Create & Integrate
Posts Tagged ‘how to do social media’
Monday, April 4th, 2011
How to build your own successful, integrated social media program, Part I.
Is your company ready to start a social media campaign to support your online marketing, public relations or sales efforts? If so, before you build your platforms out, it’s a good idea to develop a “strategy of engagement”. When I started at Metropolitan State College of Denver in December 2009, I spent a month developing a social media and online web presence strategy before building out the individual platforms. It’s unlikely that you will do everything that you lay out in your plan. However, it’s important to have a document to refer back to so that you can stay focused on your goals and measure your results.
While developing my plan, I took into account previous marketing research done for the College and also the latest developments in social media. I read numerous books, including “Facebook Marketing for Dummies” and “How to Really Use LinkedIn”. And I was fortunate to have access to extensive, tailored research done by KEOS Marketing for the Office of College Communications. The research compared and contrasted social media programs of colleges and universities throughout the United States. The study evaluated the most and least successful programs and pointed Metro State in the right direction. While I took into account much of the KEOS research, there were other factors that I had to consider in developing my plan.
Metro State is dissimilar from other colleges in that it caters to commuters, rather than 18-year-olds fresh out of high school There is very little campus housing, and the average student is 26 with a full-time job and/or a family. As well, there has traditionally been little communication with alumni. Thus, many students don’t necessarily feel the same sort of affinity for their alma mater as students in other schools. Or, even if they do feel affinity, there aren’t many avenues for communication with the College. Taking all that information into consideration, I established various goals. They were:
- To leverage social marketing as another communication vehicle to support the current Alumni Association strategic plan, which focused almost 100 percent on increasing alumni engagement (which meant alumni: communicating with each other, faculty members or departments; volunteering for or attending events; reading e-mails; donating money; reading College-disseminated publications; and/or somehow interacting with the College.)
- Develop and implement campaigns that increase online involvement, and then measure (and eventually monetize) the results
- Utilize available analytics to gauge where alumni where going online and what they were interested in reading/viewing/clicking on
- To meet or exceed objectives of increased involvement, and define the best approach to do that
- To be on the cutting edge of social online marketing
- To create a written plan detailing methods of engagement that can be used as a model for other institutions
- To use social media platforms to support a College-based, password-protected Content Management System that would be made available just for Alumni. (Note: We ended up not using the product because after beta testing it for three months we discovered our alumni really disliked it. Subsequently, we changed our strategic direction by focusing exclusively on traditional social media platforms).
I also took into account the main reasons why social media campaigns fail, which are that organizations and businesses:
- Lack expectations
- Don’t specify what they are trying to accomplish
- Have insufficient tracking capabilities
Finally, I outlined a seven-step process specifically for Metro State. I’ll write more about those steps in next Monday’s article of the week.
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