Missouri State University
Web and New Media Blog

Recap: Find Your Place in the Digital World – Session 2

The office of Web and new media recently presented an afternoon of training for University website editors, bloggers and social media managers.

The second session focused on the following topics in social media:

  • Best practices for all platforms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Other visual platforms

Best practices for all platforms

Courtney Wendel-Stevenson opened with a discussion of best practices that serve as a strong foundation for any social media strategy. A few highlights:

  • Use social media as a way to interact with and listen to your audience, not simply as a way to share information.
  • Whenever possible, tag relevant people, organizations and locations in your posts.
  • When applicable, include properly sized photos and hashtags in your posts.
  • Write short text that showcases the most important information first and include a link for more information.

Facebook

Courtney Wendel-Stevenson provided perspective on Facebook, including a breakdown of its sometimes-confounding algorithm. Among her insights:

  • Boost engagement on your page by tagging followers in posts whenever possible and enabling followers to tag themselves.
  • Capitalize on the unique functionality of Facebook events to promote your activities.
  • Include all logistical information and tag the event location’s Facebook page in the location section if possible.
  • Maximize your visibility by adding other Facebook pages as event co-sponsors when possible.
  • Provide a direct link to ticketing or an event website.
  • Understand that your followers’ Facebook news feeds are dynamic. Boost your page’s visibility by encouraging followers to comment, like or click on your posts.
  • Regularly track major insights including your number of followers, post reach and post engagement.

 

Twitter

Kevin Agee led a section on making the most of Twitter. His top five tips:

  • Build your credibility by posting on a regular basis.
  • Think about voice. How would my organization sound if it was a person?
  • Listen to your analytics to give your followers the content they like.
  • Connect with millennials by engaging, not advertising.
  • Partner with other profiles and topics to tell a bigger story.

 

Visual platforms

Courtney Wendel-Stevenson closed the session with a discussion of additional social media platforms — particularly ones that highlight visual content. Key takeaways:

  • Understand that mobile usage has led to a surge in photo and video content.
  • Pictures are now one of the default ways we sort through information.

And a few tips for specific visual platforms:

Instagram

  • A great platform for visual storytelling. More than 810 photos shared per second.
  • It integrates well with other social media platforms.
  • To be successful, users need to have visually interesting content.

YouTube

  • YouTube has an immense user base. 82% of teens 14-17 regularly use YouTube.
  • Videos can tell your story in a unique and engaging way. To be most effective, videos should be two minutes or shorter.
  • Missouri State has great videos University units are welcome to share.

Aggregators

  • Aggregators like Tagboard and Storify connect user posts from a variety of platforms around a common theme – typically a hashtag
  • Aggregators can serve as an archive of the social conversation after the event.
  • Aggregators are most helpful for larger-scale campaigns and events.

Access the presentations

PDFs of the presentations are available below:

Read the recap of Find Your Place – Session 1.

Posted in Social Media, Training, Web and New Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recap: Find Your Place in the Digital World – Session 1

The office of Web and new media recently presented an afternoon of training for University website editors, bloggers and social media managers.

The first session focused on writing for websites, blogs and social media — with an emphasis on optimizing content for mobile devices.

Website: Where users go to get information

Users visit your website because they are seeking information, and they typically come into your website with specific questions.

Strategies for helping users find information:

  • Test your website’s organization by asking someone to find something on it. How (and how easily) does that person locate the information you requested?
  • Identify your audiences and goals. Get input from other stakeholders, and write your goals down so that everyone stays on the same page.
  • Think mobile first. Lean text, engaging visuals and clear structure are critical.

Blog: The perfect place to tell a story

Users approach blogs with a broader goal — they want to get to know you better.

Strategies for telling your story:

  • Users will notice how recently you’ve updated your blog. Updating at least once per week tells readers that you’re enthusiastic and have lots of news and ideas to share.
  • Get visual! Include photos and videos when possible.
  • Engage readers with classic storytelling techniques.

