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Social Media plan

Social Media plan

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Published by Brittany E. Parker
Social Media Plan
Social Media Plan

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Published by: Brittany E. Parker on Jan 30, 2013
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Social Media Plan for NWMSU Alumni Association

Table of Contents
The Brand..........................................................................................................................................1-2 History..........................................................................................................................................1 Products and Services.....................................................................................................................1 Target Audience..........................................................................................................................1-2 Current Best Practices.....................................................................................................................2 Social Media Footprint.......................................................................................................................3-4 Competitors...................................................................................................................................3 Comparisons...............................................................................................................................3-4 Social Media Goal................................................................................................................................4 The Message..................................................................................................................................4 Who will be talking to whom?.........................................................................................................4 How will you be saying it and why?.................................................................................................4 Indentify Influencers.............................................................................................................................5 Content Strategy.................................................................................................................................5-6 Engagement Strategy..........................................................................................................................7-8 Measurement Strategy..........................................................................................................................8

Contact Information
Charlie Krueger s504983@mail.nwmissouri.edu Haley Lewin s508273@mail.nwmissouri.edu Evette Massey s508329@mail.nwmissouri.edu Brittany Parker s508468@mail.nwmissouri.edu Heather Shumake s505381@mail.nwmissouri.edu Cassie Swanson s505464@mail.nwmissouri.edu

The Northwest Missouri State University Alumni Association firmly believes “Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.” In 1980, a group of faithful alumni standing on this motto came together to create a permanent residence for all alumni affairs. Located on College Avenue, this historic home hosts alumni and community activities. The Alumni Association hopes to keep alumni and friends of the University connected through as many sources as possible. With 11 alumni and developmental staff, 20 chapters, and over 60,000 friends and alumni of Northwest Missouri State University, “Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat” has, is and will be a prominent aspect of the University.

History

The Brand

Products and Services
Northwest Alumni Magazine Published twice a year in print and online and is mailed to all Northwest graduates. Includes events happening on campus, what other graduates have accomplished and are involved in. Paw to Paw Foundation Raises money for things such as field trips or new equipment to current students. This broken down into different categories that alumni can donate to and gives a specialized interest to former Bearcats who might have been involved in what current ones are looking to earn money for. The 1905 Society Gives scholarships, aids in finances for projects and also supports upgrade towards campus technology and members will receive recognition for their efforts. Homecoming Golf Classic Tourin’ Bearcats Traveling alumni. Bearcat Zone Alumni who want to support their current Bearcats in football. Includes tailgating, music, children’s activities and more.

Target Audience
The target audience for the social media presence includes Northwest alumni, both young and old, who wish to stay connected with the University. Your organization has struggled to stay in touch with recent graduates due to changes in contact information immediately after graduation, which is not always reported to Northwest. The older alumni can sometimes be found on social media, but they also receive direct mail to keep them in contact with the University. It is known that the older group has a strong connection to the traditional aspects of Northwest, notably the administration building, the kissing bridge, and Wells Hall, and they prefer the classic green and white colors. The younger alumni, on the other hand, feel connected to Colden Pond and the International Flag Plaza, winning athletic teams, newer residence halls, the beauty of campus and the squirrels, and offerings from SAC, Encore, and the Distinguished Lecture series.

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Target Audience continued...
The graph below displays the demographics of the current audience of the Alumni Facebook page. These statistics include the “likes” that occurred between the months of October and November of 2012.

Source: University Relations of Northwest Missouri State University

Current Best Practices
Northwest’s Alumni Association does not currently focus on a specific social media strategy. It has Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Interns in the University Relations office currently run all the accounts. The majority of posts on Twitter are retweets of events with approximately 400 followers. However, LinkedIn has 2,131 connections and the Facebook page has approximately 2,700 “likes”. Posts are updated on Facebook frequently throughout the week about events going on in the community and on campus. Brenda Untiedt, the alumni relations specialist for Northwest Missouri State University, supports the Northwest Alumni Association Board of directors and oversees Advancement Communications Specialist. Brenda is responsible for communications within the board, so she is responsible for their social media.

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Social Media Footprint
Your organization currently has a Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn group. The Facebook page does have approximately 2,700 “likes,” however, this page is overshadowed by the University’s Facebook page with about 97,000 “likes.” The Twitter account has a small number of followers compared to the Facebook page, and it seems to be stagnant at this point because the last tweet found was in August 2011. The only thing the Twitter page has done is retweet posts from the University and other outlets. Social media tools, such as Social Mention and TweetReach, were used to find what was being said about the Alumni Association. The results gathered from these sites were below one percent. Therefore, the social media profiles themselves were used to measure the Alumni’s social media footprint. In comparison to the number of University alumni, the number of alumni connected to your social media could improve. This could be due to the fact that social media is a newer concept and older alumni aren’t as associated with social media outlets. However, things can be done to widen the following on both Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to improve your social media footprint.

