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Social Media Strategy

Unite individual social media resources under a comprehensive strategy for implementation at the college and undergraduate recruiting levels in order to build a strong voice and engage with our stakeholders.

Audience

Our social media audience consists of a broad demographic including current and potential students, alumni, extension clientele, business and industry, government, and the general public interested in agricultural issues. The various needs of these audiences require an integrative approach targeting the outlets to the right audiences.

Strategies

Understanding that the execution of any future social media plan would require an investment of currently limited resources, it is recommended that current and future strategies be focused around existing strengths in known social medial outlets and focused on audiences that would garner the greatest return on investment. Additionally, the formulation of processes and guidelines that would prioritize marketing efforts in social media should be developed in order to maintain brand consistency.

Our strategies should focus on connecting our stakeholders to each other and to the college and informing stakeholders of issues and events within the college and industry.

Social Media Outlets: Usage and Content Goals

In order to leverage communications efforts, it is recommended that each outlet be evaluated in terms of its impact on specific targeted audiences. This would include identifying the suitable demographic(s) for each outlet and matching content to that demographic and crossing media outlets where appropriate. Listed below are the primary social media outlets on the Web and their primary audiences.

  • Facebook: Future/Current Students and Alumni
  • Instagram: Future/Current Students and Alumni
  • Twitter: Industry and Alumni
  • LinkedIn: Industry and Alumni

Additionally, the Social Media Committee will be responsible for identifying, prioritizing, and integrating primary social media outlets, developing guidelines and governing their use, and ensuring that all college-level social media use (as it pertains to college recruitment, ag awareness, and college communications) aligns with the University and college branding.

Measurable goals

Social media efforts should project a measurable result. Many of the media services mentioned have the ability to track and define users and traffic. It is recommend that the committee build into its plan a manner with which to define the success of any given initiative. It also has to be understood that any social media plan must be able to "fail fast" and adjust to the environment given there is no simple formula for success.

Goals should be defined by a specific action that we would like to see or pre-defined statistics. Changes in social media efforts should be done one at a time to allow for clear goals and success tracking.

Goal Example:

  • Build relationships with alumni and get them to share their stories > increasing enrollment
  • Connect prospective students to current students to share their stories > increasing enrollment
  • Share stories on Facebook and engage with fans > increasing fans by X % over a period of time

Rationale

Expanding our social media engagement is an opportunity to build on what we have learned and to take advantage of our new assets in Web and marketing support. The media are still new, but recent trends have shown that the social media outlets mentioned in this summary will be part of the marketing landscape for the foreseeable future. We should take advantage of the opportunity and support presented to us by college leadership to become a model for the University and the industry in this new area of marketing communication.

Additional Reading and Resources