Marketing & Communications
The strength of social media is in building real relationships between people. Social media enables us to easily connect with students, alumni, and other stakeholders around the world. Being effective communicators on social media requires commitment and consistency. We define clear goals and roles for managing current, responsive profiles. Establishing a friendly, authentic voice fosters an inviting community environment. Analytic tools are used to measure our successes and failures. And we learn how to use the right social networks to engage our audiences with compelling content.
Active College Accounts:
Our social media posts are conversational in tone and easy to digest quickly. When posting a news item, we focus on the highest level real-world impact bit of the story and pull forward the connection to our people. We keep our posts concise, and use the hashtag #ILLINOIS to identify with campus. We also use the hashtags #dotheimpossible, #tbt and #weareillini and others depending on the nature of the content. We share the rich, compelling images and graphics connected to our stories, and post candid photos that capture authentic campus experiences.
Developing a Strategy
The following are a few of the basic principles and best practices we follow and recommend for developing and managing an effective social media presence:
- Define your goals and your audience.
- Learn your audience’s goals and which networks they prefer.
- Define clear roles for content management.
- Establish your voice and tone.
- Determine your frequency of messaging.
- Deliver content to the appropriate network.
- Treat each channel as an individual entity for content...
- ...but be consistent in visual presentation, tone, and style.
- Participate in conversations and ask questions.
- Be consistent in your level of engagement.
- Encourage user-generated content.
- Use analytics to determine who, what, when, where, and how.
- Measure how goals are being met and adjust accordingly.
We use our Facebook page to share our latest news, events, student experiences, campus activities, scientific breakthroughs, and faculty achievements. Our audiences include prospectie students, current students, parents, and alumni. We engage with those audiences by posting interesting, colloquial content between 2-4 times per day.
How we post to Facebook:
Facebook Group: Class of 2019
Groups provide a space for people (in this case, the Class of 2019) to communicate about shared interests. In groups, members receive notifications by default when any member posts in the group. Group members can participate in chats, upload photos to shared albums, collaborate on group docs and invite members who are friends to group events. Groups are more appropriate than a page if the goal is to foster open communication between users in a specific cohort or member association.
Twitter is a great channel for posting current events and activities in real-time (in 140 characters or less). Users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags (words or phrases prefixed with a "#" sign). Similarly, the "@" sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to other users. We follow our friends and peers on campus and around the world to share interesting stories and content about science and engineering. To repost a message from another Twitter user and share it with your own followers, simply click the retweet button within the Tweet.
How we tweet:
Instagram is a mobile app that allows users to take photos, add filters, and share them with their social networks. The College often uses Instagram to crowdsource photos during campus and alumni events. Instagram is also a great tool for showcasing our beautiful campus, getting nostalgic with our rich history (#tbt), and sharing student activities across multiple social media platforms.
Our YouTube channel gives us the capability to broadcast and embed rich, compelling video content throughout the web and in other digital media. We produce content ranging from campus tours, to interesting lectures, to tips on landing a job, to features on student project and startup companies, to faculty spotlights and research discovies. We generally aim to keep videos under 5 minutes in length, for easy consumption. An exception to this rule might include classroom lectures or recorded speeches. We break out playlists within our channel to point viewers to similar content.
Our YouTube channel is linked to our Google+ account, and therefore content is automatically shared between platforms. Google+ offers unique opportunities for real-time communication (Hangouts), improving search results (Google + has begun to offer personalized search results for users who are logged in), exchanging information (Drive), and managing groups (Circles).