UniversityOfRhodeIsland-grejtak

Report
“MEETING THEM WHERE THEY’RE AT”
UTILIZING SOCIAL MEDIA
IN STUDENT AFFAIRS
The University of Rhode Island, College Student Personnel Program
Team Leader:
Stephanie Grejtak
Team Members: John Crisafulli
Megan Kielty
Daniel Trapani
LET’S TALK ABOUT…
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Institution & Department @ a Glance
Social Media @ a Glance
The BIG Picture: Linking the strategic plan to social media
Dining Services Goal & Social Media
Social Media Action Plan
The Current State of Affairs
Action Plan: Utilizing Facebook
Action Plan: Utilizing Twitter
Face the Challenges
Conclusion
Institution & department @ a glance
• The University of Rhode Island - Kingston, R.I.
– Rural New England campus
– 16,000 students
• Dining Services (Division of Student Affairs)
– 2 main dining halls – Butterfield & Mainfare
– 7 additional retail outlets
– Approximately 4,500 resident students on board plans
– Customer = students, faculty, & staff
“At URI Dining Services, excellence is our mission.”
Social Media @ a Glance
CONVERSATIONS
CONNECTIONS
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500+ million active users
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175 million registered users
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People spend over 700 billion minutes per
month on Facebook
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95 million tweets are written per day
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Available in 6 different languages
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A tweet is 140 characters in length
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Hashtag = #; the conversations
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70 translations available
900 million objects that people interact
with (pages, groups, events & community
pages)
The
big
picture
Linking social media technology to NACUFS, URI Student Affairs’ strategic plan, & our students
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The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS)
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2009-2014 Strategic Plan Goal #2:
• “By 2014, assist institutional members with repositioning and/or elevating dining services on
campus. A. Provide resources, such as materials, services, information, referrals and education on key
issues and trends (wellness, sustainability, cost control, food, nutrition, et cetera). B. Increase use of
technology to deliver products, services, information and education to members” (The
National Association of College & University Food Services, 2011)
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The University of Rhode Island (URI) Student Affairs
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2010-2015 Strategic Plan Goal #6:
• “Students utilize technology and are well informed of programs, services and events through the
Divisions advanced use of technology” (Office of the Provost, 2011)
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Students want us to meet them on social media platforms
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“The final characteristic of the millennial students which guides the discussion on technology use centers
around their high expectations and demand for customer service, both of which impact the delivery of
traditional student affairs services” (Oblinger, 2003 in Coleman, Little, and Lester, 2006, p. 221)
Dining Services goals
Meeting the department’s major goals through the use of social media
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Enriching the experiences of the customers in a positive & attentive way
- Engage & maintain an open dialogue with customer in “their space”
- Provide customers with valuable information in a fast-paced & friendly form
- Make the changes elicited by feedback to enrich customer experience
- Personal way to connect customer with important operational information
- e.g., menu, special events, hours of operation/closings
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Service-Oriented Team
- Platform to elicit customer service feedback
- Opportunity for the department to respond to such feedback
- Create a fun, dynamic, & creative means to serve customers
Dining Services
Current Facebook Status:
• As of 2/2011 only 43 people “Like”
• Little/no user-generated content
• Latest photo album is 4 months old
• No conversation happening
• Menus & events are out of date
• Not utilizing full graphic space on the
left-hand side
Dining Services
Current Twitter Status:
• As of 2/2011 only 61 followers
• Little/no user-generated content
ˉ No “retweets”
ˉ No “hashtags”
• Only 58 tweets
• Currently not following any other
users
Social Media Action Plan
• Branded, unified, & committed social media plan
• Can be implemented across any URI Student Affairs Department
• Facebook
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Educate staff on all of the Facebook tools
Marketing/Branding
Drive user-generated content
Engage students in “their space”
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Use Places Function
Link to Students Mobile Devices
Make the experience personal
Monitor but avoid censoring
• Twitter
– Partner with URI Branded twitter
– Utilize Twitter
− Start the conversation
− Participate in the conversation
Action Plan: Utilizing facebook
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Educate staff on all of the Facebook tools
– Analytics: track interactions with your page
– Lists: use lists to organize all department connections
– Fan page: open to all users – parents, students, staff & faculty
Try it! It works!
• Group pages are not as effective at reaching the audience
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Marketing/Branding
– Make social media a part of your brand
– Include Facebook “button” on all Dining Services collateral
– Advertise Facebook in dining halls & retail outlets
• Marketing with QR codes
– Allows students to access Facebook page instantly with mobile devices
Scan the QR code with
your smartphone &
instantly connect to the
URI Dining Services
Facebook Page!
