Assignment #10 Social Media Strategy

Posted On April 11, 2012

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The company I chose for our assignment #10 in social media strategy is the Northern Illinois University College of Business’ Facebook page.  The reason why I chose it is because I look at it almost every day to check for up to date information about events happening at Barsema Hall.  It is also very effectively engaging people, not just current students, to visit the site and make comments on pictures and other posts.

The brand does a wide variety of activities that actively engage its audience.  An example is its weekly picture trivia questions.  It posts a picture with a question about the college and has people answer the question for the next several hours.  This is a way to get people involved in learning about the school and its history as well as give an incentive for participating, because all the correct answers are put into a random drawing and the winner receives a free NIU College of Business shirt.  This is an example of how they effectively use the compete consumer motivator.  It also uses the create motivator when they have students post pictures of their experiences at NIU or studying abroad.  Viewers are actively posting comments or pictures about their experiences or upcoming events they want others to know about often times without any incentives from the college to do it.

NIU COB does control the Facebook site and it does monitor what people are saying about the school.  The only time I’ve seen where it has had problems where they have deleted posts is when someone is targeting someone else in a disrespectful manner, such as arguing their opinion in an unprofessional way.  It also uses the last of the four consumer motivators; connect, because it asks for people to spread the word about its brand and the contests that it offers to its followers.  At certain milestones it gives away free stuff to the person. Often times these milestones are after a certain number of fans are reach, say for example, 1,500 likes are reached, that 1,500th person would win a free t-shirt or some other NIU merchandise.  NIU COB’s Facebook page does a great job at using all four of the consumer motivations effectively to reach as many people as possible and actively engage them in learning about the brand for a chance to win prizes.

The metrics COB is using is the social networks by using Facebook and video and photosharing by using YouTube.  I think it is in all three stages, because it is trying to build more brand awareness by connecting its website to Facebook so that it increases its fan base.  It is also using several brand engagement strategies for its current fans and telling them to spread the word (word of mouth) to their friends about its contests.  I’m not as familiar with its YouTube channel, so it might be in the early stages of brand awareness of using that social media outlet.

One suggestion I would have to COB to improve its strategy is to try to create and connect to more people at the high school level instead of focusing on current students and alumni.  This allows it to increase its fan base and get more potential students and parents engaged in the site and possibly become students at NIU.  The metric I would use would still be social networks and try to build more brand awareness and using word of mouth to get current students to talk to younger friends or family members as well as getting their parents involved.

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