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Social Media Comes of Age: Universities Get Results From Social-Powered Campaigns
 

Social Media Comes of Age: Universities Get Results From Social-Powered Campaigns

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This is an article I wrote for SCUP’s Planning for Higher Education Journal (July–September 2013) that shares some insights about how universities have used social media in different campaigns. ...

This is an article I wrote for SCUP’s Planning for Higher Education Journal (July–September 2013) that shares some insights about how universities have used social media in different campaigns. It contains three case studies: William & Mary’s Ampersandbox; Florida State’s Great Give; and Missouri University of Science and Technology’s use of social media in crisis communications. Examples are taken from case studies in our book, Social Works.

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    Social Media Comes of Age: Universities Get Results From Social-Powered Campaigns Social Media Comes of Age: Universities Get Results From Social-Powered Campaigns Document Transcript

    • Volume 41, Number 4 July–September 2013 Community-College
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 41 FE ATURE A RTI CL E Social Media Comes of Age Universities Get Results From Social-Powered Campaigns by Michael Stoner IF YO U ’RE O NE O F T H OSE PEO PL E who think that social at least four new politics [department] academics media isn’t an essential component of a university’s in media activity by the end of the campaign” and marketing, communications, and engagement strategy, it’s “supporting student recruitment and increasing blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and many others—as an integral part of campaigns designed to achieve important Advancement and Support of Education and the Huron Consulting Group [CASE, mStoner, and Huron Education 2013; Stoner and Slover-Linnett 2012], we’ve learned that more than half of CASE-member institutions use social media DE V ELO P A PL A N . Even a simple campaign needs a plan: it’s not that the plan itself is so important, but the process of planning helps to identify potential challenges and opportunities and encourages planners a campaign is going to ask for contributions of videos, images, or other content, it’s essential to ensure that Results approaches to creating, conducting, and succeeding in T HE S O CI A L CH A NNEL S YO U USE DEPEND O N T HE GOA L S YO U SE T. the most commonly used social channels in campaigns, but there’s often a good reason to use another channel Here’s some of what we’ve learned about using social media as part of a campaign: tickets in return for tweets, Foursquare check-ins, or SE T CL E A R GOA L S A ND M E A SURE PRO GRESS AG A INST T HEM . merchandise in return for content) violated Facebook’s that included quantitative measurements like “involving Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 42 this when they embarked on a project to create new student I T ’S A M ULT I - CH A NNEL W O RL D. Although social channels are integral components of campaigns today, a that stood out from the competition, had immediate visual often a killer app, the critical channel that knits together to take action—as Florida State University learned in its along with engaging images from the college’s Flickr S O CI A L W O RK S represent a wide didn’t change much as the campaign progressed; in others, goals changed, developing and solidifying as the campaign and learn,” meaning that those responsible for the campaign paid close attention to what their audiences responded to and pairs on each card represent a particular topic, such as Fire has come of age and colleges and universities have its topic and links to a custom microsite where prospective become increasingly sophisticated in using them in their and the second allows visitors to share their own word pairs C A SE STUDY 1 A D ISTI N CTI V E PR I NT/ W EB A PPROACH TO A D M ISSI O NS M A RK E TI N G — A M PER SA NDB OX AT THE CO L L EGE O F W I L L I A M & M A RY 1 This unique connection between print and web propelled High school seniors and their families see countless mailings The applicant pool for the freshman class of 2013 was three 1 This is an abridged and updated version of “A Distinctive Print and Web Approach to College Marketing: Ampersandbox at the College of William & Mary,” one of the case studies in Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get percent larger than in 2012, according to Henry Broaddus, Results, edited by Michael Stoner (EDUniverse Media 2013).You can learn more about Social Works at http://mstnr.me/TkXwLu. Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 43 which was close to double the cost of any previous viewbook Following the launch, The Washington Post and The wrote articles about the received several awards, including Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and University and College a mobile version of the site to reach prospective students and people clearly enjoyed posting their word pairs and photos on C A SE STUDY 2 FL O R I DA STATE UN I V ER SIT Y ’S “GRE AT G I V E ” O NL I NE G I V I N G C A M PA I GN GO ES V I R A L 2 Three months of planning doesn’t sound long enough to without clear objectives resulting in a strong campaign that Yet this was the challenge that faced Florida State University’s should be able to make an easy connection between the team had participated in an online and social media training complemented each other, allowing for a seamless transition about social media and fund-raising, and they were ready to And, it’s always a good sign when a new campaign sparks Broaddus said this addition made the project even more 2 This is an abridged version of “The Great Give Online Goes Viral: Florida State University,” one of the case studies in Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get Results, edited by Michael Stoner (EDUniverse Media 2013). Learn more about Social Works at http://mstnr.me/TkXwLu and download a copy of the Great Give case study at http://mstnr.me/ Xjzr6M. The original case study was written by Justin Ware, director of interactive communication at Bentz Whaley Flessner (see his bio at http://www.bwf.com/who-we-are/team/justin-j-ware/). Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 44 than once, online ambassadors contacted the annual giving two goals: increase the online giving dollar amount and tens of thousands of gifts in 2011, but only about one percent campaign, the FSU annual giving team conducted surveys The Great Give, as the campaign was dubbed, was set for alongside the giving process to learn how donors heard about percent said e-mail, and Facebook and the FSU website came produced YouTube videos and used social media channels to of mouth” likely came through digital means, such as an in-person meetings with donors and picked up the phone to Social media channels drove the Great Give to a very team sought online ambassadors: donors who agreed to hours after the campaign started), the campaign had raised more than $186,000 and attracted nearly 300 new donors giving team found student volunteers who joined the accomplished all of this by spending just under $20,000 on students to spread the word about the campaign, which drew direct mail promotion and fund-raising counsel before the The guiding principle behind the campaign was simple: meet other students and their parents as donors, but they also became familiar with providing philanthropic support to the essential for institutions such as FSU to employ a broad array high with pre-packaged social media updates for online a model for online and social media fund-raising in higher be considering ways to make the fund-raising process even included potentially dropping direct mail altogether given Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 45 that were to happen, the FSU team could carry out future Later tweets were more detailed: “Suspect was last seen near C A SE STUDY 3 The university’s website URL was eventually added to outgoing social media posts in order to direct people to S O CI A L M ED I A A ND CR ISIS CO M M UN I C ATI O NS AT M ISS O UR I UN I V ER SIT Y O F S CI EN CE A ND TECHN O L O GY 3 all the messaging that occurs on multiple channels, the updates, emergency notices, police press releases, contact messages would not have been seen until administrators or college break through the virtual noise and make sure its media for crisis communications began to unfold when a post regular social media updates to communicate with their sudden emergency occurred at Missouri University of Science press release was issued and more than two hours before After a phone call from the campus police chief alerted them The communications team started these posts Facebook accounts and switched the campus home page to Dispatch responded with a Storify article titled “How a 3 This is an abridged version of “Social Media and its Role in a Crisis at Missouri University of Science and Technology,” one of the case studies in Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get Results, edited by Michael Stoner (EDUniverse Media 2013). You can learn more about Social Works at http://mstnr.me/TkXwLu. The original case study was written by Andrew Careaga, Missouri S&T’s director of communications. However, the university’s rapid and well-coordinated The crisis communications plan detailed the roles of campus Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 46 its response to media inquiries, and the monitoring of online conversations about the crisis as the situation communications team trained in social media should be in REFERENCES Although a crisis plan contains important guidelines, just Best Practices in Social following steps: » CO NDU C T TA BL E TO P E X ERCISES . The campus police and the communications team should come together practicing crisis management and becoming familiar » Insight from Three Years of Data Survey of Social Media in Advancement conducted by CASE, mStoner, T EST YO UR SYST EM S . AUTHOR BI O GR APHY » H AV E A B ACK UP W EBSI T E. An institution should have During more than 30 years as a communicator and consultant, M I CH A EL STO NER , the president than 275 education institutions, » M O NI TO R CO N V ER S AT I O NS IN S O CI A L M EDI A . Monitor online conversations about your institution as part of which becomes even more important both during and » DEBRIEF A ND L E A RN A F T ERWA RD. following any crisis situation, an institution’s communications team should meet with campus police and other key constituent groups to discuss the handling Along with Rob Cima and Voltaire Miran, Michael launched team made changes to its internal processes to improve crisis communications to the campus and the public, and broader marketing initiatives for schools, colleges, Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 Michael Stoner | 47 School, Kellogg School of Management, Yale Law School, content systems campuswide; and designed and implemented Michael has spoken at hundreds of professional conferences and workshops (AMA, CASE, NACAC, UCDA, and the College (EDUniverse and his articles have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Read online at www.scup.org/phe
    • Planning for Higher Education Journal | V41N4 July–September 2013 ii Planning for Higher Education Society for College and University Planning www.scup.org © 2013 by the Society for College and University Planning All rights reserved. Published 2013. ISSN 0736-0983 Indexed in the Current Index to Journals in Education (ERIC), Higher Education Abstracts, and Contents Pages in Education. Also available from ProQuest Information and Learning, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, Michigan A B OUT PL A NN I N G F O R H I GHER EDUC ATI O N J O URN A L A B OUT THE S O CI ET Y F O R CO L L EGE A ND UN I V ER SIT Y PL A NN I N G (SCUP) Planning for Higher Education is a publication of the Society for College and University Planning, an association of professionals The Society for College and University Planning is a community devoted to planning at academic institutions. This journal seeks of higher education planning professionals that provides its to transmit the knowledge, ideas, research, and experience members with the knowledge and resources to establish and most likely to advance the practice of higher education planning achieve institutional planning goals within the context of best and policy making. SCUP members receive a complimentary practices and emerging trends. For more information, visit subscription. The society offers both individual and institutional www.scup.org. group memberships. W H AT IS IN T EGR AT ED PL A NNIN G? For contributor guidelines, subscription information, or Integrated planning is the linking of vision, priorities, people, and permission to share from the journal, visit www.scup.org/phe the physical institution in a flexible system of evaluation, decision- or contact managing.editor@scup.org. Correspondence about making and action. It shapes and guides the entire organization membership should be sent to membership@scup.org. as it evolves over time and within its community. A DV ERT ISIN G IN T HE J O URN A L Thank you to the organizations that have chosen to advertise with SCUP in this publication. Please remember to consider these organizations when you are looking for additional planning services. Interested in advertising with SCUP? Please visit www.scup.org/ advertise or contact advertise@scup.org. Read online at www.scup.org/phe