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Best Practices in Social Media: Part I
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Best Practices in Social Media: Part I


Communicating with prospective students, current students, and alumni has become a full-time, multi-media job, and your current web site is one-dimensional for ongoing conversations. Facebook, …

Communicating with prospective students, current students, and alumni has become a full-time, multi-media job, and your current web site is one-dimensional for ongoing conversations. Facebook, twitter, flickr and YouTube are the places your audience goes to learn about everything, including you. Haven’t become an active participant in social media yet? During this two-part series, we will look at the right way to get started, using examples in admissions, student services, alumni relations, and individual academic departments.

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  • Online higher ed marketing for 10 years Web Content Manager at UI Foundation, overseeing web, email, and social content How I define social media - two-way real-time communication - user-generated content - platform for push to web Sites we’ll focus on: - facebook - twitter - flickr - youtube/vimeo - because of the broad audience, we’ll acknowledge linkedin, plaxo, etc, but not dive into them.
  • Lack of expertise: there is a lot of staff time to stay on top of social media trends. - A little education goes a long way in making the most of the time. Difficult to show ROI: Social media is free, but the time invested and extending the brand doesn’t necessarily equal more students, more use of campus services, or more alumni memberships. - Set goals that are measurable. Use the tool to promote and supplement other efforts “ I’m drinking coffee” perception: Is this a serious communication tool? 80% of all twitter accounts are abandoned after less than 5 posts - Tools like tweetdeck allow you to not only participate, but monitor activity regarding search terms. Your participation isn’t the only social activity happening for your institution - 110M users on twitter; 500M users on facebook
  • It’s where they are…all day and everywhere. - 50% of facebook users visit the site at least once per day - mobile access to facebook has surpassed land-based activity More open access - research on prospects, students, and alumni is open based on permissions More opt-in for your users - judge prospects and alumni by how much they participate. - pick out some of your top prospects by how they engage
  • .edu is still number one source of information. This should be the medium for new content Email is the big drive to web activity. Actions for emails are generally completed online, driving traffic to the site - You can get to the point in an email and let the web do the heavy lifting - continue to drive traffic to social site engagement Social media serves two key purposes: - Drive people to the site through content aggregation - Engage audience members and expand/continue conversations Size of these circles shows resource dedication. Spend your time perfecting your site.
  • Set up a committee - Identify content experts more than social experts - Small enough committee to steer…this medium moves quickly Set goals, then tactics - It’s more important to identify social strategies rather than facebook strategies. Facebook won’t be around forever - The goal is not to get on facebook or set up a twitter account Understand the medium - Shorten content approvals and focus on content reuse - Empower authors to react and engage - One post won’t change the world
  • 1% of all time on the internet is spent on Facebook 2 nd most visited web site (twitter is 12 th ) Over 900 million photos uploaded monthly 10 million videos uploaded monthly 50% of registered users come to the site every day
  • Hashtags: searchable terms/keywords. Establish a shortlist of common tags, based on events or areas Twitter is good for overall campus messages (news releases), but is great when it is departmental - Participation is key…have conversations on twitter Balance your network of following versus followers, if you use this for more than
  • Posts from an RSS feed, nothing more. Notice the followers/following ratio
  • We’ll dive into each of these. Know who visits, what they want, how you can give it to them, and determine what’s working
  • Their goal is to find information. Your goal is to move the relationship forward. Information: - RSS feeds - Content highlights Action: - Event registration - Online giving/registration - Time-sensitive Awareness: - Upcoming events - Campus highlights - News Engagement: - Wall posts promoting action - Replies to questions or posts from users - wall posts regarding public posts elsewhere - @ twitter posts
