Another fantastic Higher Ed Live Special Edition broadcast transpired last month on using social media to gain website traffic. Titled “Communication United: Social Media and Your Website,” the show featured Donna Talarico-Beerman, formerly from Elizabethtown College (E-town), and Noelle Seybert from Pepperdine University, with host Erin Supinka from Dartmouth College. You can watch the recorded version now in the Higher Ed Live archives or you can keep reading for a brief summary.
Here we go…
More and more colleges and universities are realizing the power of social media platforms. They connect and build relationships with prospective and current students, as well as alumni, and bring them to your website. This means better admission numbers and more donations for your institution. During this episode, Donna and Noelle explained how they harness the power of social media for their institutions and get the whole campus involved.
In 2012, E-town launched their “Share Your Moment” campaign, which began with the redesign of their acceptance letter package. In the package, students are encouraged to share their acceptance across social media sites. The first year yielded around 70 shares that Donna could find, which she in turn emailed to the admissions office to share the success of the campaign. Not only have students continued to share their moments (the number has grown to 150!), but this year Donna was able to re-share these with those students who ended up committing to E-town and went on to graduate. They have done a great job repurposing content for their social media channels as well as their website. Some tactics for creating new content include being sure to try out new platforms, providing student helpers with free T-Shirts, and tagging students with stickers that ask them to tag E-town back. It’s ironic how “online” social media is still very much a physical activity. In the works for E-town is a social media governance plan to better facilitate social media use throughout the college.
Pepperdine wanted a way for people to connect to its 300+ social media accounts that are spread among five campuses and their athletic and alumni divisions. So they partnered with OmniUpdate to create a social hub and social media directory. Now their site visitors can easily filter by campus or division and social media platform to get a feel for the Pepperdine University experience, or they can find links to everything from Facebook pages and Twitter handles to Vimeo channels and Tumblr accounts using the directory. How are they able to bring all these various accounts together and keep them up to date? Noelle’s team does a yearly audit of accounts and they also have members from around the institution who serve on a social media committee that meets monthly. The idea is to be a resource for the institution, providing training and best practices, which is why they plan to build out the social media resources on Pepperdine’s Community site.
Mark Your Calendar
Check out the broadcast on Higher Ed Live to learn more about E-town’s and Pepperdine’s journeys creating social media content for their higher education audience. Then, tune in to Higher Ed Special Edition on Friday, June 19, 2015, at 1:00PM EDT to discover how institutions are gaining a competitive edge by showcasing their faculties online. You won’t want to miss it!