SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES & STRATEGY FOR CARROLL UNIVERSITY CAREER SERVICES
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INTRODUCTION R E VAMPING CUR R E N T S O CI A L ME D I A PR AC T I CE S
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I N T R ODU CT I O N Beginning in the summer of 2011, Career Services will begin restructuring its social media outlets. The Career Center has been utilizing social media for a few years, but it intends to go through a revamping process in order to better suit the needs of students. As part of this revamping, the Career Services will be transferring its current Facebook “friend” page to a formal page made for businesses. This will create a better sense of confidentiality for Carroll University who would like to receive more information about the Career Center but feel like their confidentiality is being breached by “friending” a school sponsored Facebook page. While gaining new “likes” is a short-term goal of the Facebook page, the long term objective is to increase visibility of the Career Center’s services and to better serve students and alumni by providing additional relevant content such as educational media about professional/career development. Additionally, the Career Services/ Twitter account will go through a renovation which will consist of a new background image, new followers, and more two-way communication.Career Services hopes to engage more students in conversation by becoming more active in its use of Twitter. Career Services will also be starting a blog on which it will create short articles on a variety of topics in order help provide Carroll University students and alumni with more information about career-related topics. The long term objective of updating these strategies is to better prepare students for their future professions, ongoing education, etc… while also providing additional resources for alumni who continue to follow the group. As a result, the following document has been created to outline the guidelines that the Career Services will be following in order to achieve these goals. The first portion will detail the posting expectancies and policies for all parties who will be contributing to the maintenance and management of Career Services social media plan. The second portion will describe staff-specific guides to social media use. The third will target student workers who will be aiding in the management of Career Services’ social media.
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G UI D EL I N ES PART ONE: OV ERV I E W O F S O C IA L ME D IA P R AC T IC E S
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PR OF E S S IONA LISM A ND TONE US AGE As a social media contributor, you are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism as you are directly representing Carroll University Career Services on a public domain. Though social media tends to elicit casual communication styles, it is important to convey Career Services in a tone that is formal enough to maintain credibility. For this reason, remember to use language that is casual enough for students to relate to it yet formal enough to demonstrate the credibility and reliability of Career Services. Remember that social media is meant to elicit open communication so make sure you’re actively encouraging it by sounding “human”. It might sound ridiculous, but cut and dry posts on social media will only harm the Career Services image.
CO P Y RI GHT Please do not post photos or other content from any outside sources if you are unaware of the copyright agreement. Make sure that any images shared are in the public domain or please gain consent of the original creator before posting the content on Career Center social media outlets. Be mindful of copyright and plagiarism laws. If you are in need of a graphic element, please utilize stock photos where permission for usage has been granted. If needed, graphics can be created in-house for use.
A P PR OPR IAT E CONT E NT Only post material that is relevant to the Career Center and Carroll University students. Do not post content that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, or hateful. Additionally, please do not post commentary about individuals based on age, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Please use common sense in your posting and respect the Carroll University compact – “ I will value the human diversity and dignity of all people and will respect their ideas, opinions and traditions.”
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F R EQ U E NCY Updates on Facebook and Twitter should not exceed three times in one week. Pay close attention to how many posts may have been made earlier in the week by other users prior to updating in order to avoid over-posting. Due to the nature of Twitter, more than three “tweets” can be posted in a week if they are part of student conversations and commentary. Also, to clarify, the updates on Facebook refer to status updates. Additional activity on Facebook such as conversing and responding to students posts, messages, etc…, regardless of number, is important. There will, of course, be instances where additional updates made need to be made about special topics that will require the weekly posts to exceed three. In instances where you feel your content is of enough importance to elicit numerous additional posts, please consider the fact that students may cut ties to Career Center social media if they feel like the Career Center is spamming them.
TA RG E T YOU R ME SSAG E S Do not utilize websites like TweetDeck and HootSuite to send out the same message to both Twitter and Facebook – they are two different market segments. There needs to be unique postings on each because each group of users want to feel like there is a personal connection to the organization. TweetDeck, HootSuite, etc… can be used, however, to post reminders for events, on-campus employer visits and interviews as well as to monitor social media activity.
R E S P ONSE T IME S Though updates will only be made no more than three times a week, social media outlets must be checked daily. If users have interacted with any of Career Services’ social media outlets, their commentary must be acknowledged – even if only to thank them for contributing – within 24-48 hours of its post time during days when the campus is open. In the instance that commentary is made during holidays when the campus is closed, a response should be made as soon as possible upon return.
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D E T E R MI NING APPR OPR IAT E CON TEN T If you unsure if the content you are posting is appropriate, recall the fact that all information shared on social media can be read by everyone around the world. Ask yourself if the information you are posting is something that, if published in a national publication, the Career Center would be comfortable and confident having attributed to it.
