Illinois State University's Social Media Program


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A presentation to the Illinois State University Foundation Board on the social media program at Illinois State

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  • Good MorningThank you for the opportunity this morning to present on a topic that we in UMC have made considerable advances in over the last year. With an overview of our efforts we have with us today two members of the UMC staff who have been instrumental in the development of Social Media at Illinois State.First UMC Assistant Director, Brian Huonker who has been in social media since the beginning and a staff member at Illinois State since 2002. Brian lectures nationally on Social Media use in Higher Education and in his spare time has even organized a Social Media conference called @Midwest over the last few years.I’d also like to introduce a relative newcomer to our team. If you are local, Ryan Denham is a name you may be familiar with from his days a business reporter at the Pantagraph and at WJBC. Since Ryan’s start a year ago in our editorial department he has been instrumental in crafting and collecting original Illinois State content on a daily basis to broadcast throughout Illinois State’s Social media platforms.Together these two have really become the drivers behind Social Media at Illinois State, Brian and Ryan have worked in conjunction to create a new Strategic Plan for Social Media.Ryan will be supplying us with a quick overview of our Social Media footprint and Brian will then close with a look at our Social Media analytics.
  • Right now, we’re talking about ISU’s “flagship” social media accounts. The ones that represent the whole University, not just Admissions, or Athletics, or the College of Business.These are the big 7 social media sites we’re using today on that “flagship” level. Each one offers a unique opportunity to reach our alums and other supporters in a space where they’re listening.The trick is, we have to create content that matches the personality of that social media site. [Describe briefly each of the big 7, and why blogs have an asterisk.]
  • Here’s what we mean by addressing each audience specifically, using the tools in that particular social media site’s toolbox.As you can see, the audience on ISU’s Facebook page is pretty diverse in age. Lots of current students and recent alums, but some 40-year-olds, 50-year-olds too.So that means we have to mix it up. On Facebook, for example, it’s all about engaging in a way that elicits an action, i.e. a “like” or a “share.” [Mention the Ewing album]And we watch what other ISU units are doing with THEIR Facebook pages. We share the BEST stuff, so that the “flagship” account is really the cream of the crop.
  • Unlike Facebook, where you’re limited to 3-4 posts a day, Twitter gives you more space to pump out quick information.Here’s an example of an average day from last month, and the types of tweets we send out.The goal is to pump out content that your followers will see and then share themselves, or retweet. Catchy headlines, stats worth sharing, video links, photos, etc.
  • YouTube is a social media channel where we’re devoting more time this year.It’s a major player in search engine results, so we need to pay attention to it. (Search “ISU tour” and you’ll find our YouTube video tour link.)We take videos we’ve uploaded to YouTube and use them all over the place, including ISU’s Facebook page, or links within stories that we post on websites,But even Huffington Post … our most-viewed video of the year.Next steps: Exploring regular Web series (like a Dining cooking show) and videos with more characters (STATEside).
  • LinkedIn is a social networking site for working professionals and job-seekers. For us, it gives us a space to reach those types of people and cater to their needs.Illinois State currently has an Company page, which is our flagship presence on LinkedIn, and a number of smaller groups, i.e. COB Alumni group.In the past 6 months, LinkedIn has made some dramatic improvements to its user experience, which is good for us. Coinciding with that, we’ve beefed up our Company page significant… [Explain bullet points]
  • Pinterest is a newer social media platform, not as important to us as Facebook, but it’s growing.It’s a photo-driven scrapbooking site, where people posts photos and text about things they love. There’s a space for ISU in here. We’ve got Dining Center recipes. We’ve got weddings at the Bone. We’ve got lots of ISU gear.[Talk about “Product of the Week” across platforms…]
  • We have three major outlets for photos on social media.Let’s start with ISU 365, which is a photo project we launched January 1. One photo, every day, no matter what. We post to Instagram and Facebook.That’s all that goes on Instagram right now. On Flickr, we upload almost ALL of our photos—from events, from Homecoming, from Alumni Relations events.On Facebook, we also post photo albums, which draws in users who like to tag themselves.
  • STATEside, if you’re not familiar, is a daily blog created by the alumni magazine staff last August. [Mention the EFIF story featured here.]It’s a crucial part of our social media efforts for a number of reasons. First, it gives us daily, sharable content for all our social media channels.Nicolas Zanoni who presented before the Foundation board recently. The Snowman Batman, for example, reached thousands and thousands of people.Metrics/Analytics have been strong.
  • We’ve got a lot going on TACTICALLY, but we’re trying to think more STRATEGICALLY now…Strategic plan under review, tied to “Educating Illinois”…Next up, trying to share our best practices with other units on campus. i.e., Want to create a new Twitter account for the Department of Whatever? Here’s what to consider, how to find content, what to name it, etc.
  • To help guide or social media program, we have been analyzing our efforts with various analytic programs like Klout, AgoraPulse, Google Analytics and the built in analytics of the various social networks. .
  • One of the things analytics show us is what content our audience is reading. And what social networks they discovering our stories from. For example, we can see how much traffic Facebook is driving to our top stories, including a story about a student combating the sorority stereotype. The analytics also lets us keep watch on the smaller social networks and any new startups that might appear to see if we need to consider adding them to our mix.
  • We can examine our demographics to identify which group are our strongest champions. From this data, we receive our most likes from individuals of the ages of 18-24 but ages 25-35 are just as likely to talk about us. And we can see that the ages of 45+ are 25% of the people talking about us. This is great because that is the generation that attended the University when the ACT score to get in was only 17/18 and that’s the audience we want to expose to our wave of Redbird Pride.
  • They can, and did share articles like the CFA student who sculpted a likeness of Batman with a fork. The STATEside post for the Batman artist was shared over 1,000 times and the Facebook post was shared 372 times with 863 comments and saw by 58,442 people. DC even re-tweeted to all their 300,000+ followers. A fantastic story for future art students considering Illinois State and CFA alumni.
  • And when we expose alumni to our Redbird stories, we are giving them an opportunity to update their information. Over the last year, we have been generating over 120 updates each month. And last month, our Avanti’s story with accompanying contest generated almost 600 entries, each entry having an alumni update form.
  • And as we move forward, we will continue to examine our efforts, our audience ,and the various social network they are using so that we can ensure our message is there when they are ready to hear it.
  • To show you how social media can impact giving, we’d like to share some success we had this year with the Senior Campaign (formerly known as the Spirit Tassel Challenge).The campaign this year was rebranded to de-emphasize the tassel and play up the impact of giving on real students. The “Did You Know?” concept… [explain the nuts and bolts]This all complements work by Beth and her intern, Meg. But together we hit reached a 10% participation mark. A new record high.
  • UMC is constantly evaluating the up-and-coming social media sites to determine whether it’s a sandbox ISU should be playing in.Instagram, for example, is one we examined late last year. We created the ISU 365 project in part to have a presence in that space. Now, we’re up to almost 900 followers in the past 6 months.Reddit is one we’re paying attention to now. Seeing a few hundred page views here and there sourced to Reddit. [Explain what it is…] Tumblr’s probably next.
  • Illinois State University's Social Media Program

