Missouri State University
Web and New Media Blog

Public Affairs Conference 2016 Digital Recap

The 2016 Public Affairs Conference centered on health-related topics, but not just of the physical variety. The conference theme — Building Healthy Communities: Mind, Body and Spirit — encompassed the annual four-day event featuring keynote presentations, panel discussions and special events on the Springfield campus of Missouri State University.

Digital promotion of the Public Affairs Conference

To promote the event, Web and New Media partnered and engaged with Conference representatives and social media accounts across the university. These strategies included the development of a social media kit and strategic live social media posts.

New content

We generated a different and supplementary approach to digital promotions and produced a series of five public affairs blog posts.

Public Affairs pages on MissouriState.edu

The most popular page was the conference schedule, which was viewed 3,840 times, a marginal increase over the 2015 conference. Total page views were down slightly, and other figures were statistically similar to the results from 2015.

  • 14,014 total page views
  • 10,914 unique page views
  • 91 seconds average time on pages
  • 39.48 percent bounce rate

Where the traffic came from — the top five sources

  • 2,363 sessions from the MissouriState.edu homepage feature
  • 969 from the MissouriState.edu homepage featurettes
  • 641 from MSU Mobile
  • 424 from Missouri State Facebook
  • 332 from Missouri State Twitter


Plenary sessions from Peter Gray and Paul Thomlinson are available on Livestream. Viewers have watched Gray’s session 166 times and Thomlinson’s 164 times. About 25 people watched each session live.

Social media kit

The Public Affairs Conference social media kit contained a variety of tools that assisted university departments and individuals in sharing their conference experiences. These items included:

  • Key details about the conference
  • Tips for social media-savvy posts
  • Promotion of the #CitizenBear hashtag
  • Shareable visual assets including video and images
  • Sample social media posts

Social media analytics

Using the Avanish Kaushik method of measuring social media success, Missouri State posts on the conference generated the following:

Missouri State Facebook (14 posts)

0.270 applause rate (Likes/Favorites)

0.007 conversation rate (Comments/Replies)

0.034 amplification rate (Shared/Retweeted)

0.464 conversion rate (Clicks to websites)

MarooNation Facebook (7)

0.321 applause rate

0.016 conversation rate

0.144 amplification rate

0.785 conversion rate

Missouri State Twitter (31)

0.933 applause rate

0.056 conversation rate

0.262 amplification rate

0.340 conversion rate

MarooNation Twitter (6)

1.636 applause rate

0 conversation rate

0.613 amplification rate

1.125 conversion rate

Missouri State Instagram (2)

39.685 applause rate

0.048 conversation rate

Missouri State LinkedIn Co. (2)

0.408 applause rate

0 conversation rate

0.664 conversion rate

Missouri State LinkedIn Edu (1)

0.323 applause rate

0 conversation rate

0.351 conversion rate

MarooNation LinkedIn (1)

0.217 applause rate

0 conversation rate

1.304 conversion rate

Social media post highlights

A pair of tweets about Jillian Michaels’ keynote address at JQH Arena drew the biggest engagement rates on Twitter (9.7 percent and 8.2 percent). Those tweets actually served as bookends for her speech. The first introduced her and the second chronicled her closing thought.

One of the most visually striking events of the conference was the Field of Memories. The 1,100 flags planted at the North Mall served to represent the 1,100 students who die by suicide each year on college campuses.

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Highlights from Social Media Boot Camp

Social MediaMissouri State University staff, faculty and student employees brushed up on their social media marketing skills and learned the latest tips and trends for key platforms at Social Media Boot Camp on April 12.

The training, which was hosted by the office of Web and new media, included sections on social media best practices, Facebook, Twitter and key visual platforms.

Social media best practices

Kevin Agee presented on this topic.

Key takeaways

  • Own your content and focus on telling stories that create emotional connections.
  • Write like a person, not an organization. Tag other accounts to spark conversation.
  • Use hashtags effectively and strategically to pull your posts into larger conversations. Official University hashtags include:
    • #GoMaroon (student engagement)
    • #BearGrads (commencement)
    • #MSUBears (athletics)
    • #CitizenBear (public affairs)
    • #BearsHomecoming (homecoming)
  • Consider how images can help tell your story and boost your posts by including multimedia.
  • Understand that customer service is an important part of social media. People will often turn to social media before going to a website or making a phone call, so it’s important to be there to respond to questions.

Download the presentation slides.


Courtney Wendel-Stevenson presented on this topic.

Key takeaways

  • While competition has increased over the years, Facebook is still the powerhouse platform in the social media landscape offering the largest and most diverse user base. Americans also spend more time on Facebook per day than any other platform.
  • It’s important for page managers to understand the fundamentals of how Facebook’s news feed algorithm works. To play the game well you need to understand the rules. However at the end of the day, quality content reigns supreme.
  • Event promotion is an area where Facebook shines. Maximize effectiveness with Facebook events by utilizing their full functionality:
    • Invite related pages to co-host events when applicable
    • Provide clear calls to action and links to more information
    • Build conversation about the event over the time by providing updates in the discussion tab

Download the presentation slides.


Kevin Agee presented on this topic.

Key takeaways

  • Tips for generating compelling content:
    • Share effective messages consistently
    • Build authority in your area of expertise
    • Partner with other profiles for sharing
    • Show your message (don’t tell your message) with images
  • Focus on connecting with your audiences and telling your story rather than advertising. Have conversations with followers, but try not to be the loudest one in the room.
  • Measuring success is important. Track your progress toward your goals through Twitter Analytics.
  • Experiment with newer Twitter features such as the GIF button, direct video embeds and quoted tweets.

Download the presentation slides.