Social media: A way to create new impressions

Social media users are looking to engage and discover — casually. Take advantage of social media platforms to encounter new people or present a different side of your program to those who already know about it.

Strategies for tackling social media:

  • Think long term; commit to sharing quality content and post consistently.
  • Know your goals, and keep them realistic. Use social media to engage and direct people back to your website or blog.

 

Access the presentation

Read the recap of Find Your Place – Session 2

Posted in Social Media, Training, Web and New Media, Web Press, WordPress Blogs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social media kit: Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame

The state of Missouri will soon be honoring some of its finest citizens for their outstanding work for the betterment of others through the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame.

The second inductees into the Hall of Fame – George Washington Carver, Eric Greitens and Simone Bernstein – will be inducted on April 17, 2015. The induction ceremony and banquet is open to the public, but guests must purchase tickets to attend.

You can show your support of these outstanding individuals by spreading the word about the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame and its honorees.

Key details:

Share your story

Help us spread the word about the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame through social media.

We encourage you to join the online conversation about the Hall of Fame by posting about it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tagging your posts with the official hashtag: #ShowMeCitizens

Make your post social media savvy

  • Tag the post with the official Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame hashtag: #ShowMeCitizens
  • If applicable, tag honoree Eric Greitens with @EricGreitens or Eric Greitens
  • If applicable, tag honoree Simone Bernstein’s organization VolunTEEN Nation with @volunTEENnation or VolunTEEN Nation
  • If applicable, tag the post with the Springfield, Missouri, hashtag: #SGF
  • If you would like to provide a link for more information on the event, please link to: Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame
  • Consider boosting your post by including a photo
  • If you attend the dinner and induction ceremony, consider sharing a photo from or quote about your experience.

Sample social media posts

Sample tweets:

  • Honor #ShowMeCitizens who’ve bettered the lives of others by attending the MO Public Affairs Hall of Fame induction. http://bit.ly/MoHoF15
  • Join in honoring three outstanding #ShowMeCitizens at the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame. Tickets are $35: http://bit.ly/MoHoF15
  • MO Public Affairs Hall of Fame honors @EricGreitens, Simone Bernstein, George Washington Carver. http://bit.ly/MoHoF15 #ShowMeCitizens
  • MO Public Affairs Hall of Fame recognizes George Washington Carver’s work to better lives of farmers http://bit.ly/HoFCarver #ShowMeCitizens
  • MO Public Affairs Hall of Fame honors @EricGreitens’s humanitarian efforts, service in @us_navyseals http://bit.ly/HoFGreitens #ShowMeCitizens
  • MO Public Affairs Hall of Fame honors Simone Bernstein’s volunteer work, creation of @volunTEENnation http://bit.ly/HoFBernstein #ShowMeCitizens

Review our steps for turning a link into a tweet.

Twitter stream photos

Sample Facebook posts:

Sharing about the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame on Facebook allows for some additional customization. The sample posts below provide content recommendations based on our best practice tips for optimizing link sharing on Facebook.

Example 1
  • Post text: Join fellow Missouri residents in honoring three outstanding #ShowMeCitizens at the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame April 17.
  • URL: http://bit.ly/MoPAHoF
  • Headline: Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame
  • Article excerpt: The second inductees into the Hall of Fame are George Washington Carver, Eric Greitens and Simone Bernstein.
Example 2

George Washington Carver

  • Post text: The Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame is honoring George Washington Carver for his work with peanuts and efforts to better the lives of farmers in South. #ShowMeCitizens
  • URL: http://bit.ly/MoPACarver
Example 3

Eric Greitens

Example 4

Simone Bernstein

Uncropped photos

Posted in Social Media, Social Media Kit, Web and New Media | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

April Fools’ Day 2015: Boomer vs. Scrapper

The office of Web and new media commemorates April Fools’ Day with a prank on the Missouri State homepage.

This year, we sought to boost engagement by providing multiple platforms through which the Missouri State community could participate in the joke.

