Final Paper – General Recommendations

Hi class! I will be out of town today, but did draft up a final report that was sent to Ryan for review. Below is the copy. Please let me know if you all have any suggestions.

_________

Social media is an evolving tool that is continuously changing the way society interacts and views the world. From politics to entertainment, there is no topic that is off limits for conversation among the masses especially in a community of college students. Students are constantly on the go between classes, work and extracurricular activities that social media and its app can easily become the primary source of news. With this precedent in place, it can be quite challenging for traditional media (radio, television and newspapers) and others outlets successfully target an active mind.

Based on the findings from our experimental social media channels, it is noted that engaging college-aged students is not an easy task. The interest of many does not necessarily blend perfectly, however, that does not mean that a cohesive page with quality content cannot be achieved. In fact, it is an effort that can be accomplished with extensive social media research and a deep understanding of the audience. Below is a brief overview of the best practices that can be implemented in local outlets gearing their material to students.

As previously stated, it is essential to understand the basics of the outlet. This can be achieved by asking the fundamental five W’s (who, what, when, where and why) and one H (how). This may read as trivial, but knowing the purpose of your message will better translate to the audience through postings. The planning stage can take as long as needed and often times go through a various of edits before being solidified for a beginning standpoint. Knowing the demographics and a general viewpoint of the audience will make it easier to narrow down the relevant platforms.

For clarity purposes, the audience will remain as college-aged students. As an outlet, it is essential to understand that each person brings their own unique perspective to the social media environment. With this notion in mind, it will open up an avenue to realize that all young women and men are not equally tech savvy and/or up to date with the latest trends. As a social media strategist, it is imperative to know a few simple guidelines such as the difference between use and access. For starters, it should be understood that all students will not use social media for pure academic purpose and development. At times, technology is a simple outlet for staying socially connected and for fun times. Furthermore, if a student is behind on or lacks the common knowledge to navigate social media, it may be due to socioeconomic status and race. Having a background on how certain factors play into interaction will serve as a starting point of creating a sound channel.

Social media marketing aspects and effectiveness suggest creating content that is focused more on the quality and not quantity. The idea behind it is to report buzzworthy, newsworthy events that do not overwhelm the audience. Through this, the goal would be to open up an online conversation on the given topic that keeps individuals engaged. Listening to the tone of the community by observing how members interact with one another as well as general etiquette will establish long-term relationships built on trust. This can potentially generate two-way conversations with followers to talk about their interests. Having open communication can bring more involvement on the end of the channel by being able to respond promptly to messages, questions, comments and utilize proper terminology such as hashtags. As a the brand continues to develop, be sure to monitor other social channels and competitors while bearing this question in mind: “What is the desired outcome?”

In regards to popular platform, there are listed bullet points to review:

 

Facebook

  • Celebrate great things happening
    • Sports, arts, cultural events
    • Post blog articles, news items and announcements
      • Awards, achievements, honors
    • Share educational memes
  • Post 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Twitter

  • Use a hashtag for your school
  • Engaging GIFs, videos and photos
  • Post 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Instagram

  • Best place to post engaging images to entice alumni, current students and prospective
  • Show events such as sporting events, Quad day, school history, etc.

LinkedIn

  • Use it as a platform to help connect students and alumni
  • Post blog articles, news items and announcements
    • Awards, achievements, honors
  • Follow local businesses, campus outlets (radio, tv, newspaper)

General

  • Be consistent and available
  • Quality content

 

Brea Thompson

Brea Thompson

senior in communication at University of Illinois
Brea Thompson

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