The Importance of Social Media and Measuring ROI in Career Services Practices

Heather TranenA post by Guest Blogger, Heather Tranen
Associate Director, Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development
Twitter: @htranen
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heathertranen

 

 

Social media continues to grow in scope and power. There are so many platforms out there, and our students are all over them. To this generation, it’s almost as if things don’t actually happen unless they are filming, photographing, tweeting or status updating it.Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 7.40.15 PM.png

Gen Y overshares and hyperconsumes content in the online space. They feel like things aren’t actually happening unless it’s happening on social media.

“They take technology for granted. They live through social media. They want the world their way, and they want it now.” – Forbs on Gen Y

As career services professionals, we need to navigate our communication strategies to both speak their language, and teach them to become fluent in the language of the professional world. Through social media, we can engage students in the space they are comfortable with, and then lure them into our office to connect to the tangible resources they need to be successful after college – a bait and switch of sorts.

These days, most understand that social media is here to stay. However, whether or not there is value in it remains questionable by many. Therefore, measuring ROI is crucial. Knowing the difference between vanity and actionable metrics is extremely important!

Vanity Metrics: It’s always nice to have a large following and fans to make us feel super important and liked. These vanity metrics are often how supervisors judge whether we are doing a good job. Yes, these are important. However, who are these individuals following or liking us? Are they strangers, or actually connections who are engaging and utilizing our resources?

Actionable Metrics: What really matters is whether our campaign translated into “performance” outcomes. Who retweeted us, who became more aware of our resources and came to the office to utilize them? These are the questions we should all ask when engaging with students in the social media space.

Metrics and ROI are becoming increasingly important in higher education.  I recommend looking at platforms like Hootsuite, Twitonomy, Klout, and Facebook admin pages to help you gather a valuable measurement of your engagement in the online space. Correlating the timing of your social media messaging with spikes in attendance or counseling requests also serves as a more abstract way of showing the impact of your social media practices, and proving you are social media all-stars!

Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from Their LinkedIn Experience

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center
Twitter: @espie_s
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/espiesantiagoOn Friday, August 23, my colleague Bev Principal and I will be conducting a session on “Strategies to Help Students Get the Most from Their LinkedIn Experience.” As career services professionals and employers, we all know that LinkedIn is a mandatory tool in today’s job market, but it can be challenging to convince students of its value without structured programs. It’s even more challenging when faculty and academic departments on your college campus don’t use LinkedIn themselves, and therefore don’t support or encourage students to use it. We’re excited to share with you how we, at the Stanford University Career Development Center, were able to successfully grow our LinkedIn program amongst students, faculty and staff, thereby helping students get the most from their LinkedIn experience. Ours is one such success story, but we’re also anxious to hear anecdotes from others on the do’s and don’ts of building social media programs at your respective organizations.

I am really looking forward to meeting fellow social media enthusiasts throughout #NACESocial!

NACE Social Media Mashup:
Pre-Event Online Networking

Espie SantiagoEspie Santiago, NACE Guest Blogger, is an assistant director of career counseling at the Stanford University Career Development Center
Twitter: @espie_s
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/espiesantiago




Today I was fortunate to have participated in NACE’s Social Media Pre-Event, which was a live virtual speed-networking session. Working in university career services over the years, I’ve definitely overdosed on my share of in-person speed-networking events, but this was the first time I’ve ever joined one online. And boy did I enjoy using this type of technology to get connected to Mashup attendees prior to #NACESocial this Thursday and Friday – what a great way to engage some of us before the event even begins! Hosted by Brazen Careerist, I was able to easily chat with a handful of career services professionals and employers to learn about their specific interests in using social media today. I look forward to continuing our conversations in person at the Mashup. Special thanks to those I chatted with including Diana Wong, Dawn Carter, Glen Fowler, Alice Camuti and Ashley Hoffman.

Social Media Bridges the Gap in Communication and Engages Constituents in NYU Wasserman Center’s Award-winning #iamlimitless campaign

Heather TranenA post by Guest Blogger, Heather Tranen
Associate Director, Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development
Twitter: @htranen
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heathertranen

 

What do President Obama, Spike Lee, Macy’s College Recruiting, and Italy have in common? They were all an integral part of NYU Wasserman Center’s  NACE Innovation Excellence Award-winning#iamlimitless global social media student engagement campaign (don’t try saying that ten times fast).

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We were all excited about our big win at the awards ceremony, but I was still nervous about people actually showing up to the presentation the following day. I figured maybe 30 people would show up – half of which would hail from our own institution. When the room filled up and people were lined up outside of the door, I thought maybe everyone would leave once they realized Justin Bieber wasn’t performing.

A few awkward jokes and flubbed video showing later, the crowd still remained to hear myself and Sneh share NYU’s #iamlimitless campaign. No pressure, right?

Nerves aside, it was incredibly exciting to see so many people interested in what our campaign offered students and other constituents. This blog post serves to provide an overview of the campaign and share the resources and best practices you can adopt to create a campaign of your own.

What is #iamlimitless?

Sneh asked the audience.

“I am limitless. Say it out loud. It Feels good, right?”

And it does. #iamlimitless empowers students to tell their career story to their peers through the powerful tool of social media.

Through the #iamlimitless campaign, the Wasserman Center saw a drastic increase in student and employer engagement. Our previous, primarily email and print-centric campaigns left a large portion of the Gen Y student population disconnected from career events and services relevant to their needs. The #iamlimitless campaign bridged the communication gap through a targeted, incentive based initiative. The campaign brought to life the Wasserman’s “limitless” opportunities motto, encouraged students across the globe to tell their global career stories, and morphed the intimidating notion of career development into a friendly, accessible entity. Additionally, the campaign served as a brand building opportunity for employers and local businesses. Organizations ranging from Macy’s to small cafes in the Greenwich Village area sponsored our raffle prizes. At the end of each week of the fall semester, those who   used  #iamlimitless to share their career stories across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram were entered into a raffle and winners were announced via Twitter and Facebook.

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Why Social Media?

There are so many platforms out there, and our students are all over them. To this generation, it’s almost as if things don’t actually happen unless they are filming, photographing, tweeting or status updating it. Gen Y overshares and hyperconsumes content in the online space.

“They take technology for granted. They live through social media. They want the world their way, and they want it now.” – Forbs on Gen Y

As professionals we need to navigate our communication strategies to both speak their language, and teach them the language of the professional world. The #iamlimitless campaign served as a way to engage students in the space they are comfortable with, and then lure them into our office to connect to the tangible resources they need to be successful after college – a bait and switch of sorts.

ROI: Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics

Vanity Metrics: It’s always nice to have a large following and fans to make us feel super important and liked. These vanity metrics are often how supervisors judge whether we are doing a good job. Yes, these are important. However, who are these individuals following or liking us? Are they strangers, or actually connections who are engaging and utilizing our resources?

Actionable Metrics: What really matters is whether our campaign translated into “performance” outcomes. Who retweeted us, who became more aware of our resources and came to the office to utilize them? These are the questions we should all ask when engaging with students in the social media space.

Did it work? You be the judge!

#iamlimitless was used 133% times more than the second highest hashtag used by the Wasserman Center

#iamlimitless was cited over 100 times across the Wasserman Center’s social media platforms

@NYUWasserman was mentioned 150% times more in the campaign launch month of September 2012

@NYUWasserman’s Klout score increased by 10 points!

Participation in events like our career fair and applications for our Funded Internship Award increased exponentially.

We caught the attention of the Washington Square News and an article in support of the campaign was published and disseminated to its 100k subscribers.

NEXT for NYU Wasserman Center and #iamlimitless

The Wasserman Center will launch it’s #iamlimitless Socializer campaign this fall. It will further engage a broader audience by incentivizing students who get the most likes, repins, and retweets on posts that connect their peers to the Wasserman Center’s resources. Stay tuned for the results of it!

DIY Social Media Campaigning

Start Small:  Don’t feel like you need to throw a rager for your first social media party. Think about starting small with a one-time incentive to complement an individual event.

Operate on One Platform: Use one established platform that you are comfortable with before you expand to a multi-platform approach. Our first experience with a campaign was with a Macy’s event hosted using Foursquare specials. Those who checked in during the time of the event were entered into a raffle to win prizes donated by Macy’s.

Build Buzz and Engage All Constituents: Build buzz both online leading up to the launch of your campaign, but also in person by engaging all constituents. We engaged student affairs offices, faculty, alumni and local organizations to help support the campaign.

Provide  Affordable: Incentives: You also don’t have to break the bank. Incentives don’t need to be expensive. Students love swag, but the majority of our incentives were provided by employer sponsorships, or members of the NYU surrounding businesess. You can even think of non-monetary incentives like an informational interview with one of your employer partners.

Track Impact: Using your Facebook page’s admin metrics, Hootsuite ow.ly clicks, Twitonomy metrics, and Klout score are just a few ways to see what’s working, what needs tweaking, and how effectively your office is engaging with your constituents.

Thanks again to everyone who supported the #iamlimitless campaign, and who came to our presentation and asked insightful questions. Twitter was also ablaze with #iamlimitless chatter. You can check out our Storify for more on what #NACE13 folks had to say about the #iamlimitless presentation! NACE 2013 was such an awesome experience and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s conference! If anyone is interested in continuing the social media conversation, hit me up on Twitter at @HTranen!

#NACE13: Let the Countdown Begin

Sarah MartinA post by Guest Blogger, Sarah Martin, College Relations and Social Media Recruiter, Garmin International

Twitter: @workatgarmin

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/SarahMartin1

#NACE13. My first NACE conference! I’ve been looking forward to this event for months and am so honored to participate as a guest blogger. My background? I’ve been recruiting for 9 years, the last 3 of which have been exclusively college recruitment at Garmin International. A year ago we started incorporating social media into our company recruitment efforts, which has been an extremely interesting and educational adventure. I’m so thankful to have a mentor who has paved the way for social media within Garmin! Our current recruitment efforts, with regards to social media, are primarily focused on Twitter (@workatgarmin). There are so many avenues to reach potential candidates, we are continually evaluating the most strategic and effective ways to connect with our target audience.

It’s amazing to think about how much my role as a recruiter has changed over the last (almost) decade. When I started recruiting, the company I worked for (a progressive healthcare system) had paper applications. We filled our openings by attending career fairs and other recruitment events. Today at Garmin (an innovative technology company), we accept online applications, attend virtual career fairs, host a variety of recruitment events, and are inserting ourselves into the ever changing world of social media as it relates to recruitment. One thing that hasn’t changed? The value of networking. I look forward to meeting a variety of individuals at #NACE13: Career Services Representatives, College Recruiters, and other industry experts.

There are so many great workshops to attend, I’m not sure if I will be able to fit everything in. I’m lucky that a co-worker of mine is also attending, so we can tag team. Now comes the time to get strategic and prioritize! One workshop at the top of my list is “Social Media and College Recruits: Bring an “A Game.” The title alone speaks my language, and a bonus is that the presenter is an expert on this topic. Sign me up!

I’m happy to share the information I learn at #NACE13. Please stay tuned, because I will be blogging throughout the course of the conference, and I’m open to any questions/feedback.

Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13

Heather TranenA post by Guest Blogger, Heather Tranen
Associate Director, Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development
Twitter: @htranen
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heathertranen

The days of high brow, intellectual conversation at conferences are over.

Well, maybe not over, but thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, things are getting a little more fun and dynamic. 

 

Live tweeting allows attendees to stay engaged by live tweeting their thoughts on speakers and content throughout different workshops. This both builds connections within those at the conference, and also includes the twitterverse as a whole in the conversation.

Although Emily Post did not provide us with insight into proper live tweetng etiquette, Twitter Media provides a good guide. I figured I would also give you my two cents on effective live tweeting. Whether you’re a first time tweeter, or a veteran, in anticipation of #NACE13, these are my…

Top 5 Live Tweeting Best Practices 

1. Save #NACE13 so you can see what’s happening  Hootsuite.com is my platform of choice for organizing social networks. I call it my control station because the site allows you to view multiple social networks and save streams. Save #NACE13 as a stream so you can view all of the fabulous insight your peers share throughout the conference.

 

 2. When it comes to Hashtags, It’s Quality Not Quantity  #Feel #like #you #see #hashtags #everywhere? The “pound sign,” as my mother calls it, is a great way to build community, see what’s trending, host contests and facilitate Twitter chats. If used strategically (and not excessively), a hashtag expands engagement amongst followers, and even increases your number of followers. For our purposes, we will discuss how to use hashtags while live Tweeting at the upcoming NACE conference. You’ll want to use the designated event hashtag, #NACE13 for any tweets relating to the conference. During the conference, you can use the #NACE13 when tweeting about the different workshops, networking opportunities, or delicious meals that occur over the course of the event. You can also think of using other relevant hashtags along with it. 

Not to tweet:

Why not tweet this? First, it looks like a 13-year-old girl wrote it. Second, only two of these hashtags serve any relevance to us as grownup professionals who can eat ice cream for dinner if they feel like it.
To Tweet:

This is a great tweet because it is short, includes two relevant hashtags, and speaks kindly of me. A+. 

3. Now that we’re friends, expand your network For introverts like me, cyberspace is a great place to start making connections (not in a creepy way). By viewing what others are saying within the #NACE13 stream, you can engage by retweeting (RT), or relpying. A few tips when engaging in a live tweet: 

If you modify someone’s tweet, make sure to change the RT to Modified Tweet (MT) to indicate you changed content within the tweet.

If you are mentioning someone and you want all of Twitter to know, make sure that you put their handle in the middle of the tweet. If it’s at the beginning only those who are following both of you will see the tweet.

A tweet heard around the Twitterverse:

 Just me, you, and our mutual followers:

4. Don’t be “that” person You know the type. It’s the same person who doesn’t realize you’re sleeping with your eyes open while they tell the story about their epic trip to Vegas 10 years ago for the seven thousandth time. Don’t be that guy or gal. Make sure you aren’t taking up the Twitterverse with all your tweets and there’s variety in the stream. Within your tweets, keep it interesting and throw in a picture, or even a Vine! No one likes to read anymore, just ask college students.

5. Take the conversation offline Introversion aside, we know that we live in an extroverted world. It’s important that we are not only extremely charming and engaging in the online space, but that we also talk to people in real life. I encourage you to join the Tweetup, sponsored by Macy’s, on Tuesday from 9-10pm where you will meet the tweeps you’ve been tweeting with in the real world (I know, terrifying).

Overall, live tweeting is just one of the many ways to enrich your experience and be an active participant at #NACE13! I look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!

 

#NACE12: There’s an app for that!

One of the many new and exciting features of this year’s conference is the debut of an official NACE Conference App, available to both iPhone and Android users. For the first time, attendees will be able to stay connected to all things NACE in Las Vegas without carrying anything other than their smart phone. The app includes a full conference schedule, details on the individual workshops, maps of Paris and other conference locations, exhibitor and expo information, a QR scanner and more. The app also allows for alerts so if there are any changes or announcements, you will get them delivered right to you in real-time! Best of all? The app is completely free, brought to you by our generous sponsor, AT&T!

Get ready for the NACE 2012 Conference & Expo now by downloading the app today!

Download the app on the iPhone App Market,

Download the app on the Google Play Store,

Or simply search for “NACE” in your phone’s marketplace.

#FollowFriday!

In anticipation of the upcoming NACE 2012 Conference & Expo – which is exactly 1 month and 8 days away – I did a search on Twitter for the official conference hashtag, #NACE12. I was thrilled to see so many people excited about the event and talking about it in their social spaces! Check out some of the latest #NACE12 tweets below, make sure you follow everyone in the conversation, and RSVP for the tweetup so you can meet everyone in person!