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Beyond Facebook: Leveraging Other Key Channels in Your Social Marketing


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Handout for the session presented by Patrick J. Powers (@patrickjpowers) and Michael Stoner (@mstonerblog) presented at the Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in New Orleans, 13 November 2012.

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Beyond Facebook: Leveraging Other Key Channels in Your Social Marketing

  1. 1. Beyond FacebookLeveraging Other Key Channelsin Your Social Marketing
  2. 2. UsMichael Stoner Patrick PowersMichael.Stoner@ patrickjpowers
  3. 3. I. Facebook’s challenges1. How many people in here use Facebook?2. What do you use it for yourself? Do you log on to seeyour dentist?Teens made it clear yesterday that they don’t want U ontheir Facebook feed.
  4. 4. Economic & competitive • ROI: it’s difficult to measure ROI from Facebook. • Facebook doesn’t get mobile. Despite last quarter advertising results. • What will happen as more commercial posts & ads intrude in your news feed? Engagement fatigue.ROI: There are simple metrics we can get — reach, comments, shares, likes, etc — but because ofFacebook’s one-page-fits-all model, it remains a challenge to tie them to concrete business goals.Plus, posts have a short tail; compare that to your website or blog (on mStoner’s blog, several ofour posts from 2009 are among the most accessed today): Facebook posts get half their reachwithin 30 minutes of publication []Facebook + mobile: According to a recent Appcelerator/IDC Quarterly Mobile DeveloperReport, 34% of developers said that they did not fully understand Facebooks mobile strategy, adamning response against the social platform that has not been fully addressed by the company.See Rowinski, Dan. "Mobile Devs Interested in Google Over Facebook for Social Mobile Apps."ReadWriteWeb. 19 Mar 2012. Web. < mobile-devs-increasingly-inter.php>.Engagement fatigue: Michael Stoner,; Facebook Usage
  5. 5. Facebook is no longer cool • Early adopters are abandoning Facebook • Teens are leaving Facebook. In droves. • Facebook faces ongoing PR issues. And we all know how perception drives reality. • The alternative is being developed . . . now.Teens are leaving Facebook: Drawn to niche sites such as Foursquare and Tumblr, teens appearto be expanding beyond Facebook. According to market research firm YPulse, 18% of teens prefer to"check in" on Foursquare instead of Facebook, and 10% say Pinterest is a better site for browsing.[See: Foley, Nick. "USA TODAY." USATODAY.COM. N.p., 21 June 2012. <>]Facebook PR challenges: How many brands have people saying things like “I despise Facebook?”Facebook is screwing brands, driving reach down so brands will pay for more posts: “Facebook: Iwant my friends back!” [];“Distrust of Facebook Now Demands a Help Page Dispelling ‘Common Myths’” []Leaving Facebook: Douglas Lee Miller, “Leaving Facebook: 5 Reasons Your School Doesn’t Needit Anymore“:
  6. 6. Your biggest challenge • The investors own Facebook, not you. • “Community management” = “Facebook change management.” • Social media budgets in .edu are underfunded. Duh. • Niche social networks are exploding: Pinterest, • A neglected contender: LinkedInNiche social networks: Weekly visits to Pinterests website from North American users hit nearly 29 million in July, up from 1.27 million a year earlier,according to Experian Marketing Services. Thats an increase of 2,183% for the social network, which has been especially popular among women. See:Rodriguez, Salvador. "Pinterest, Instagram Continue Meteoric Growth." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2012. Web. <>.Pushback from small companies, nonprofits: Facebook is screwing brands, driving reach down so brands will pay for more posts: “Facebook: I want myfriends back!” [];“Facebooks EdgeRank Changes: A U.K. Company Claims Theyre Killing Small Businesses” []. Josh Constine, “Killing Rumors With Facts: No, Facebook Didn’t Decrease Page Feed Reach To SellMore Promoted Posts,” TechCrunch[] says that the actions by Facebook’ that sparked the blog post at Dangerous Minds are beneficial in that they reduce spam innewsfeeds and therefore are good for brands. What’s striking to us is the lack of trust in Facebook, which makes Dangerous Mind’s claims entirely plausible.Underfunding in .edu: Chief Marketing Officers of 249 U.S. companies in August 2012 said they would increase current spending on social media from 7.6percent of their overall marketing budget to 10.7 percent over the next 12 months. They expected to see that number rise to 18.8 percent in the next five years,according to a survey from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Is your institution keeping pace? [Moorman, Christine, and T. Austin Finch. The CMO Survey.Duke University, Aug. 2012. Web. <>]
  7. 7. 2. What can U. do?