    1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA @ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITYBrian Beam and Brian HuonkerUniversity Marketing and Communications
    2. 2. OUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOOTPRINTFacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterestInstagramFlickr*Blogs-- Engage oursupporters wherethey can hear us-- Match content toeach social site
    3. 3. FACEBOOKISU’s Facebook page: 22,600+ likes2-4 posts/day, including weekendsEngage: Ask questions, stir comments-- Photo albums, videos-- Schedule: Throwback Thursdays-- Our stories, press releases-- Positive external media storiesGoal: “Cream of the crop” contentAges of Facebook "likes"13-1718-2425-3435-4445-5441.3%
    4. 4.,500+ followers6-10 tweets/dayGoals: Retweets, mentions, repliesExternal media stories about ISULinks to our storiesAnswer questionsPromote eventsShare photos (ISU 365 project)Retweet other units
    5. 5. videos for UMC clientsCreate videos for UMC/STATEsideShare on social media/E-NewsEmbed on Stories postsLast 30 days (as of 6/3/13):24,600+ views63,367 minutes watchedRetention rate is 3:07YouTube avg. is 2:30Most-viewed videos of 2013 (to date)1. Military mom surprises son at Commencement2. Insider tips to ace your interview3. ISU campus tour4. Communication mistakes that slow your job hunt5. Sean Hayes awarded honorary degree
    6. 6. LINKEDINThe “new” LinkedIn-- Big improvements this yearISU company page: 5,550 followers40,000+ impressions/month-- Links to our stories/press releases-- Event announcements (Alumni)-- Career tips (Career Center)-- Job openings (HR and AT)Network groups: 15,000+ members
    7. 7. PINTERESTSmaller but growingPhoto-driven scrapbookingWomen = 5x more likely on Pinterest than men
    8. 8. PHOTO SHARINGInstagramMobile-only sharingISU 365 projectFlickrArchive and sharingAlumni and HomecomingBest way to show what life is like on today’s campusFacebookAlbums and tagging1-2 per week
    9. 9. CAMPUS story every weekday190+ posts since Aug. 2012 launch-- Photo galleries-- Student profiles-- Alum interviews-- Nostalgic features-- Videos-- Social media recaps178,500+ page views in Year 1Year 2: More students, moreAthletics, more multimedia, more popculture.
    10. 10. SOCIAL STRATEGYUMC’s Social Strategic Plan-- Draft now under review-- Driven by goals/strategies inEducating IllinoisSocial Media Guidelines-- Introduced to units in fall 2013-- “Best practices” and no-nosSocial Media Directory-- Link off homepage coming soon
    11. 11. QUESTIONS?
    12. 12. SENIOR CAMPAIGNBuilt student awareness with social media-- Complements outreach by Annual Giving team-- YouTube video: “Did You Know?”-- #DidYouKnow tweets and Facebook postsLeverage other units’ Facebook pages-- STATEside: 12 ways to rock your mortarboard-- ISU 365: Tassel photoReached 10% participation for the first time
    13. 13. EMERGING SOCIAL NETWORKSInstagram-- Young users, Facebook-ownedTumblr--Youngest audienceGoogle+--Hasn’t caught on, search resultsReddit--Community-driven, less control