FOL LOW I NG / LIKING Following (Twitter) and liking (Facebook) is one way to establish a relationship with other individuals, companies, etcâ€Ś around the world. Career Services wants to maintain a reputation of credibility, so do not follow or like anyone unless it will serve as a resource for relevant content for students. Ask yourself if students would care about the content these other individuals, companies, etcâ€Ś are posting. If you do not see a connection, do not follow or like them. If you are unsure about whether or not a connection should be established, please contact the Learning Commons Assistant for clarification.
BREVITY Social media, particularly Twitter, has a strong emphasis on brevity. Do not attempt to give elaborative, comprehensive updates. It is more effective to utilize these platforms to refer followers to other resources than to try to recreate the content yourself. Also, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words so, when possible, utilize relevant images you have created or photos* you have taken to provide relevance to followers. *If your photos contain Carroll University students, please make sure you have had a Photo Consent and Release form signed by all individuals in the photo before posting them. Contact Public Relations or the Learning Commons Assistant t if you need a copy of this form.
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G UI D EL I N ES PART TWO: MANAG IN G O N L IN E IN T E R AC T IO N S
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H A ND L I NG COMPLAINT S Complaints are an inevitable occurrence that any business, non-profit organization, institution, etc… and the use of social media has made it easier than ever for people to publicize their complaints. In order to prevent a sense of negativity around the Career Center, we propose using the following steps to ensure that all complaints are handled in a timely and professional manner. S TAFF As soon as the complaint is noticed, prepare a response immediately. Make sure to address each individual by their first name, apologize for whatever negativity they are experiencing, and (if need be), encourage them to send additional information via direct message or email. If the complaint facilitates a response that requires additional information, try to obtain the information as quickly as possible. If you have difficulty finding the information needed, acknowledge their complaint first and explain that you are looking into additional resources for them. If you are unsure of how to respond, ask another staff member for their opinion – in tough situations, two heads may be better than one. S T U D E NT S When you notice a complaint, copy and paste the complaint into an email to be sent to Deb Weber or Torrie Boduch along with the commentary you intend to use to respond immediately. As you wait for a response, enter the information about the complaint into the Social Media Complaint Management Database. Respond only when it has been approved by a staff member.
G E NE RA L R E SPOND ING G U IDELIN ES As important as it is to respond to negative commentary, it is equally important to respond to all interactions that occur on Career Services’ social media outlets. This creation of twoway communication on a platform that is comfortable to students demonstrates Career Services’ desire to truly help students and attentiveness to their needs. Using the general guidelines previously mentioned, individuals managing Career Services’ social media will be expected to respond to all activity in a timely and professional response while continuously encouraging open communication.
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STR AT EG Y R ATI ONA L E A ND ST R AT EG Y FO R IMP L E ME N TAT IO N
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E X EC U T I VE SUMMA RY Carroll University Career Services is a department which seeks to serve students and alumni with their career and professional development. Through individual appointments, sponsored events, and workshops, Career Services hopes to better serve the Carroll Community. Additionally, Career Services provides a variety of opportunities for employers to sponsor events and recruit talented Carroll University students for both jobs and internships. Universities across the world are beginning to utilize social media to promote their academia, but there are also several university-sponsored Career Center social media pages emerging as well. Many Career Services centers are ineffectively using social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter, and Carroll University hopes to break the mold by posting relevant content regularly to engage and better prepare students and alumni for their futures. Career Services’ need for more effective use of social media stems from the need to creative more effective communication with the students. For the past two years, we have observed incoming Freshman forming Facebook groups on their own approximately 8 to 12 months in advance. By publicizing the Career Services events and offerings early on, we theorize that students will be more likely to utilize the Career Services later on when they need assistance. I N T ROD U CT ION This social media marketing plan includes the tactical objectives to be used to accomplish Career Services’ two primary goals of social media: 1. Increase the number of students who utilize the Career Center and its resources 2. Generate more interest in events sponsored by Career Services (Career & Networking Fair, Etiquette Dinner, Dress for Success, etc…) In order to accomplish these goals, we intend to update our current microblogging and social networking sites – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – in addition to implementing and utilizing new mediums and technology such as creating a Career Center blog using WordPress and including Quick Response (QR) codes, also known as 2D Barcodes.
