Critical Engagement: A Social Media Bootcamp


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Conference presentation from the Texas Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (TxGAP) 2012 Professional Development Conference.

Marcus Hanscom
Associate Director of Graduate Recruitment and Outreach
University of New Haven

Starting and maintaining a successful social media presence within graduate admissions can often feel like fishing without a pole. You know the students are out there, they’re hungry and swimming for content, but you might not even be on the boat, let alone have any bait. Join this session to have an informal discussion and presentation on how to get started and successfully maintain social media, discover which channels may be most productive for your audiences, and uncover the secrets to curating content with little effort.

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Critical Engagement: A Social Media Bootcamp

  1. 1. The University of New Haven• Private, nonprofit university in West Haven, CT• 1,800 graduate students• Centralized graduate admissions
  2. 2. Overview• Who, what, where, when, why• …and How.• Content strategies for engagement• Q&A
  3. 3. Learning Outcomes• Learn how to use the primary social networks to your advantage• Identify the best channels for your audiences• Develop successful content curation strategies
  4. 4. “Powerful forces are calling into question higher education’s business model and raising new expectations for the quality and efficiency of service delivery. Institutions failing to navigate these changes are likely to find the road ahead increasingly difficult.”Personalization Offers A New Vision for Relationship Management. Ovum Whitepaper. © Ovum Published (03/2012).
  5. 5. “…institutions must take, without the luxury of added resources, a far more personal and proactive approach to managing student relationships than traditionally has been done in the past.”Personalization Offers A New Vision for Relationship Management. Ovum Whitepaper. © Ovum Published (03/2012).
  6. 6. “As with any difficult or turbulent time, organizations that refocus on basics such as delivering quality services and cultivating long-term relationships with their customers are likely to come out of the experience better and stronger.”Personalization Offers A New Vision for Relationship Management. Ovum Whitepaper. © Ovum Published (03/2012).
  7. 7. SOCIAL MEDIA BASICS What the #$*& is a tweet?
  8. 8. What is social media? Forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging)through which users create online communitiesto share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as video) * Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
  9. 9. Defining Social Media• Social interaction• “Highly accessible communication…”• User-driven• Transparent• Engaging and interactive• “Communicate in all directions…”• “Real-time communication…”• “Variety of content…”
  10. 10. The Largest SM Channels• Facebook – 7 billion users• Twitter – 182 million users• Pinterest – 104 million users• LinkedIn – 86 million * Courtesy of 4/6/2012
  11. 11. Facebook • Full profiles that allow users to “like” and share content • Connect with friends, family, brands • Controlled privacy • Share status86% Age 25 or older (46% are 45+) updates, photos, article57% female / 43% male s, links24% have a bachelor’s or master’s degree
  12. 12. Twitter• Short messages of 140 characters• “Follow” other people/brands• #Hash tags link trending topics• Great resource for content, professional 81% Age 25 or older (33% are 45+) development, branding 59% female / 41% male 24% have a bachelor’s or master’s degree
  13. 13. Pinterest • “Pin” favorite content – photos, recipes, etc. – on boards • Users follow boards or other users • Informal, fun • Great branding90% Age 25 or older (55% are 25-44) channel, but is not for82% female25% have a bachelor’s or master’s degree advertisingTop Geographic Region: AL, KY, MS, TN
  14. 14. LinkedIn• The “professional” network• Profiles are essentially a long-form resume• Connect with other professionals for networking• Discussions, job 47% Age 25-44 (49% are 45+) search, recommendatio 50/50 Gender Breakdown 50% have a bachelor’s or master’s degree ns
  15. 15. Other Networks to Consider • Google+ – Similar to Facebook – Group friends/brands into “circles” • foursquare – Allows users to “check in” to your institution/office – Can be used for specials as incentives to visit • YouTube – Video sharing on your “channel”
  16. 16. HOW TO DO ITI’ve never used a fishing pole before
  17. 17. The Groundwork• What is your goal with social media? – Awareness? Engagement with prospective students/current students/alumni/community?• What metrics are important to you?• Who will be participating/responsible for content? – Faculty/staff, student employees, current students, alumni?
  18. 18. Uniformity• Keep your online presence uniform as much as possible in look, feel, and “talk”• At UNH: – – –• Brand consistency in identity and message is critical
  19. 19. Facebook • Need a personal page first as administrator • Then establish a brand page • Timeline cover photo should represent who you are, your experience
  20. 20. Facebook
  21. 21. Facebook Courtesy of Danielle Glick
  22. 22. Twitter• Personal administrator account not required• Can customize profile image and background• Can link to a cell phone number for updates• Consider a widget on your website
  23. 23. Twitter
  24. 24. Pinterest • Request an invite • Set up as brand page • Pin content from the web or upload photos representing you • Keep it fun, informal • Ideas for content: – Local things to do – Campus event photos – Great “eats”
  25. 25. Pinterest
  26. 26. LinkedIn• Need an administrator before creating a group page• Group can become far- reaching: – Prospective/Current students – Alumni – Faculty/staff – Recruiters
  27. 27. LinkedIn
  28. 28. General Tips• Be open to mobile – Purchase smart phones for staff responsible for SM content• Set up vanity URLs for promotion –• Flexibility on time commitment and early expectations
  29. 29. WHAT TO POST What do I use for bait?
  30. 30. Voice• What is your voice?• Echo your brand, mission• Communicating should reflect your service, campus experience• What is your brand message?
  31. 31. Types of Content (According to MH)• Direct self promotion• Indirect self promotion• “Altruistic” self promotion
  32. 32. Direct Self Promotion on SM• Events• Admissions Announcements• Grad Fair Attendance• “Leeching” on other content• Interactions with prospective students
  33. 33. Grad Fair Attendance
  34. 34. Content “Leeching”
  35. 35. Interactions with Prospective Students
  36. 36. Interactions with Prospective Students
  37. 37. Indirect Self Promotion on SM• University News• Student News (Research, Study Abroad, etc.)• Faculty News (Research, Promotions, etc.)• Alumni News• Event Photos
  38. 38. Indirect Self Promotion on SM• Location information• Interactions with current students• Contests – Do not necessarily have to be related to your programs
  39. 39. Indirect Self Promotion on SM
  40. 40. “Altruistic” Self Promotion on SM• Graduate School Tips• Financial Aid Tips• News related to your programs• Job Postings
  41. 41. Twitter Potpourri• Use #hashtags in your tweets – ie. #iopsychology or #emergencymanagement• Follow industry news and industry leader Twitter accounts – Example: @forensicnews – RT relevant content to your followers
  42. 42. Finding Content• Alerts and searches for content – Google Alerts – Create searches on Twitter related to programs, industry, your institution, and more• Check your Facebook news feed and your followers’ pages• Be open to creativity• Enlist student help
  43. 43. SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING Brand Awareness
  44. 44. Social Media Advertising• Creating a first ad – Demographic targeting – Geo-targeting• Ways to use these ads – Program Awareness – Brand Awareness – Recruitment Fairs – Webinars / Open Houses / Recruitment Events
  45. 45. Social Media Advertising Channels• Be mindful of platform and audience• Costs: CPM vs. CPC
  46. 46. Try this…
  47. 47. Suggested Social Media Tools• Hootsuite• TweetDeck•• Facebook Insights• SocialBro• Klout• Radian6
  48. 48. Thank you.QUESTIONS?Contact Information:Marcus HanscomUniversity of New social media demographic data provided courtesyof via