The 2018 Massachusetts Marketing Summit, presented by IC Summits, took place just before the holidays at the Westin near Copley Square Boston. I was honored to be asked onto a panel all about social media trends and what’s next. I shared the panel with Melanie Cohn from Dunkin’ Brands, Ann Unger of Puma, and Kim Currier of Nightshift Brewing Company. I had lots of support from several colleagues from the University of New Hampshire who were also in attendance. Continue reading
Recently, I was on a panel, speaking to the audience at the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics annual digital marketing symposium. The topic was simple, and many wanted to know, “What tools do you use on a daily basis at your job?” and “How do they help you?” There are many tools I use each day, but only two of them I simply couldn’t live without… Hootsuite and Talkwalker.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform that displays a dashboard where I can manage multiple networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more…
I can create content to post, schedule, or add to the content library for a future campaign. I can also monitor hashtags, keywords, social profiles, and locations. This allows the social media team at UNH to hear what people are saying about our brand – and respond accordingly. We can also monitor competitors, like Vermont, UConn, and UMass to see what type of content is going viral and what’s trending.
Hootsuite also provides teams. For example, if a social post or message mentions the athletics team, but was meant for campus recreation – they can assign it all within Hootsuite to the appropriate team to respond, making collaboration easy and allowing for nothing to ever get lost.
Hootsuite also allows me to see how posts are performing with their analytics tool, so I can track ROI, measure growth, and see what worked and what might need improvement.
Talkwalker is social media analytics and monitoring tool I just started using in July. Previously the UNH social media team used Hootsuite Insights, which was okay, but Talkwalker digs below the surface to monitor mentions, impressions, trends, and help out with crisis communications.
Alerts are setup for the UNH brand within Talkwalker, so if something negative happens that’s been amplified, I will know about it within seconds. This tool allows us to never miss a conversation going on about The University of New Hampshire. Talkwalker looks at social media, but it also searches blogs, news feeds, print, even television.
The best part about Talkwalker is that it’s real time, so I’m never catching up, or looking at old data. It also shows brand sentiment and demographics like gender, age, and location, along with competitor comparisons. But my favorite part about Talkwalker right now is visual insights, which allows me to see posts associated with the UNH brand and if they were taken inside or outside – also allowing me to see the most engaging photos. This can help with future posts and the type of content resonating with stakeholders or it shows me what type of content is being tagged with our brand and if it’s something I want to look into or simply ignore. Lastly, Talkwalker provides clean reports that can be scheduled and they’re available in both pdf and email.
Last summer, a member of the UNH Alumni family reached out to us via Twitter asking if we had any room for a tweet mentioning the Pan-Mass Challenge. We try not to get involved with every fundraiser, or else we’d be tweeting and sharing on Facebook nonstop. Despite our willingness to always help our alumni, it’s very hard to assist and please everyone, but this one was different. It involved an alumna and a current student riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge with her family raising money for cancer research in her late mother’s name. It was summer, it was a good cause, and I wanted to share a tweet about the connection to The University of New Hampshire and help bring more awareness to their ride, but also bring attention to the Pan-Mass Challenge.
We shared the tweet, tagging Dana Farber, TeamJenStrong, and we linked to an article all about the the team, their cause, and why the ride was so important. It received modest attention with 5 retweets and 8 likes, but it was retweeted by @TeamJenStrong and @UNHAlums, which is our Alumni Twitter account. It was an important tweet on more than one level… it was about helping our alumni and students with an important cause, but it was also about engaging with our stakeholders and making a new connection.
It was a few days after the tweet was posted that I received an email from an alumna thanking me for helping out and sending a tweet to support the fundraiser…
I replied to her email without any delay…
I was happy to share her story and it made members of the entire UNH Wildcat family happy. It’s always great to share these moments when we can and it’s important to stay in touch and connect with our audience and nurture every relationship. It’s all about engagement, right? About a month later, I received a package in the mail that contained two hats and a card with a beautifully written letter inside. It made my summer! With a simple tweet, I was able to reconnect her with her alma mater. It didn’t take much effort on our part, but the end result was definitely worth it… She was happy and sent me a few tokens of appreciation.
In turn, I gave back as well by making a donation to the Pan-Mass Challenge.
Who knows? When UNH reaches out to ask for volunteers, or to attend to our next event in the Boston area, perhaps she’ll be there… At the very least, I guarantee she feels good about her alma mater and that is what matters most.
Remember when we posted images to get more reach on Facebook? Then, we were told to upload and use videos to rise to the top and reach larger audiences despite the new quirky Zuckerberg algorithm… Since Facebook is (still) going through changes with the news feed once again, we’re now being encouraged to create and share live video to increase reach and hopefully the engagement rate, too. Recent research shows Facebook live videos get up to 6 times more interaction than regular videos. Is your team prepared and ready to create more live content?
If Facebook Live is truly the answer to increased interaction, then how do we create quality content that works and gets the results we need?
Marketers, especially in Higher Education, shouldn’t use live video every day. No one should. Just imagine the quality of everyone’s news feed if it was only a collection of Facebook live videos? It wouldn’t take long to run out of ideas and eventually start seeing live cams of that iconic building or statue on campus… every single day. Is that what you want to see? At the University of New Hampshire we want to be strategic and plan ahead. Perhaps monthly Facebook Live videos is a good option to start, depending on resources of course. While we should try to incorporate more live video, it shouldn’t be just because the format is the best method, but because it’s quality content that our audience wants to see. That still hasn’t changed! Plan strategically and create good content, no matter what you post.
The idea that would work best with Facebook Live is to treat it like a television show. Brainstorm with your team, come up with some ideas for a weekly, or monthly Facebook Live event. It could be a roundtable discussion about current events on your campus, an art opening, an athletic event, or a tour of a new building to name just a few ideas. Plan it out ahead of time. Create a script, have a host, and market the Facebook Live series through every social media platform you use and wherever else you advertise around campus. That way, you’re creating appointment viewing to the Facebook Page ahead of time, not just through the notification alert when live. This increases the potential for a larger audience, which is what we all want. If you do decide to use Facebook Live, remember to plan ahead, create engaging content, and have fun. I guarantee this will work.