Action Plan: utilizing facebook
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Drive user-generated content
– Use status updates to ask questions & poll students
• Poll about services, new products, menu changes, specials, & events
– Start a conversation – avoid replicating existing departmental website
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Engage students in “their space”
– Create photo albums where students can tag themselves & their friends
– Host competitions & events that encourage student engagement
• Potential competitions: URI Iron Chef, Creative Concoctions
Action Plan: utilizing facebook
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Encourage users to check-in to dining halls using “Places” function
– Students can utilize the check in tool to:
• Notify friends which dining hall there are
• Notify students of lines at specific locations
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Provide up-to-date menu information so students can access quickly from mobile device
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Make the Facebook experience personal
– Respond to student questions, concerns & complaints
– Make a public show of customer service
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Monitor for misinformation but avoid censoring
Case Study
• High number of “Likes”
• User generated content
• Conversation & customer service
This is great!
Action Plan: Utilizing Twitter
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Partner with URI Branded twitter accounts to drive followers
– @URINews (2,359 followers), @Rhodytweets (769 followers), &
@gorhodyrams (1,334 Followers)
– Follow all the people following the above users to maximize exposure
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Utilize twitter’s capabilities
– Lists – strategic way to organize who you are following & maximize ease of
use – e.g. competitors, partners, etc.
– Search & follow #hashtags & “hot topics”
– Each morning search Twitter for each retail outlet - “listen” & join the
conversation!
Action Plan: Utilizing Twitter
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Start the conversation!
– Utilize the success of the other URI twitter accounts
• Example: If @URINews has 2,359 followers join their conversation!
– Create hashtags (e.g. #Dinnerathope, #dinneratthebutt)
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Participate in the conversation!
– Retweet all user generated content centered around dining experience,
nutrition, & food – make information accessible
Try it! It works!
– Respond to any customer questions or concern
• Personalize the Twitter experience
Scan the QR code with
your smartphone &
instantly connect to the
URI Dining Services
Facebook Page!
Case Study
• There is a “conversation”
happening via Retweets &
Hashtags
• User-generated content
• Clear branding
• Following others
POTENTIAL DIFFICULTIES
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Anxiety around starting social media campaign?
– Be inventive – find unique ways to get customer’s attention
– Be patient – real engagement won’t happen instantly & without effort
– Be proactive – find & start the conversations, talk with the customers, & continue to stay
educated on tools
– Be a part of the conversation – do not fear negative talk, respond to it
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Perceived lack of resources?
– Be realistic – it does not have to be a full time position, staff in a way that makes sense for
your department
– Be resourceful – utilize the social media gurus that you have (e.g., student workers)
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Lack of education around social media tools?
– Be committed – educate your staff on the unique tools associated with each platform
– Be your own teacher – take the time to use the tools before you write them off
Conclusion
“Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we think.” (Social nomics09)
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Participate
– Social Media is changing the way we communicate & higher education must be a part of the
conversation
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Adapt
– There have been shifts & developments in technology & communication throughout history &
higher education has been able to adapt to those changes
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Commit
– Higher education must commit to both understanding the trends & the proper use of the
technology
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Involvement
– Increased involvement equals increased learning (Astin, 1984)
– Utilizing social media platforms creates a new opportunity for student affairs departments to
involve students & increase learning
References
Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College
Student Personnel, 25, 297-308.
BU Dining Services (n.d.). In Twitter. [Profile]. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from
http://twitter.com/#!/BUDiningService
Cabellon, E. (2010, February, 22) The power of Facebook and Twitter Lists (Blog Posts). Retrieved
from http://edcabellon.com/tech/lists
Coleman, J. K., Little, S. D., & Lester, A. (2006). Connecting services to students: New technology and
implications for student affairs. The College Student Affairs journal, 25(2), 220-227.
Facebook. (2011). Press room. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
Office of the Provost. (2011). URI strategic plans. Retrieved from
http://www.uri.edu/provost/planning/planningadditionalinfo.html
References
Pomerantz, N. E. (2006). Student engagement: A new paradigm for student affairs. College Student Affairs
Journal, 25(2), 176-185.
University of Rhode Island Dining Services (n.d.). In Facebook. [Facebook]. Retrieved February 20, 2011,
from http://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Rhode-Island-DiningServices/155772934444613
UNH Dining (n.d.). In Facebook. [Fan Page]. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from
http://www.facebook.com/unhdining
URI Dining Services (n.d.) In Twitter. [Profile]. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from
http://twitter.com/#!/uridining
The National Association of College & University Food Services. (2011). Strategic plan. Retrieved from
http://www.nacufs.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3312%00
Twitter. (2011). About twitter. Retrieved from htatp://twitter.com/about

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