Follow This! The Basics of Social Media Strategy Minnesota State University at Moorhead presented by Chuck Reed Sarah Lefeber
Definition of Social Media • Definitions vary and are often vague, but here’s a few of my favorites: • Group of web-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content • Blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value
Definitions • What it means to you: • Key marketing and relationship-building tools • Story-telling outposts for outcomes • Places to connect to target audiences (and connect audiences with each other)
Values • Transparency • Identity • Honesty • Tone • Set Expectations • Interactive • Opt-in • Personalization • Story-Telling • Participatory
What It Isn’t… • Not a website replacement • Home on the web • Not a replacement for the right mobile presence • RV • Not your first step, not a fix • The social space will only highlight fundamental issues
What Is It Then? Think of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as your… NEIGHBORS! …and they throw a great house party. So, have fun and let your hair down a bit, but remember, it’s not your house.
Listening • Do searches for important keywords on each platform • Play with Facebook, LinkedIn advertising platforms to get a quick sense of audience scope and size (demo) • Use a tool like Google Alerts or Social Mention to receive notifications when items are published, shared
Audiences • How audiences match up with platforms: • Facebook: Everyone, esp. prospective undergraduate students • Twitter: Everyone – specialize at will • LinkedIn: Alumni, faculty, prospective graduate students • Foursquare: Current students, prospective students • YouTube: Everyone, esp. prospective undergraduate students
Expectations – Prospective Students University of Oxford: YouTube videos on explaining the application process to answer general questions prospects have.
Expectations - Alumni Emory University: Maintaining a constant relationship with Alums with updates and answers to questions.
Expectations – Current Students UMKC: Students utilize group pages and chats to communicate events with each other.
Expectations – Faculty & Staff Lectures and office hours online are now more common for student and faculty interaction out of the classroom. Image from Venturebeat
Expectations – Fundraising Relations Brown: Maintaining a relationship with donors, as well as showing where the funds go.
Platforms • Approach social media with both caution and dedication as social media platforms and tools continue to evolve • Each platform has its own set of best practices • It’s important for those populating these presences to be: • Committed • Have a management plan in place • Leverage appropriate tools • Understand the expectations of users and the platform community
Facebook Golden Rule • Facebook is wildly popular because of one reason: • Instant Connection and Interaction • People interact with content that means something to them
So What Should I Post? • We suggest posting around three times per week. • A promotional item should only make up one of those posts • The rest should be personal interest items such as:
Relevant articles • Post a quote from the article, what you think about it, what the audience will get from it, or ask their opinion • Photos/Memes • Ensure you include a sentence about the photo • Questions • Community Events • Announcements
What Works? • Photos garner the most interaction • Short, 1-2 sentence posts • Asking for opinions • Ask for the “like” once every other week • Providing a service (update them with info, new services, etc.)
Facebook • Timeline for Pages impacts: • Status updates – you can pin a post to the top of your page for 7 days, you can star a post for a posted photo to take up the full width of the page • Info – updated to “About” section
Facebook • Applications • These must take 2nd fiddle to the Timeline and status updates • Best for supporting specific content (YouTube, etc) and timely promotions
Facebook • Messaging tactics: • Calls to action – open questions, requests to share • Rich media – 2x engagement (Facebook’s own research, July 2011) • Personality • Timely • @mentions • Other tactics: • Timeline images
Rules of Thumb • Think of all Facebook interactions as you would in-person interactions. • Anything that you say online has the same repercussions as an in-person meeting. • When in doubt of confidentiality, take conversations offline.