  • Conversations happening, lots of comments Who are your friends? - alumni - students - parents Audience dictates content and what works UI had record number enrollment this term, which put impact on our housing department. Facebook is where many of those fears for incoming students were lessened. They reached out to us on the housing facebook site.
  • Not a replacement for weak web content - But an aggregate of the good stuff Find connections/relationships with your campus partners Integrate with your site - We’ll talk a lot about this in Part II
  • Good push to web Content types: - conversations - news releases - department event/awareness promotion RT, @s, use as a communications tool Lists: organize the people you are following by their relationship with you. Think of them as groups
  • Flickr has two stages for universities - photo repository and sharing tool - Groups, allowing discussions, photo uploads, and maps - active participation Notice the URL…reserve your name
  • Vimeo: video repository with great privacy control - youtube versus vimeo - youtube has more people - vimeo has more control over embedding video Point Loma - have videos covering admission, branding, student services, academics - their video resource for the entire university - might be rogue videos out there, but this one stop covers the gamut
  • It takes a village to manage a social presence Empower with guidelines - basic publishing types - negative examples and how to respond (on the fly…don’t create a list. The first couple, react as a group) Find those closest to the audience, not those that are on Facebook the most Prepare for turnover and priority lowering - but you can’t lose momentum. Whatever content expectation you set, you have to keep at it - post at least once a week…if you go three weeks without, people think you disappeared.
  • The basics - Hits - Friends/followers/contacts - Contact points Set benchmarks - See what activity produces the most participation
  • Services - Hootsuite - Cotweet - tweetdeck - Involver - Radian6 - Wildfire - Viralheat - spredfast - bluefuego Campaigns Pricing - depends on number of campaigns, networks - basic metrics like engagement counts, tweet counts, keyword mentions, clickthroughs, influencers: $10-60/month - advanced metrics looking across social networks as a whole: $ 1000-10,000/year
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  • 1. Best Practices in Social Media Trends, Engagement Opportunities, and Implementation Strategies Part One: Building a Social Strategy Eric Hodgson :: August 26, 2010
  • 2. About Me
    • Find this presentation:
  • 3. Let’s Take a Poll
    • Where are you with your institution’s social strategy:
      • We don’t know…that’s why we’re here.
      • We dabble, but still learning.
      • We have something on paper, but always looking to improve.
  • 4. Why NOT Social Media Photo by  Walmink via Flickr
  • 5. Why Social Media Photo by  Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel via Flickr
  • 6. Electronic Communications .edu email social
  • 7. Where to Begin Photo by  Nat Tarbox via Flickr
  • 8. Sharing Fans Participation Participation
  • 9. PROFILE PAGE GROUP You begin the conversation, and hope that others will chime in Best for vertical (one-way) communication Best for horizontal communication among members People can “friend” you/your profile persona People can become “fans” of your page People can become “members” of your group Limited direct messaging (20 recipients max) to friends Unlimited direct messages to fans Limited direct messaging (5,000 recipients max) to members Can be customized with applications Can be customized with applications Cannot be customized with applications Monitor traffic based on activity and interaction Page administrators have access to statistics & traffic No access to statistics and traffic
  • 10. My network My network # - hashtags (the secret to searchable content) Retweet Syndication Push to web
  • 11.
  • 12. Elements of a Social Strategy
    • Audience
    • Content
    • Staffing
    • Analytics
    In that order
  • 13. Audience Photo by  wsimmons via Flickr
  • 14.
  • 15. Content Photo by  Phil Gyford via Flickr
  • 16. Content Types
    • Messaging
    • Releases
    • Actions
    • Personality
    • Location
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21. Staffing Photo by  Michael Lokner via Flickr
  • 22. Analytics Photo by  hutchscout via Flickr
  • 23. Social Monitoring
  • 24. Implementation
    • Three year plan
    • Adapt processes
    • Roles, not people
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27.
  • 28. Part Two: Implementing a Social Strategy
    • Social account settings
    • .edu integration (both ways)
    • Generating traffic to and from these sites
    • More analytics
    • Plenty of examples
    • September 23, 2010
  • 29. Find me
    • Find this presentation:
    • Find me:
      • [email_address]
    • Find the UI:
  • 30. ?