Coffee and Community: TU Delft’s Social Media Café

Interested in learning more about social media? Visit TU’s social media café, a group organized to improve social media usage at the university.

Every Thursday morning, a group with laptops and smartphones and tablets spreads out in one corner of the library café. Their goal is to get more university employees to use social media in a meaningful way.

“Some people see social media as something only for personal things, sharing photos on Facebook for example. They don’t see the value in using it for professional reasons,” says one group organizer Karlijn de Wit (Marketing and Communications Manager).

There is no single organizer for the group; staff members from different departments within the university serve as hosts for the café. Hosting duties rotate between de Wit, Rob Speekenbrink (Adviseur Online Media), Willem van Valkenburg (E-learning Consultant), Liesbeth Mantel (Head of Open Spaces), Marion van Putten (Library Specialist), David Smit (ICT Relationship Manager) and Jaap van Grinsven (Content Manager).  

The café grew out of a series of workshops on using Facebook and Twitter. Due to demand for these workshops, they began to host a café every other week. Again, the popularity of the event caused them to start holding it every week. The group wanted to create a face to face meeting to reach out to those who were less active on social media.

At the café, attendees discuss everything from how to use HootSuite to how to use social media when your audience is multilingual. Smit says, “We cover everything from very practical questions to strategy.” They have gotten questions in the past ranging from how to attract followers to whether or not setting up a Facebook page is useful for classroom instruction.

And it isn’t only the hosts that offer advice. “We often learn from the attendees. And the attendees learn from each other. It’s good for, say, a researcher to see what other researchers are doing. They can see what can be useful,” says van Valkenburg.

The café is open to anyone who is a university employee. “We’d really like to see more researchers, more PhDs attending our café. We think they have a lot to offer,” says van Valkenburg.

For more information, you can read their blog (Dutch only) at or contact Rob Speekenbrink at

You can follow the organizers on Twitter as well:

  • Rob Speekenbrink  @RobSpeekenbrink
  • Karlijn de Wit  @dewitk
  • Willem van Valkenburg  @wfvanvalkenburg
  • Liesbeth Mantel  @moqub
  • Marion van Putten  @marionvanputten
  • David Smit  @david_smit
  • Jaap van Grinsven  @jaapvangrinsven