Effective Use of Social Media for Independent Schools

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A presentation by Michael McPherson at the 2010 CASE District 1 Conference in Boston on January 28, 2010

Learn how independent schools are leveraging online communities such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Ning, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo to support recruiting, fundraising, and alumni networking efforts. The session will review the most popular networks, explore ways to connect and engage your audience and discuss how to make the most of social media with limited resources.

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  • Effective Use of Social Media for Independent Schools

    1. 1. Effective Use of Social Media 2010 CASE District 1 Conference
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Social media and your brand </li></ul><ul><li>What is different about social media </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a social media plan </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Corey McPherson Nash helps organizations connect with their audiences through brand, print, interactive and social media communications. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our approach to social media is grounded in brand strategy </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>“ Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is different about social media
    6. 6. What are Social Media? gap SHOUTING! conversation
    7. 7. Trusted Sources of Information <ul><li>Word-of-mouth succeeds because: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s believable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s self-reinforcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s self-spreading </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, Groundswell </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Social media = </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mass word-of-mouth” </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Admissions: the perspective of your audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anxiety about making the right decision for their child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexity of options and factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suspicious of “marketing” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of trusted sources for information </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Trusted Sources of Information
    11. 11. Relationships are Everything <ul><li>Alumni/ae Relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A social network you “own” – alumni/ae want to connect with each other and with your school (usually in that order) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni/ae also own your brand – for better or for worse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and leverage your “champions” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every one-on-one interaction on a social media platform is shared with the larger community </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Developing a social media plan for your school
    13. 13. <ul><li>Content is king. </li></ul>Conversation Content is just something to talk about. – Corey Doctrow http://www.boingboing.net/2006/10/10/disney-exec-piracy-i.html
    14. 14. <ul><li>Corey’s Top Six Rules of Social Media: </li></ul><ul><li>Be authentic. </li></ul><ul><li>Fortify. Strengthen your current audience and engage new ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Connect. Publish content that invites your audience to participate. ( Don’t sell, sell, sell.) </li></ul><ul><li>Be remarkable. Give your audience things to remark on. </li></ul><ul><li>Get outside (your site). Participate in other discussions, not just your own. </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace organic planning. Establish a plan, but be ready to adjust. </li></ul>
    15. 17. Tweets sent vs. received Month of September 2009 @DeanElmore 1936 followers @Suffolk_U 1329 followers
    16. 20. <ul><li>Great content </li></ul><ul><li>Has a face </li></ul><ul><li>Listens to campus buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Expresses an opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Queries his audience </li></ul><ul><li>Comments on outside sites </li></ul><ul><li>Announcements and headlines </li></ul><ul><li>On-campus focus </li></ul><ul><li>Occasional shout-outs </li></ul>@DeanElmore 1936 followers @Suffolk_U 1329 followers
    17. 21. <ul><li>If you don’t do anything else . . . LISTEN! </li></ul>
    18. 22. Social Media Monitoring <ul><li>Why should you listen? </li></ul><ul><li>Brand perception </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are people saying about you? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Respond to questions or misperceptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Insert yourself into conversations about your organization. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crisis management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When something happens you want to be ready to respond. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 25. Social Media Monitoring <ul><li>What should you listen for? </li></ul><ul><li>Your brand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is talking about you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are they saying? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your peers and competitors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there best practices we can learn from? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your category </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are people saying about your area of focus? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., “New Hampshire prep schools”, “sixth grade art programs” </li></ul></ul>
    20. 26. Social Media Monitoring <ul><li>How do you listen? </li></ul><ul><li>Free tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bit.ly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Paid Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crimson Hexagon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HubSpot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radian 6 </li></ul></ul>
    21. 27. <ul><li>OK, I’m listening. </li></ul><ul><li>Now what? </li></ul>