Facebook • Best practices: • Optimize content on the “Info” tab • Should contain a few lines about the school and the value proposition it offers to students • Enlarge and enhance the profile photo • Thumbnail must clearly define what the Page represents, and when featured on the Page as the larger profile photo, it should take advantage of the space available within this area to give visitors a visual sense of your institution and the brand
Facebook • Let’s take a look at a few examples: • Harvard University • Harvard Business School
Twitter • Stats (Sept. 2011) • 100 million active users worldwide, half of whom log in daily • 40 percent of these have not tweeted in the last month • Processing 230 million tweets a day, increased 110% since the start of 2011
Twitter • What is it? • Online social media platform and microblogging service • Tweets are publicly visible by default; however, senders can restrict message delivery to just their followers • Users may subscribe to other users' tweets – this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers or tweeps (Twitter + peeps)
Twitter • Hashtags • Way to highlight and organize information on the platform (#highered) • @mentions • Used at the start of the tweet – acts as a reply • Used throughout a tweet – acts as a mention, directly links to account • DMs • Direct message – private messages on Twitter
Twitter • When used correctly, the platform can: • Be an incredibly effective, real-time communications tool • Connect and show support of your institution to prospectives, current students, faculty, alumni, donors and corporate/organizational partners
Twitter • Best practices: • Bio sets expectations • the Twitter background, avatar and bio for your account should have a cohesive, updated appearance and serve to drive Twitter users to your website • Be the real-time information hub for stakeholders • Share campus events, sporting events, academic calendar dates of importance and all emergency announcements on the main institutional account
Twitter • Best practices, cont.: • Engage and support internal audiences directly • find and engage with current students, faculty and staff on Twitter directly • Converse about current happenings and events on campus of interest • Support relevant messaging shared by internal audiences (such as a professor tweeting interesting content about his/her expertise, or a student tweeting about their excitement for passing a recent exam) • Support your local community and beyond • Leveraging tools such as Twellow or Tweepz to find and engage local Twitterers, as well as leverage current partner and media - results in additional public relations, word-of-mouth marketing, and relationship strengthening
Twitter • Best practices, cont.: • Posting 3-5 times daily • active, relevant, and conversational • Follow back • Follow accounts of interest - expectation of users on the Twitter is one of mutual respect and interest • Follow those who are following you, and engage them in conversation • Review a Twitterer’s bio and tweet stream to determine if they’re an appropriate and useful connection for the institution • Proactively follow Twitterers of interest, and engage them openly • Discuss current, relevant events • Follow trending topics on the platform to get a sense of what a majority of users are discussing, and engage in these topics appropriately
Twitter • Let’s take a look at a few examples: • @Harvard • @LoyolaAdmission • @HBSAlumni
LinkedIn • Stats: • More than 135 million members in over 200 countries and territories • 59% are currently located outside of the United States • Execs. from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies are members • There are more than 1M LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn • What is it? • Social media platform for professional networking • Replaces the rolodex • How it works: • You sign up, and make connections • Contact network is built up consisting of direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections)
LinkedIn • Connections can be used to get introductions to other members • Can be used for recruiting and job search • Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates • Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them • Users can follow different companies • Users can create groups, join groups of interest (associations, alumni networks, etc)
LinkedIn • When used correctly, the platform can: • Be the breeding ground for institutional connections • Current students to alumni • Alumni to alumni • Faculty and staff • Perfect place to: • Recruit faculty, staff • Advertise graduate programs
LinkedIn • Best practices: • Have senior administration, faculty and staff join • Create or source the creation of an alumni group(s) • Encourage students to join, interact with faculty/staff, and connect to alumni • Let’s take a look at an example: Harvard U.
YouTube • Stats: • 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute • Over 3 billion videos are viewed a day • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
YouTube • Stats. • In March of 2009, YouTube launched YouTube EDU • Educational hub of the content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities • May, 2011: 450 universities worldwide have established a channel via YouTube EDU • Schools have uploaded 63,500 hours—or about seven years—worth of video content
Foursquare • Stats • Around 15 million users worldwide • Over 1.5 billion check-ins, with millions more every day • Businesses: Over 600,000 using the Merchant Platform • What is it? • Location-based social service for smartphones
Foursquare • How does it work? • Users "check-in" at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby • Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application • Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes "badges“ • Let’s take a look for Foursquare for Universities
Google Alerts • Simple way to be notified of brand mentions by email • Free to use • Easy to set-up • Can be leveraged by anyone • Can be specified as desired • Let’s take a look at this tool
Success Stories 13,546 members 13 subgroups DePaul University’s LinkedIn Group Image from Mashable
How do you respond? • Craft your answer and share with the group • Write down three other online strategies or procedures you would take
Now let’s try cross-platform messages • Make a tweet, Facebook message, and LinkedIn post using the following blog post: http://news.mnstate.edu/2013/02/freeze-your-fanny-challenge-saturday/ (Dragon Entertainment Group: @MSUMTheGroup)