Session Details

In Users We Trust: Using Social Media APIs to Build Community

#AIM8 Applications, Integration and Mobile Track

Room 101F


Chapman University’s web and interactive marketing team has gotten in the habit of asking big questions: How to give power to the people, and how to use social media API’s to measure the value of good content? 

Social media has already transformed how universities connect with students, but team members David May, Sheri Lehman, Ben Cole, Meghan Farrington, and Miles Zimmerman believe these questions can unlock a more engaged experience.

These questions inspired us to create, a live, real-time feed of more than 50 social media accounts across campus. In just 6 months, our feed has collected more than 10,000 stories from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Wordpress, giving users a true (and accessible) snapshot of life at Chapman. Brendan Mayer of The Lawlor Group tweeted, “This realtime #socialmedia hub is the best I’ve seen in #highered. Beautiful & engaging… Well done @ChapmanU!”

In this session, we will connect theory to practice and talk about where we are going with our interactive marketing strategies. We will talk about our use of social media APIs and open source web technologies such as node.js, MongoDB and HTLM5 web sockets. Lastly, we will connect how these tools help us find and display great content for our audiences. 


Sheri Lehman
Interactive Marketing Specialist, Chapman University

Sheri Lehman is a forever student passionate about social media, leadership, and education. She is Chapman University's interactive marketing specialist, managing the social media copy and content for the university, TEDxChapmanU, and the Big Orange Book Festival. She is the co-author of the university's first social media policy and guidelines, and frequently presents to staff and undergraduate courses. Lehman is simultaneously pursuing her master’s degree in Leadership Development with an individual emphasis in education and communications. Connect with her at

Ben Cole
Web Technology Specialist, Chapman University

Ben Cole is the web technology specialist for Chapman University. In addition to six years of freelancing, Ben has held web UI development positions in the film and advertising industries. He considers himself a self-taught web guru who prefers simple, light-weight solutions to complex problems. Cole’s areas of expertise include WordPress customization, HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript/jQuery.

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