5 Social Media Tips to Promote Campus Events


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Social Media & Campus Marketing

Promoting Campus Recruiting Events
So you’re already using social media to promote your companies HR activities. You post about open opportunities, and your instagram page is filled with smiling colleagues doing what they love each day. You’re engaged with your followers who include existing staff, company alumni who want to stay in touch, and people interested in working with you.

Good job, but at the back of your mind you wonder…

Is there is more you could be doing to promote your recruiting events?

Let’s check! Below are a few pointers for promoting your recruiting activities in campus environments, but they also apply to your work in general.

5 Steps to Promoting On-Campus Events Using Social Media

Step One: Create a Facebook Event Page

This is a must. No event should happen without it.Facebook Event Pages make it easy for students to share with/invite friends; additionally, if they RSVP it may be promoted in their friends news feed that they’re attending. This is two of the most effective ways to reach new audiences.

In addition, Facebook is now integrated with the iOS and Android operating systems, automatically syncing Facebook events with users mobile calendar apps. That’s sure to help a few over-stressed/over-scheduled students remember your event. Even if you don’t want the forgetful ones, they’re likely to bring friends who hadn’t heard of your event at all.

Lets review: built in sharing, newsfeed promotion, calendar sync, and bringing friends along – that’s four great reasons to use Facebook Event Pages.

Protip:

Don’t forget to post on your Facebook Event Page any follow up information you want attendees to remember. It’s a great reminder for students who where there, but also useful for those who couldn’t be because of scheduling conflicts. Think: Application instructions & deadlines!

Step Two: Influencer Outreach Using Targeted Twitter Lists

Let’s say your meet and greet is targeted towards engineering students, who have their own unique lingo and culture on campus (often anyways). Between 3 and 4 weeks before your event you should begin to monitor twitter conversation among engineering students at the campus you will be visiting.

First, create a private Twitter list you will later add engineering students to. Second, using search.twitter.com create an advanced search query for “engineer” and the name or short form for the school you will be visiting. Tweets from students will begin to appear. Save this search in Twitter or as an RSS feed.

Remember the list you created earlier? Add students with lots of followers from your search to the list = you can keep track of them for later. Check in on the list once a day for 5 to 10 minutes, adding any students that your engineers talk too often, and make note of common #hashtags or keywords that they use. Use those common terms to expand your search further and find more students. Make sure your twitter list includes important student groups like engineering associations, student unions, professors, or other influential groups on campus.

Now with your private list of engineering students ready, you can begin to do influencer outreach 1 to 2 weeks before your event. This is a great time to reach out to engineering students with large followings and personally invite them to your event. Do so by sharing the link to your previously created Facebook Event Page (see how that came in handy already!).

Protip:

Try engaging with some of the influencers you have identified before promoting your event. This will feel more natural later and help ensure they receive your invitation well. They’ll also be more likely to promote it to their networks as well. Remember not to use generic invites – authenticity matters!

Step Three: Creating Buzz

As I’ve already mentioned, getting students to talk about your event on your behalf is the best way to reach new audiences; with Facebook’s recent embrace of the ubiquitous #hashtag it has become easier to create buzz across different social media platforms. Creating buzz actually has four separate parts.

Part One: Create a hashtag

It should be short, easy to remember, and not already in common usage. After picking a few different options test them using the search features on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to make sure they’re ok to use.

Part Two: Promote your hashtag

Include it on any campus posters, flyers, or handouts. Try promoting the #hashtag with a call to action (Example: “have questions? Speak to recruiters now, use #CampusEvent”). On your Facebook Event Page make sure the hashtag is featured prominently. I recommend including it in the title of the event page itself, along with a call to action later in the description.

Part Three: Give em’ something to talk about!

This is the most important activity we will talk about today. Don’t simply create a hashtag and expect people will start to talk about it, they probably won’t. Spark that conversation somehow.

Here are a couple ideas (but we would love to hear some of your suggestions in the comments!)

  • Post a daily question to the Facebook event and Twitter hashtag
  • Host a live Twitter chat before the event
  • Create a photo challenge related to your company with potential prizes
  • Release a survey or poll
  • Those are just some simple buzz starters, get creative, and think about what is unique to your brand.

    Part Four: Fan the flames

    Remember that conversation we just sparked in part three? Now its time to build those flames into a bonfire, and it’s simple – Engage!

    Be sure to post regularly in the time leading up to the event using the hashtag. Regular content across all three major campus social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) ensures when students do a search there is something to see. Also remember to check regularly each day for any questions or comments posted using the hashtag and don’t leave students hanging!

    Step Five: Track

    Which ever social analytics platform you use be sure to track the following:

    Twitter:

  • hashtag usage
  • @mentions to your corporate account
  • Conversations
  • Facebook:

  • Event page shares
  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Invites
  • Instagram:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Hashtag Use
  • Tracking is important to make sure your promotions are working, but also so you can continue to improve over time. Take note of what tweets or posts get the most hits to evolve your content that resonates with your audience.

    ProTip

    If you don’t have access to Twitter analytics tools, there are plenty of free ones online. Try googling “Hashtag Tracking” or “Free Twitter Analytics”. I particularly like offerings from Crowdbooster (which recently changed its pricing model), RowFeeder.com or SimplyMeasured.com, and the built in analytics on Hootsuite.com. They may not be as robust as other solutions, but basic monitoring is better then no monitoring.

    It Gets Better Every Time

    It’s likely that you run a lot of different recruiting events over the course of the year, and each time you will gain new insights into what works best for your brand and your recruitment team.

    Tell us in the comments below how you have used social media to promote events, and if it was successful or not, we’d love to hear from you.

    Michael Mahoney
    With a background in a multitude of fields from HR, marketing, strategy, and mobile application development, Michael has a unique perspective on how social media is changing business today. Due to his passion for social media, Michael has been featured in HR Professional Magazine and is regularly asked to comment on industry news. Look for Michael’s blog posts about top trends in social media to achieve results in the HR space.

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