On Wednesday, May 2, the Social Media Communicators group met to discuss some of the latest in social communications.
As Pinterest membership continues to grow, some SMC members have asked if it will work for their marketing efforts. Among the BU communicators adopting Pinterest:
- Dean of Students: Kat Hasenauer pointed us to Kenn Elmore’s page, which will be used during orientation to curate the presentation topics on the fly. Each presenter will be “pinned” with their name, office, and one key takeaway: “My advice to you as a freshman.”
- Student Activities Office: Melissa Grove helps to curate SAO’s Pinterest account as a resource for students. Boards help students with event planning and ideas, as well as fun boards like “We Love Scarlet.” They are also following other schools to see how they’re using the tool. They plan to increase their efforts on the platform over the summer with the help of student workers.
- College of Communication: Though COM’s Pinterest may soon be targeted to only the Photojournalism program, Paul Kresge admitted that they wanted to experiment with the platform because “it was there and it was something new” (a sentiment that felt common across the room). Paul also pointed to their Springpad account, recently set up by the company’s ambassadors, which pulls in richer data, including Google Maps and Yelp reviews, which may make guides for students more useful.
Overall, the feeling about Pinterest seemed to be 1) it’s caught our attention because of the user base growth & news, 2) it may not be a tool for every department, but it’s worth experimenting with for now, and 3) the best use case so far seems to be to provide useful information & guides for students. One person pointed to Drake University’s Pinterest as a great example of a higher ed institution using the tool well.
Class of 2016
Gordon Ryan, Admissions’ new Digital & Social Media Marketing Manager, spoke briefly about the Class of 2016’s reaction to admissions decisions on March 24. Using @ApplytoBU, Gordon estimates he responded to over 500 students with tweets of congratulations (dashing the myth that high school students aren’t on Twitter). He also mentioned that the Class of 2016 Facebook page jumped from about 500 members (from Early Decision) to over 3,000. The page now has nearly 3,800 fans (for a class of 3,900, a significant participation rate). Gordon estimates that about 10 percent of their website visits during that week came from social media referrals, and every post they put up receives between 500-2,000 engagements (clicks, etc).
Individual schools are experimenting with social engagement for their new fall class, too. The School of Public Health will be piloting a Yammer group for one class, and possibly a Facebook group for another at the same time. The College of Communication also has established a Facebook page and Twitter account for its freshman class.
A few new features of Facebook were discussed in brief, namely the new “Groups at Universities” functionality that Boston University is a part of. Current BU Facebook administrators have no control over the activity here (no “superadmin” capabilities), and pages are not listed here, nor pre-existing groups. For now, it is likely a listening tool for connecting with students, but if SMCers find other uses for it down the road, please let us know.
The new “messages” capability for Pages was also mentioned as an aside. This can be turned on or off, but can serve as a way for fans to ask questions that they may not want to post on the Page’s wall.
If you are interested in sharing with other SMCers more between meetings, don’t forget to join the BU Social Facebook group.
Jeremy Schwab presented the latest campaign from the College of Arts & Sciences, a series of faculty expert videos dubbed “CAS Presents.” He showcased one, “Why is Modeling a Bad Job?” featuring sociology professor Ashley Mears:
Using the help of his department’s interns, Jeremy will continue to produce video showcases of the CAS faculty. You can view all of their videos here.
We will aim to schedule two more meetings this summer, the first in June focusing on Google Plus, and the second in July or August. Please reach out to Mary or Jenny with any questions, or post it to the Facebook group.