The prank (a battle between beloved mascot Boomer Bear and a sassy challenger called Scrapper Squirrel) allowed for the following:

  • Voting via the Missouri State homepage
  • Six integrated content pieces on the Missouri State homepage
  • Social media interaction through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

The creation of Scrapper Squirrel

The campaign strategy began with the creation of Boomer’s rival.

Chris Austin, graphic designer in the office of Web and new media, developed the look for Scrapper, a cocky squirrel with a confrontational style. Thirty unique assets were created and distributed as part of the campaign.

Scrapper Squirrel with Missouri State football players

Web and new media then designated a Twitter handle for Scrapper, which served as an outlet for the feisty upstart throughout the day.

Integrated, interactive homepage content

On April 1, the Boomer vs. Scrapper campaign claimed every content area on the Missouri State homepage.

Main feature

Main feature of Boomer vs. Scrapper campaign promises that "the fur will fly"

  • The main feature area allowed visitors to vote for either Boomer or Scrapper.
  • Voters were given the option of sharing the vote as a status update on Facebook or Twitter.
  • At a designated point in the day, the homepage feature flipped to reveal the joke and confirm Boomer’s status as Missouri State’s mascot.

April Fools' Day feature reveals that Boomer is a "friend to all of us at Missouri State" -- and our mascot

Complementary mini-features

Four, smaller feature areas were dedicated to the following content pieces:

  • A news release announcing the consideration of a new mascot and encouraging members of the community to vote
  • The video “An Analysis of Bears and Squirrels,” which featured members of the Missouri State community discussing the relative merits of each mascot
  • An Instagram takeover by Boomer, who used photos to highlight his central role at Missouri State
  • The video “The Case for Scrapper,” in which an anonymous mascot expert/squirrel enthusiast argued for change

Four smaller content pieces featuring various sides of the Boomer vs. Scrapper debate

Engagement and analytics

The voting process, multimedia content pieces and opportunities for participation on social media resulted in significant engagement with the April Fools’ Day campaign. Some highlights:

Voting via the Missouri State homepage

  • 3,130 total votes
  • Traditionalists will be pleased: Boomer won – 1,962 to 1,168
  • The news release announcing the consideration of a new mascot garnered 1,422 pageviews

Missouri State Facebook

  • 116,700 people reached
  • 2,136 likes, comments and shares
  • 1,974 clicks on campaign links
  • 48 new fans

Missouri State Twitter

  • 37,700 impressions
  • 225 retweets, favorites and replies
  • 559 clicks on campaign links
  • 74 new followers

Missouri State YouTube

  • 1,629 views for “An Analysis of Bears and Squirrels” and “The Case for Scrapper”

Missouri State Instagram

  • 1,746 likes of Boomer’s eight takeover photos

Special thanks

Every member of Web and new media played a role in the development and execution of the April Fools’ Day campaign. Student videographer Sara Silkwood and programmer Chad Killingsworth also made valuable contributions.

In addition, the following members of the Missouri State community helped make this prank a success:

  • President Clif Smart
  • Suzanne Shaw, vice president for marketing and communications
  • Dr. Stephanie Bryant, dean of the College of Business
  • Dr. Tom Tomasi, associate dean of the Graduate College
  • Derrick Docket, Missouri Valley Conference associate commissioner for new media & technology
  • Dr. Mike Jungers, dean of students
  • Art Hains, who (despite his enthusiasm for squirrels) is the irreplaceable voice of the Bears
Posted in Social Media, Web and New Media | Tagged | Leave a comment

Social Media Kit: Public Affairs Conference 2015

The 2015 Public Affairs Conference theme is The Ethical Citizen: Can You Make a Difference? The conference will help attendees learn what it means to be ethical citizens and what implications ethical citizenship holds for society. This annual four-day event features keynote presentations, panel discussions and special events on the Springfield campus of Missouri State University.

Key details

  • What: Public Affairs Conference
  • When: April 14-17, 2015
  • Where: JQH Arena, Plaster Student Union, and Hammons Student Center at Missouri State University
  • Who: Plenary speakers, guest artists and presenters
  • No tickets required; all events are free and open to the public
  • Select plenary events will be available live online at Livestream.

