Tuesday, February 2, 2016

OU-C social media efforts connects the campus with students and other stakeholder groups

Ohio University-Chillicothe is striving to strengthen connections with campus and external stakeholder groups where many feel most comfortable: online.

This year, OU-C increased its efforts to connect through Facebook and Instagram. The platforms are ideal for campus engagement because many students already frequent these platforms, interacting with friends and other organizations. OU-C social media accounts aim to facilitate an online community that allows students to interact with their peers, instructors and alumni.

The various social media sites are tailored toward target audiences, particularly in terms of message selection and tone. In this way, the campus can connect with individuals in a matter that is engaging and conversational and that builds relationships.

One function of OU-C’s Facebook page is to highlight important articles posted to the OU-C News Blog. Students who don’t frequently visit the news blog could potentially miss a post about a scholarship opportunity or important event. By sharing the news stories on Facebook, the news appears on the news feeds of a much broader audience and has another opportunity to reach the people who will benefit most from the article.

Beyond keeping students in-the-know about events, deadlines and other campus activities, the Facebook page has run several ongoing series this year that have received significant positive engagement throughout the year.

The first, called “College Tip Tuesday,” is a student advice series. The posts focus on providing students with useful tips and tricks that all college students should know. The advice covers a broad range of topics including time management; work and life balance, studying best practices and general health tips. Even though all students can relate to the advice given on College Tip Tuesday, the series was created to help new students tackle common college problems.

OU-C Facebook and Instagram followers also enjoy frequent blasts from the past on “Throwback Thursday.” The series features old photographs of OU-C classes, events and sports teams. The posts encourage OU-C Facebook and Instagram followers to tag people they recognize. This gave alumni the unique chance to reconnect with their peers and alma mater long after graduation.

OU-C’s most recent social endeavor is the creation of an Instagram profile. The campus’ communication and marketing team uses the visual-based platform to share photos of campus scenery, advertise special events, celebrate students’ accomplishments and illustrate daily life on campus. With context-rich imagery, OU-C can better share its collegiate atmosphere with followers who less frequently visit campus, whether they are future students, community members or alumni. Instagram equips OU-C’s online presence with aesthetic value; inviting social media participants to not only support its mission, but to see its successes for themselves.

Overall, OU-C’s social presence has grown considerably over the past year. Facebook post shares, or how many times followers post OU-C’s content on their own timeline or on the timelines of others, have doubled. The average number of page followers who like each OU-C post has quadrupled, and the number of Facebook users that ultimately see the content has also increased significantly. These metrics indicate that not only are OU-C page followers more engaged, but that OU-C’s content is reaching a significantly higher number of people online than it was last year. Overall, social media posts are driving an average of 32 percent more online visitors to the campus news blog.

To stay on top of all things OU-C, join our online community. You can follow OU-C on Instagram at @ouchillicothe and “like” OU-C on Facebook by clicking here.

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