Competitors
Northwest Missouri State University’s footprint Northwest has around 97,000 “likes” on Facebook, over 4,000 followers on Twitter. Northwest also has a Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google + accounts and has around 2,000 photos on Flickr. Through these accounts, it posts current news releases and events from the University Calendar. NWMSU Alumni Association - Kansas City Alumni & Friends Chapter A branch of NWMSU alumni that posts frequently on their Facebook, Twitter pages and blog and keep up-to-date with what is happening about Northwest and campus activities and have bi-monthly meetings to discuss and arrange events. It also shares the Northwest Digest, news, and athletic updates and make/share events for others to join and see what is happening locally or on campus. Northwest’s Band Alumni footprint Northwest’s Band Alumni has a presence on Facebook, with about 200 “likes” and constant band related postings and things happening in the Department of Music. Northwest Mass Comm Alumni footprint Northwest’s Mass Communication Alumni profile has a presence on Facebook with close to 400 “friends”. Other competitors NWMSU Central Iowa Alumni Chapter AZ Bearcats

Comparisons from other alumni associations
University of Missouri Alumni University of Missouri has an alumni website, Facebook page and Twitter account. Mizzou has almost 9,700 “likes” on Facebook and the Alumni Twitter has over 8,500 followers and has tweeted over 4,600 times.

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Comparisons continued...
Pittsburg State Alumni Pittsburg State Alumni has a Facebook page with about 1,300 “likes.” The Twitter account with around 200 followers, and its LinkedIn group consists of over 2,600 members. Missouri Western Alumni Missouri Western’s Alumni has LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Their Twitter has about 200 followers and has tweeted 135 times and their Facebook has about 500 “likes”, while it also has around 750 members in their LinkedIn group.

The Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong relationships with Alumni & Friends. Our mission is to use social media to develop a larger and more engaged following of Northwest alumni and more event attendees. We will do this by contacting Northwest Chief Officer of Marketing and Design, Mallory Murray, to help promote alumni events through the Northwest accounts. By using social media, you can better communicate and involve alumni in important Northwest news and special alumni events.

Social Media Goal

The Message
The overall message that you are trying to send to Northwest graduates is that being an alumni of the University is an honor and that you should want to belong to this group. The way the alumni can stay connected to this group and become involved is through social media. The more people that know about the alumni group through social media, the more people are going to know about events, fundraisers, etc. If more people are aware of these events, there will be a greater chance for donations from alumni. Location of the Message: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Advertise social media accounts through Alumni Magazine.

Who will be talking to whom?
When the plan first gets implemented, the University’s social media accounts will post to encourage their followers to follow the Alumni Association. Also, during graduation, the University would advocate for your accounts so graduates could connect instantly. Many of the recent graduates follow the University’s accounts, so it would be a great way to work with the University and connect to recent graduates. You want to post “we” statuses and tweets with the same “voice”, so each post represents the Alumni Association as a whole. Brenda, who is in charge of communications, should first start planning posts to set the tone and purpose of the Alumni Association’s posts. As the directors of the Alumni Association become more accustomed to social networking, they can start planning posts too.

How will you be saying it & why?
Your messages will have information, incentives, interaction, and friendliness. It is important that each post grabs your reader’s attention and engage the user. Keeping the Facebook policy in mind, giveaways and prizes will provide interaction among your followers and keep them involved. The URL to Facebook’s policy on giveaways is https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php. Interesting photos or facts about alumni and the University will entertain and can engage your audience as well. 4

There are several key influencers that you can tap into for help spreading messages or identifying trends that may affect you. Northwest’s Twitter and Facebook feeds can be really helpful to stay updated on what they are doing. They can share/retweet what you post to help spread the word. President John Jasinski and Director of Athletics Wren Baker are well known to Northwest students and alumni and they can help spread a message by sharing/retweeting as well. Alumni Katie Pierce and Andrea Garcia are also involved with social media and post about things to Northwest on Facebook groups. Some other key influencers may be the Northwest Missourian since it can be a reliable source to what is happening on campus and is not strictly for students. All of these people can get to the target that you are trying to reach. Someone like Katie, a younger alumnus, can reach younger/current students to be involved with the Alumni Association by sharing what they have to offer. You can find these and other key influencers, like we did, by using social media “tools.” However, we were able to find influencers by searching who tweets/retweets or posts/shares the most about the University and events that are going on such as things held by the Alumni Association. Finding future key influencers: Social Mention TweetReach Searching Twitter and Facebook posts with keywords and hashtags such as; “nwmsu,” “bearcat alumni”, “Northwest Missouri State University alumni”, “NW alumni”, or other variations.