    22. 28. Getting to Engagement <ul><li>WHO do you want to reach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Who are they listening to? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHAT are your goals? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- How do you want to shift the discussion? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HOW will you engage in relationships? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- What are your messages? How will you nurture them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHICH channels will you use? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Select your channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Identity your resources. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 29. <ul><li>1. WHO do you want to reach? </li></ul>
    24. 30. Getting to Engagement: WHO <ul><li>Sample Audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective students & families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective faculty and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>College admissions officers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The media and bloggers </li></ul></ul>
    25. 31. Getting to Engagement: WHO <ul><li>Know your audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring online discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience personas </li></ul></ul>
    26. 32. <ul><li>2. WHAT are your goals? </li></ul>
    27. 33. Planning Your Strategy: WHAT <ul><li>Sample Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand perception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor your school’s brand online </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiate your program </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attract and nurture communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase number and quality of applicants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engage your alumni community </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attract top faculty and college recruiters </li></ul></ul></ul>
    28. 34. Planning Your Strategy: WHAT <ul><li>Your social media goals should align with your business objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Branding goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing plans </li></ul></ul>
    29. 35. Example: BB&N Senior Tiles
    30. 36. <ul><li>3. HOW will you engage in relationships? </li></ul>
    31. 37. Planning Your Strategy: HOW <ul><li>Sample Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Query your audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energize your advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowdsource ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just watch </li></ul></ul>
    32. 38. Planning Your Strategy: HOW <ul><li>Make sure your engagement strategy will work for you. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It has to be comfortable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It has to match your culture and personality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It has to fit with your available resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It has to be part of your work flow. </li></ul></ul>
    33. 40. <ul><li>Corey’s Top Six Rules of Social Media: </li></ul><ul><li>Be authentic. </li></ul><ul><li>Fortify. Strengthen your current audience and engage new ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Connect. Publish content that invites your audience to participate. ( Don’t sell, sell, sell.) </li></ul><ul><li>Be remarkable. Give your audience things to remark on. </li></ul><ul><li>Get outside (your site). Participate in other discussions, not just your own. </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace organic planning. Establish a plan, but be ready to adjust. </li></ul>
    34. 41. <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Boston University’s Dean of Students </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic </li></ul><ul><li>Builds Connections </li></ul>
    35. 42. Example: Authenticity
    36. 43. <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Worcester Academy and the Inauguration </li></ul><ul><li>Be Remarkable </li></ul><ul><li>Get Outside </li></ul>
    37. 44. Example: Get Outside Your Site and Be Remarkable
    38. 45. Planning Your Strategy: HOW <ul><li>Begin with a strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific about your execution </li></ul><ul><li>Plan – and adjust if necessary </li></ul>
    39. 46. Example: Example Social Media Guidelines <ul><li>Speak in the first person. Use your own voice. </li></ul><ul><li>With moderation, only police where we have to. </li></ul><ul><li>Be external. Link to other blogs, videos, articles. Retweet. </li></ul><ul><li>Be real and use your best judgement. </li></ul>
    40. 47. <ul><li>4. Which channels will you use? </li></ul>
    41. 48. Planning Your Strategy: LAUNCH <ul><li>Evaluate the channels: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are your target constituencies using it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are they using it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will the technology support the ways in which you want to engage? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it an open platform? </li></ul></ul>
    42. 49. Planning Your Strategy: Launch
    43. 50. Social Media Engagement <ul><li>Tools for managing your SM platforms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HootSuite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweetdeck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seesmic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SocialOomph </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SocialToo </li></ul></ul>
    44. 51. Social Media Engagement
    45. 52. <ul><li>Summing Up </li></ul>
    46. 54. Corey’s Social Media Process <ul><li>WHO do you want to reach? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Who are they listening to? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHAT are your goals? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- How do you want to shift the discussion? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HOW will you engage in relationships? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- What are your messages? How will you nurture them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WHICH channels will you use? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Select your channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Identify your resources. </li></ul></ul>
    47. 55. Any Questions?
    48. 56. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.corey.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/cmntweets </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.facebook.com/coreymcphersonnash </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.corey.com/flickr </li></ul>

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