  8. 8. What does Facebook do right? • Creates engaging features. • Balances rule and autonomy. • Makes it easy. At least for your audiences.Creates engaging features: Facebook users spent more than 10.5 billiontotal minutes per day on the site in January, an average of 12.4 minutes peruser per day, according a the company’s S-1 filing with the Securities andExchange Commission. [Amendment No. 3 to Form S-1 REGISTRATIONSTATEMENT. Rep. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 27 Mar. 2012. Web. <>]Makes it easy: A new page post targeting feature increases the postparameters to include age, gender, education, college name, graduationstatus, major, workplace and high school. Essentially it allows institutions tofilter down to current students, alumni and transfers. [Powers, Patrick. "WhatFacebooks Enhanced Targeting Could Mean for Higher Education." PatrickPowers. N.p., July 2012. Web. <>.]
  9. 9. A survey by Maguire Associates and has found that students on the hunt for a college or university turn to Web sites first. Seven out of 10 who responded said theygo directly to college Web sites to find information about degree programs, costs, and admission application deadlines. []Teens & social media: • Websites are important to teens: for example, 71% of seniors rely on web content for information about academic program options; 38% say they rely on social media for the same info. Many (72%) use Google, Bing, or Yahoo to search for colleges. And websites are way more influential for seniors (4.54) than a college’s Facebook page (2.29). • Print is important to teens: 58% rely on printed brochures to learn about campus location and community; 34% use social media. And 72% use brochures/print mail from schools to build their list of schools to check out. • Teens use email: for example, 62% said they used “emails I get from schools” to help identify schools to explore further. • Only 46% have visited a school’s Facebook page and of those, 69% have liked a college or university page. Even brochures are more influential than a college’s Facebook page (3.38 vs. 2.47).[These bullet points from: Noel-Levitz, 2012 E-Expectations:]When teens do research, here’s where they go: 2 Google or other online search engine (94%) 3 Wikipedia or other online encyclopedia (75%) 4 YouTube or other social media sites (52%)[These from: Pew Internet, “How Teens Do Research in the Digital World”:]
  10. 10. Connect the dots • Everything is connected to everything else. • Powerful positioning, messaging, branding. • Real-world connections: “authenticity.” • Powerful stories: well-told, shareable, demonstrating value. • Curation: sharing content from your social channels.Everything is connected: mStoner’s first law of branding:; Barry Commoner:
  11. 11. Focus on your current platforms.• Steal the stuff that Facebook does well.• It’s OK to share, comment, & “like” university content.• Make it easy.• Pick one, two, three or ten platforms. But you have to own them all.
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  14. 14. A random conversation with an art professor at Elizabethtown College led to: • Local Sunday newspaper story • Video footage for website • As-it-happened social media coverage • Instagram images • Facebook album • Freelance photography for future viewbook useThanks to Donna Talarico-Beerman, integrated marketing manager,Elizabethtown College
  15. 15. Social is now woven into campaigns Half use social as part How often is social a part of of a campaign of campaigns? 21% 40% 50% 50% 20% 19% yes no 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-100% Campaign: a broader, planned effort to achieve a goalFewer than 1/4 use social in every campaign.From: Cheryl Slover-Linett & Michael Stoner, #SocialMedia andAdvancement: Insights from Three Years of Data, August 2012:
  16. 16. 3. What success looks like
  17. 17. 60secondpolitics nottspolitics.orgThe communications and marketing team at the University of Nottingham created a campaign focused on positioning Nottingham as thedefinitive source of expert commentary on the 2010 UK elections. This involved both staff members in the communications and marketing teamas well as faculty with expertise in politics. By live blogging 24/7 during the election season, they wanted to draw the attention of reporters andmajor media , scholars at other institutions, the general public, potential students, and public opinion influencers.Before the effort began, they developed a series of goals to which they attached specific numbers. For example: “to generate 20 pieces of nationaland international [media] coverage…”; “… to help increase applications by at least 5%.” In preparation, the team researched reporters, bloggers, andexperts, developing extensive lists of media contacts.One staff member worked closely with the faculty experts and bloggers to time tweets and posts in response to developing election themes. Trafficwas largely driven by Twitter (123 tweets with 7,779 click-throughs), online PR, and linked placement of faculty experts supported by their blogposts and traditional PR work.By the campaign’s end, 104 blog posts had delivered more than 90,000 page views. The campaign exceeded all the targets set by the office. And:“Every item of national media coverage on Election Day featured a University of Nottingham spokesperson,” for a total of 466 national media hits.Applications to the School of Politics & International Relations rose 15%.Complete case study included in Michael Stoner, editor. Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness,Recruit Students and Get Results (St. Louis, MO: EDUniverse Media, Inc.): to be published February, 2013. More info:
  18. 18. Facebook, email, the web, and other tools, Madison Area TechnicalCollege in Madison, Wis., won public support for a $134-million rebuildingproject by almost 60 percent of the vote.Complete case study included in Michael Stoner, editor. Social Works: How#HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, RecruitStudents and Get Results (St. Louis, MO: EDUniverse Media, Inc.): to bepublished February, 2013. More info:
  19. 19. 2011, Webster University secured 200 tickets to seven concerts through a partnership with Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre and devised a plan to distribute these tickets to those whoengage with the University on various social media platforms. The idea was to build brand awareness and drive to drive web traffic during the summer months, a time with little activity onthe Webster website. There were three ways to win tickets from Webster University as part of the social media campaign: 1. Follow us on Twitter. Once a week we sent a tweet encouraging people to re-tweet a message. The message included links to our twitter account and our blog. Example: 2 tix courtesy of @WebsterU to the first 5 ppl to tweet: "@WebsterU is hooking me up with Styx/Foreigner tickets!" #STL 2. Check-in to Webster University on Foursquare. We built a check-in special on Foursquare that people could unlock when they checked-in to specific locations on campus. 3. Post a video to YouTube answering the question Why Webster?Traffic coming from social media to the server during the months of June and July was up from 230 in 2010 to 2,476 in 2011 and pageviews increased from 747 (2010) to4,628 (2011).Twitter proved to be the most effective tool for communication about the Summer Ticket Giveaway, generating 822 mentions; 263 new followers; 871 website referrals (204% increase from2010). An additional benefit, although hard to measure, was the word of mouth on campus talking about Twitter. While everyone following @websteru may not have re-tweeted themessages, they were paying attention.The campaign only resulted in one user-generated video on YouTube but it provides an authentic testimonial that has since been viewed more than 250 times.Webster University created nine separate check-in campaigns on Foursquare; 308 people view the various check-in specials and 213 people unlocked them.Complete case study included in Michael Stoner, editor. Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get Results (St. Louis,MO: EDUniverse Media, Inc.): to be published February, 2013. More info:
  20. 20. print: box of cards with word web: pairings Admissions: days after launch:• 14,731 page views • 3,948 unique visitors• 2:09 average time on site• Visits from 44 countries• 28% of traffic is from WilliamsburgIn the first six months:• 33,500 page views• 9,500+ unique visitors• 1:55 average time on site• Visits from 64 countries• 21% of traffic is WilliamsburgApplications up 8% over previous yearAnecdotal: “My daughter Holly (high school junior) and my wife went on a campus visit Monday and brought back the new view book. It’sinnovative and well done—very impressive compared to the materials we are seeing from other schools.”Press: Chronicle of Higher Ed coverage:; “Naked & Friendly” (mStonerblog post): case study included in Michael Stoner, editor. Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness,Recruit Students and Get Results (St. Louis, MO: EDUniverse Media, Inc.): to be published February, 2013. More info:
  21. 21. Key takeaways• Don’t buy into the hype about Facebook. Be aware of challenges & issues.• If your website isn’t awesome, dial back other channels until it is.• Make sure that every other channel you use is equally awesome.• Choose appropriate channels to reach key audiences. Some may be offline channels.
  22. 22. Resources #SOCIALMEDIA AND ADVANCEMENT: INSIGHTS FROM THREE YEARS OF DATA Cheryl Slover-Linett and Michael StonerSocial Works #SocialMedia &