairstylist found him dabbling in social media as a way to market himself and attract clients – and he got hooked.

In 2014, he became senior manager of creative operations for the L.A. branch of Glamsquad, a startup that offers on-site makeup and hairstyling services in various U.S. cities.

McEwen's personal social media handle, McHusbands, launched on YouTube in 2016 as a way to document McEwen's journey with his husband, Adam, as they became fathers of twin girls. The channel exploded, garnering more than 100,000 subscribers in less than a year. The McHusbands Instagram account has nearly 28,000 followers.

Their daughters, Addisen and Everest, are now 6 months old.

McEwen left Glamsquad in 2017 and consulted for other startups in Southern California before moving to Tucson.

What has stood out the most in his first month, McEwen said, are his new colleagues.

"The people here are truly collaborative and want each other to succeed," he said. "I love that and thrive on it and it's just refreshing."

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