Identify Influencers

Content Strategy
Commencement/Graduation Sample tweets/posts Commencement is a prime opportunity to reach out to graduates about the Alumni Association and how to become an active member and fulfill the motto, “Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.” By encouraging current students to join the group on both Facebook and Twitter, before and even soon after they graduate, this should not only increase the number of people that view the website, Facebook and Twitter but could increase the attendance at events as well. With students excited about graduation and even those not wanting to leave, commencement is a perfect opportunity to get the word out about the Alumni Association. Commencement: sample social media messages Twitter: “Future grads, don’t forget to follow @NWMSUAlumni to keep up with what’s going on at Northwest after you leave #NWMSU” This would be appropriate to post a few weeks to a day before commencement occurs. #NWMSU is a common hashtag used for tweets related to Northwest. Northwest’s Twitter account also assigns hashtags specifically for graduation commencement such as #nw12, so using the specified hashtag would help reach graduating students. It is good to get the alumni involved. Having them answer questions, etc, is a good way to make your followers be proactive. Rewarding your followers with a retweet gives the feel of a contest and could improve the followers involvement with the twitter page. Example Tweet:

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Content Strategy continued...
Facebook post: “Like the Northwest Missouri State University Alumni group if you’re graduating in Fall of 2013!” By commenting with this on the University’s Facebook wall, it can reach some of their followers who in turn are potential alums for you. This is not only an opportunity to boost the number of “likes,” but it is also a statement for the future graduates. Promote that on the day of the Commencement ceremony starting at a specified time, the first 10 future graduates to like the Alumni Association will win a prize. This will not only be an incentive for students to join, not that it isn’t enough already, but it will also increase followers. A Taste of the Danube: sample social medid messages Twitter: “Ever been to the Danube? Here’s your chance! Visit the website for details. www.nwmissouri.edu/alumni/travel/danube.htm #NWMSU” Facebook photo post: “This could be you! Join us in a Riverboat cruise from Vienna to Budapest! For more information visit www.nwmissouri.edu/alumni/travel/danube.htm” Upload a Picture of a Riverboat similar to the one the group will be taking to Facebook. Put a comment next to it and a link to where they can find more information. It would be helpful to create an album of the trip so more pictures can be added to a specific spot to be referenced t later. Albums are beneficial for this event, for the time before, during and after. In weeks leading up to the event, post more pictures, like cafes in the area, shops and other scenic views. These will give more opportunities for the alumni to read and see about the event. With each photo refer them back to the website. Whenever putting any information (big or small) on a social media site, it’s good to refer the user to the website where they can find accurate and more information on the subject. “Remember the jingles, the ringing and the landmark. Tell us about your favorite memory of the Bell Tower, whether it’s playing flashlight tag around its pillars, singing carols, or throwing an event. We want to know!” This will allow friends to reminisce, and spark engagement on the Facebook page itself. You could do this with any building or landmark on campus.

Engaging social media examples

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Engagement Strategy
This is an outline of what the Alumni Association can post throughout a year on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. August: New changes to the University. Post to look out in the mail for the Alumni Magazine - link to the online version. Football schedule. September Football announcements. Posts about Bearcat Zone and how to be involved. Family Weekend. Post generational bearcat family photos. “Family of the Year” posts/photos. Alumni Awards Banquet. Announce Tourin’ Bearcats information and registration - include links. October Homecoming Talk about Walk Out day and the history of. Post photos from past Homecomings - funny photos from skits or winning floats. Homecoming Schedule news release. What was your favorite homecoming activity? Posts about the Golf Classic and registration - include link. Class reunion information posts/photos. Fall Classic Posts about when and how to get the KC chapter involved. November Veteran’s Day post - Show thanks and respect to Bearcat Veterans. What makes you thankful to be a bearcat? December Basketball announcements. Holiday wishes. Recent grads- get them to follow and “welcome” them by using NW hashtag. January Announce final payment of Tourin’ Bearcat information and registration - include links. Post to look out in the mail for the Alumni Magazine - link to the online version. February Valentine’s Day - Ask alumni to share their story of how they met their significant others a Northwest. March Ask what their favorite Spring Break memory was. 7

April Recent grads - get them to follow and “welcome” them by using NW hashtag. Posts of the Tourin’ Bearcats travel trip. May Ask to send and post photos from Tourin’ Bearcats travel trip. June Ask if any bearcats recently got married. July Ask recent grads how it feels to not be going back to NW next month.

Other Posts Northwest Digest and news releases Share alumni events Utilize dates in Northwest history, posts about the Paw to Paw foundation and how to get ivolved (include links/photos) “Look Familiar?” photo posts similar to magazine Funny squirrel posts/photos Announce events that will be broadcasted (where and how) in case alums can’t make it to the event Ask alumni to send news M-Club Hall of Fame inductees Post photos/ask for campus landmark memories (Admin, Wells, Kissing Bridge, Colden Pond) Post “now and then” photos.

Measurement Strategy
We will determine the success of the social media plan by measuring the effects of the Alumni Association’s social media accounts and the increased participation of alumni at events. We would like to see the Alumni Association reach 5,000 “likes” on Facebook within two years and 800 followers on Twitter. This can be measured by keeping track of new “likes” and followers including alumni interaction in posts on Twitter and Facebook. To measure the increased participation of alumni events, we can compare past participation to the number of alumnae registered and the number of alumnae who signed in to new events. Other sites that can be used to measure social networks: Google Analytics: Free software providing rich insights into website traffic and marketing effectiveness. (http://www.google.com/analytics/) Omniture: Analytic software for Facebook and Twitter. (http://www.omniture.com/en/) HootSuite: Analytic software for Twitter. (http://hootsuite.com/)

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