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WO R D P R E S S
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B LOG : C R E AT ION, D E VE LOPMEN T, WEEK LY UP DATES S H O RT T E R M OB JEC T IVE S • Create Career Services blog using WordPress • Increase positive perception of Career Services • Obtain and publicize quotes from satisfied students who have utilized Career Services • Provide new resources and information to reinforce career development • Post relevant career development, networking, etc… news articles • “Hall of Fame” student success stories • Provide links to other social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) • Utilizing bit.ly to track which content we share is viewed the most LONG T E R M OB JECT IVE S • Spending approximately one hour per week updating WordPress and its content KEY • • • •
ME T R IC S Bit.ly analytics Weekly posts Audience growth – both unique and returns (use analytic software) Subscriber count
S WOT A NA LYSIS S T R EN G T HS • Don’t need to know code to design the page WEA KN ES S ES • Start up and initial promotion will be time consuming • Slow process • Maintaining weekly updates O P P O RT U NITIES • Setting the standard for other smaller private colleges in the area • Better SEO which will draw in more readers T H R EAT S • Threats of the success of the blog would be newer technology such as Facebook, Twitter, and any other new social media that may be created in the future
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FAC E B O O K
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S OC I A L NE T WOR KS – FACE B O OK : CREATION , UP DATIN G 3X/WEEK S H O RT-TE R M G OA LS • Set up Facebook PAGE • Work on pushing current Facebook “friends” to “Like” our page • Gain new “Likes” through promotion on Career Center’s website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and print promotion (which utilize the power of QR codes) • “Like” other related organizations (eg: WIPCCC, MilwaukeeJobs, etc…) • Gain further knowledge about the demographics of the students who tend to utilize Career Services to better target students and their needs • Generate more interest in and attendance at Career Services’ events • Utilizing bit.ly to track which content we share is viewed the most K E Y ME T R IC S • Offer them some kind of opportunity for reward (eg: raffle, etc…) • Facebook analytic review to gain demographic information • Bit.ly analytics S WOT A NA LYSIS S T R EN G T HS • Being able to reach college students on a platform they already use frequently • Able to give feedback to students in real time using Facebook chat • Redirecting students to resources that they might not have sought out otherwise • Can upload photos of past events to give students a better idea of what to expect WEA KN ES S ES • Criticisms that may get posted to the Facebook wall • Time required to maintain • Logging in daily to check for comments, questions, feedback, etc… • Posting relevant and engaging content three times a week O P P O RT U NITIES • Reaching students who wouldn’t otherwise reach out for assistance T H R EAT S • Criticisms that may get posted to the Facebook wall career services social media guidelines and strategy | 17
T W IT T E R
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MI C ROB LOG G ING – T WIT T E R : UP DATE 3X/WEEK S H O RT T E R M G OALS • Updating separately from Facebook in order to better target the Twitter market • Follow industry specific organizations, people, etc… (WIPCCC, PAEA, etc…) • Providing meaningful and relevant content to users • Utilizing bit.ly to track which content we share is viewed the most • Creating a more aesthetically pleasing customized background K E Y ME T R IC S • Number of Followers • Bit.ly analytics • WordPress analytics (if we refer Followers to our blog, we can see the referring link) S WOT A NA LYSIS S T R EN GTHS • Posts don’t need to be too in-depth WEA KN ES S ES • Time required to maintain the Twitter account • Tweeting relevant and interesting content O P P O RTU NITIES • Using hashtags to help lead students to more resources • Other organizations ReTweeting (RT) what we have to say T H R EAT S • Negative posts about us • New emerging technology
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Q R CO D E S
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IMPL E ME NTAT ION OF QR CODES S H O RT T E R M G OALS • Include on all relevant print promotions • Monitor the amount of traffic driven to certain pages (primarily the Career Center’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter due to the fact they already have layouts that adapt to mobile browsers) K E Y ME T R IC S • Monitor QR code use based on bit.ly statistics S WOT A NA LYSIS S T R EN GTHS • Free • Quick and easy to implement • Potential to draw in new traffic to Career Center resources WEA KN ES S ES • Students may not be aware of what a QR code is, and therefore not utilize it as anticipated • Student may not have smartphones or knowledge of how to use QR codes (need to download a QR code reader) O P P O RTU NITIES • Great potential to draw in a lot of new traffic T H R EAT S • Other technology
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L IN KE D IN
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S OC I A L NE T WOR KS – LINKE DIN : UP DATE WEEK LY S H O RT T E R M G OALS • Research what other Career Centers are doing with LinkedIn • Update all information, remove outdated materials, etc… • Provide links to other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blog) • Post relevant content weekly K E Y ME T R IC S • Number of “links” in Network S WOT A NA LYSIS S T R EN GTHS • Job search function that not as many students take advantage of WEA KN ES S ES • Many students don’t see the value in creating a LinkedIn profile • Doesn’t appeal to students that are in the “standard” demographic O P P O RTU NITIES • Ability to help Carroll University students stand out in the crowd of other future job applicants T H R EAT S • Newer technology that better encompasses the demographics of the average student
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RE S O U R C E S H ANDO UT S A N D FO R M S
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Social Media Agreement
I, _____________________, agree to use all Learning Commons social media appropriately, as outlined in the social media guidelines. I will not use the Learning Commonsâ€™ or Career Servicesâ€™ social media for personal use or to promote my own interests. I understand that inappropriate use of the Learning Commons social media is grounds for termination.
______________________________________ Allison Reeves Grabowski, Director
______________________________________ Kristy Black, Learning Commons Assistant
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