Visual platforms

Courtney Wendel-Stevenson presented on this topic.

Key takeaways

  • Visual content comes in a variety of forms including photos, infographics, gifs, videos and more. In a world where people are constantly inundated with information, visual content is successful because it attracts users’ attention and helps them more quickly digest information.
  • Instagram is a great platform for visually telling your unit’s story. New trends with Instagram include an upcoming shift to an algorithm-based feed, the debut of 60-second videos and the ability to share landscape and portrait oriented photos.
  • While many platforms are increasing video functionality, YouTube remains the video leader. Videos are a powerful and engaging way to tell your unit’s story. General best practices for videos include focusing on telling a story, keeping videos short and including calls to action early.
  • Social media aggregators and a great tools for highlighting user-generated content and archiving social interaction. Two of our favorites are Storify and Tagboard.

Download the presentation slides.

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Social Media Kit: #BearGrads Spring 2016

Missouri State University’s spring 2016 commencement ceremonies will take place Friday, May 13, 2016 at JQH Arena.

Key details

Share your story

Help us celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates by sharing the experience on social media. If you are graduating or attending graduation to celebrate with someone, we want to hear about it.

We encourage you to join the conversation before and during commencement by posting about it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tagging your posts with the official hashtag: #BearGrads.

Make your posts social media savvy

Visual assets


Facebook cover photos

Commencement Facebook cover photo Commencement Facebook cover photo Commencement Facebook cover photo Commencement Facebook cover photo

Twitter cover photos

Commencement Twitter cover photo Commencement Twitter cover photo Commencement Twitter cover photo Commencement Twitter cover photo

Instagram photos

Commencement Instagram photo Commencement Instagram photo


BearGrads GIF BearGrads GIF BearGrads GIF BearGrads GIF BearGrads GIF

Digital wallpapers

Add #BearGrads digital wallpaper to your desktop or phone screen.

Sample social media posts

  • Congratulations to our #BearGrads! We’re proud of you!
  • Can’t make it to commencement? Watch the ceremonies live online at http://livestream.com/mostate/ #BearGrads
  • #BearGrads has a new member, and it’s my (son, daughter, friend, etc.) (@TagThePerson).
  • What’s your favorite college memory? Share using #BearGrads.
  • Graduating on Friday? Share your photos from the day using #BearGrads.
  • See what our #BearGrads have to say about commencement day: http://bit.ly/1Hlgn1C. Join the conversation with #BearGrads
Posted in Social Media, Social Media Kit, Web and New Media | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Missouri State Blog Feeds now powered by Yahoo

If your website has a blog feed, you may have noticed a new “Powered by Yahoo” logo next to it. powered by yahoo

Before today, the JavaScript code that powered our blog feeds relied on the Google Feed API, which has been deprecated since the middle of last year. That really got our attention when the API went down for a day last year, and all of the blog feeds across our entire website were suddenly empty until Google restored service. We weren’t the only ones who noticed.

To fill the gap, we investigated several options, and settled on Yahoo’s YQL API. Though the API is free to use, just like Google’s was, we are required to include the “powered by Yahoo” logo alongside our blog feeds as part of the terms of service.

Your blog feeds should continue to work as they have in the past. If you have any issues with your blog feed, please contact the Web Help Desk, and we’ll be happy to help.

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Free photo opportunity for faculty and staff

Free Portrait Days will be held on April 19-20. This event is open to all Missouri State faculty and staff, and it’s a great opportunity to ensure that University websites and publications are using your up-to-date, professional headshot.

Faculty and staff participating in a Free Portrait DayKey details

  • Who: Open to Missouri State faculty and staff
  • When: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on
    Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20
  • Where: Plaster Student Union, Room 317

Select your photo on-site

You will review and choose your photo on-site at the event. This photo will then be uploaded to the University directory – with no additional effort on your part.

Within a few days of the event, you will receive the photo you selected via email. This photo is provided at no charge; you are free to use it for other professional purposes.

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April Fools’ Day 2016: Missouri State Valet

A year after presenting the possibility of a new mascot, the office of web and new media turned its attention for April Fools’ Day 2016 to a different avenue of campus life: Parking on campus.

The team developed the concept of Missouri State Valet, an exciting (but made-up) service that would give students the option of having valet attendants park their cars for them.

The prank carried a key message: Students should utilize the orange commuter parking lots on the north end of campus. Those parking lots usually have plenty of available spots at all hours of the day. The department of safety and transportation has made that a key point to help students mitigate the frustration of full commuter lots on the south side of campus.

What we didValet parking homepage

Web and new media partnered with photographic services and safety and transportation to create the April Fools’ Day digital package, which included a basic website that was linked to from the Missouri State homepage and a downloadable parking pass and a video that promoted the service.

The pass also included a reveal of the April Fools’ Day component along with a message about the orange parking lots.

Chris Nagle, videographer and editor and Sara Silkwood, videographer (and on-screen talent), recorded and produced several versions of the video content to make it fit multiple social media platforms.

Chris Austin, graphic designer in Web and new media, developed the valet website and parking pass that featured design elements from Missouri State’s brand refresh project. Kevin Agee, new media specialist, developed the content for the website and parking pass. Tom Johnson, director of safety and transportation, contributed his acting skills to the video as well.

The numbersValet parking pass

8,000 pageviews

5,900 from the MissouriState.edu homepage

1,600 from Missouri State Facebook

400 from Missouri State Twitter

40 from Missouri State Instagram

20 from MarooNation Facebook

Facebook Stats

185,000 fans reached

47,000 video views



490 reactions

61 new fans

Twitter StatsValet gif

9,600 impressions

2,000 video views



45 new followers

Instagram Stats

2,200 video views



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