Share your story

Help us discuss the Public Affairs Conference with the Missouri State and local communities by sharing it on social media. If you attend the event, we want to hear about your experience! We encourage you to join the online conversation during the Public Affairs Conference by posting about it on Facebook or Twitter and tagging your posts with the official hashtag: #CitizenBear. Posts with the #CitizenBear hashtag will be pulled to the #CitizenBear Tagboard.

Make your post social media savvy

  • Tag your posts with the official Public Affairs Conference hashtag, #CitizenBear
  • Tag Missouri State University on Facebook or @missouristate on Twitter
  • Tag your posts with the Springfield, Missouri hashtag: #SGF
  • If you would like to provide a link for more information on the event, please link to: http://publicaffairs.missouristate.edu/conference/
  • When you post to Facebook and Twitter, boost your status update by sharing it with a photo or video
  • Nothing beats a first-hand perspective. If you attend the Public Affairs Conference, share a photo from or quote about your experience

Visual Assets

Video

Facebook images

FB1 FB2 FB3 FB4

Facebook cover photos

FBCover2 FBCover1

 

Twitter images

Twitter4 Twitter3 Twitter2 Twitter1

Sample social media posts

Sample tweets

  • Join the MSU community for its Public Affairs Conference April 14-17. View the speaker schedule: http://bit.ly/1HFHLnl #CitizenBear #SGF
  • Explore how we can be ethical citizens during the Public Affairs Conference April 14-17: http://bit.ly/1HFI41B #CitizenBear #SGF
  • Download MSU Mobile for the Public Affairs Conference schedule, session evaluations: http://bit.ly/NrYzrs #CitizenBear #SGF

Tuesday, April 14

  • Students kick off the @MoStatePA Conference by sharing their research on a social issue in #SGF: http://bit.ly/1HFLv8n #CitizenBear
  • It’s time to “Get in the Game” with @RipkenBaseball, who will talk about ethical citizenship. http://bit.ly/1D6bN69 #CitizenBear #SGF

Wednesday, April 15

  • See how we can meet energy needs by changing our use of freshwater with @NatGeo’s Sandra Postel. http://bit.ly/1CqylfE #CitizenBear #SGF
  • Learn how you can make a difference in the lives of sex trafficking victims with @Toshia_Shaw. http://bit.ly/1HWaWCL #CitizenBear #SGF

Thursday, April 16

  • Learn from @missouristate alumnus Sean McEwen how your choices can create a meaningful life. http://bit.ly/1D68BY9 #CitizenBear #SGF
  • Sarah Elsea from @bcmhouston offers insights into genetics and its implications for society. http://bit.ly/1D69iAO #CitizenBear #SGF

Friday, April 17

  • We’re wrapping up the @MoStatePA Conference with oversized puppetry from Bread & Puppet Theater. http://bit.ly/1D6bhVW #CitizenBear #SGF

Review our steps for turning a link into a tweet.

Sample Facebook posts

Example 1

  • I’m at the Missouri State University Public Affairs Conference learning how to be an ethical citizen from Hall-of-Fame baseball player Cal Ripken Jr. #CitizenBear

Cal_formal_headshot

Example 2

Example 3

Posted in Social Media, Social Media Kit, Web and New Media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free photo opportunity for faculty and staff

Faculty and staff taking part in Free Portrait DaysIf you are a faculty or staff member, consider getting a new professional headshot on April 7-8. During Free Portrait Days, University photographers will be taking photos on a walk-in basis.

You’ll have the opportunity to select a photo from your session, and your selection will be used as your official photo on University websites. Taking part in Free Portrait Days is the simplest way to ensure that your professional photo is up-to-date.

Key details

  • What: Free Portrait Days
  • When: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., April 7-8
  • Where: Plaster Student Union, Room 312
  • Who: Open to all University faculty and staff

 

Posted in Academic Websites | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment