Sunday, May 19, 2013

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN HIGHER ED: NO ONE SAID IT WAS GONNA BE EASY



Part four of five in my Social Media Marketing Series

It's pretty safe to say that if your brand isn't involved somehow within the atmosphere of Social Media, you're missing out on a competitive advantage. Not to say that every single brand and every single industry is right for Social Media branding--but pretty close

I'm no expert (yet!), but I don't think I've seen a more actively involved school in Social Media Branding than Southern New Hampshire University. Be that as it may, it's not an easy job. There are certain inherent risks and challenges that go alone with Social Media use by any organization. [Though I've always felt like companies selling tangible goods (or, "widgets" if you're in an economic kinda mood) had a bit more straight forward time when developing/implementing Social Media strategies.]

Courtesy: http://www.esocialmedia.co.uk


And so in my ever peaked interest in the world of Higher Education, I've asked SNHU's Social Media Strategist, Director of Creative Services, Jason Mayeu to answer a few questions for us all to examine pertaining to Social Media Marketing and Higher Education.


Me: Jason, what is the biggest challenge in attempting to brand with social media?Jason: In a word, balance. Balance of number of accounts, number of platforms, types of posts. If you stretch yourself (the office) too thin, it's tough to keep up a unified voice. If you find yourself with too many accounts you end up diluting the voice because you can't ask the public to follow multiple accounts for the same entity with similar posts.

Me: What is the biggest risk a college takes when turning to social media when marketing? Jason: Getting too thin. If you don't have the resources to keep up with it, it can look like you stopped caring. Social Media in colleges are like a three legged stool; marketing, recruiting, and customer service. They all kind of work in tandem and yet also separately.Marketing is general postings about campus, events, interesting facts about the university and its constituents.Recruitment is reaching out to students who post about SNHU when they discuss how excited they are about attending an event, visiting campus or just in the decision making process (i.e. a students posts a picture of acceptance letters to SNHU, Fitchburg State and UNH and inquires, "What to do, where should I do?" - we'd typically respond with, "we'd pick SNHU, but we're probably a bit biased")Customer Service ranges from answering questions from prospective and current students ("What time is open house in the morning? Who do I talk to about a heating issue I'm having?) to answering questions from parents, alumni and other community members.Customer service is a large part of what we do on a daily basis, especially on Twitter. Marketing and Recruiting are bigger with the Facebook and IG groups. Although we do Customer Service with both of those platforms as well.

Me: What's the biggest risk in not jumping into social media?Jason: Institutions not in social media risk missing out on what people are saying about the institution; good, bad or ugly. If you're not listening and answering, someone else might be in your stead, potentially in a manner you'd prefer them not to.


Obviously, Jason speaks (er, types) with more authority, and well, accuracy on the matter than I do (thanks, Jason!). My next post will cover tweeting best practices and the Tao of Twitter! Stay tuned.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for including me Jordan. It was great to give feedback to your questions. I of course am but one instance in the sea that is social media. Others may have differing opinions. Steve Boucher, Director of Marketing and Communications, and I handle the posting, engagement, marketing, recruitment and customer service for the top level SNHU accounts representing our Manchester campus (www.facebook.com/SNHUOnCampus, www.twitter.com/SNHUOnCampus and www.instagram.com/snhu.

    In addition we help with strategy implementation, education of platform, post appropriateness and customer service questions for a multitude of other on campus entities and groups in the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest platforms.

    We like to think we are just getting started with just over a year's worth of social media account building for the campus side of SNHU, but we've both come to the positions were in with many years of experience in the social sphere.

    We're having fun and enjoying the ride.

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  2. I absolutely loved Jason's response to your last question: "Institutions not in social media risk missing out on what people are saying about the institution; good, bad or ugly. If you're not listening and answering, someone else might be in your stead, potentially in a manner you'd prefer them not to." This holds true for all brands; if you're not at the very minimum monitoring social conversations around your brand keywords, you could be missing out on a lot of great insight into your customers thoughts/wants/needs. There is a lot of information to be mined from social media in regard to a brand and its products!

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