Got a game plan?

Most colleges and universities know by now that they must reach potential students and donors where they live. Translation: You’ve got to have a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter page.

Of course, all of these social media outlets have to be managed. Though it may be tempting (and easy) to throw a blog up on your admissions page, or to just start Twittering, before you take the plunge, it’s important to lay out a plan for the new media. What will you be Twittering about? Whom do you want your blog to reach? What information is vital to your audience, and when is it most vital? In other words, how are you going to blog/Twitter/Facebook in a way that’s most effective for you and for your audience.

On the subject of implementing social media, we came across two blog posts that offer tips and questions to ask yourself as you begin the process. Even if you already have a blog and a Twitter account, as many institutions do, it doesn’t hurt to review your online strategy.

In her post on .eduGuru, “So you want to start a blog for your admissions office,” Karlyn Morissette suggests doing the following before you start blogging:

  1. Come up with a calendar.

  2. Get a camera.

  3. Keep a journal.

  4. Come up with a routine.

  5. Create a backlog of posts.

Over at ClickZ, news and expert advice for the digital marketer, Aaron Kahlow address the “To Tweet or Not to Tweet?” question. He advises asking a series of marketing questions as they relate to your Twitter (and Facebook) page(s):

  • Who’s your audience?

  • What is your objective?

  • How will you manage your Twitter initiative?

  • Why is this a priority over other efforts?

True, it’s a lot to consider and the process requires time that your office probably doesn’t have. But the effort you put into planning will ultimately pay off in the long-run. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right, don’t you think?

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