Strategic Plan Career Services Social Media Western Kentucky University Team Leader: Erin Jozwiak Kelly Almousily, Kim Kubicek, Cherise Mingus
What is Social Media, anyway? Social media is comprised of activities that involve socializing and networking online through words, pictures, and videos. Social media is redefining how we relate to each other as humans and how we as humans relate to the organizations that serve us (Rueben, 2008). Social networking is one aspect of social media, where individuals are in communities that share ideas, interests, or are looking to meet people with similar ideas and interests. Currently, the two most popular social networking communities are Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook Facebook is made up of six primary components: personal profiles, status updates, networks (geographic regions, schools, companies), groups, applications and fan pages. Fan pages are similar to personal profiles, but can be used by businesses. They include wall posts, discussion boards, photos, videos, and many other applications. People who view the page can choose to become fans of your organization, and this shows on their personal profile page, for their friends to see. This creates a viral marketing effect – when one of their friends sees they've become a fan of another organization that interests them, they're likely to become a fan themselves (Rueben 2008).
Twitter "Twitter is a social-networking and micro-blogging service developed in San Francisco and first launched in October 2006. Twitter posts, or, 'tweets', are no longer than 140 characters in length and can include hyperlinks. One becomes a Twitter user, or 'twitterer,' by creating a personal account and by posting tweets to a personalized online news feed, or, as it is more commonly known, a 'timeline' which displays them in reverse chronological order" (McKneill, 2011).
Why is Social Media important? Roughly 50% of Facebooks 500 million+ Facebook users log into the site everyday. There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. People who use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users. (Facebook, 2011) Twitter grew 500% in one year, now with over 75 million users. LinkedIn has over 50 million members worldwide. (Hird, 2010) In 2010, advertisers spent almost $1.7 billion on social media marketing in the U.S. (Turner, 2011) As the statistics show, social media has grown exponentially in the past few years. As such, in order to further communicate and connect with students, it is imperative for higher education and student affairs professionals to have an online voice as well.
Why is Social Media important? Social networking can create a sense of community and belonging for students, alumni, faculty and staff by identifying with the University. This can lead to decreased anxiety for those new to the Universitys social setting (Eberhardt, 2007). It provides a means of discovery, information source and connection point for staff to understand issues of students and provides a less invasive way to reach out to them (Eberhardt, 2007). Students who may not otherwise enter the office will be able to utilize the support systems and services available.
How can we use Social Media? We can utilize social media to market not only our services but also to provide resources that promote career wellness to our students, alumni, and staff. Twitter/Facebook could be used to share professional information to your network (for example, links to: job opportunities, articles, office hours, conversation topics, etc.) (Optimal Resume, 2009). Social media provides opportunities to reach students through technologies they use regularly. We must stay abreast of trends in technology in order to stay relevant with students!
Mission and Services The mission of the Career Services Center is to assist students and alumni in identifying and reaching their career and employment goals, to help employers access an educated and highly trained workforce, and to support faculty and staff in providing opportunities to increase student learning and skill development. Services Offered: Career Programming and Workshops Career Advisement and Guidance Networking Events Employment Opportunities and Career Experience Career Resources Employer Relations
Goals to be met with Social Media Assist students in identifying their values, interests, and career aspirations Provide services and resources that support students in identifying satisfying employment and graduate/professional school opportunities. Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development.
Goal #1: Assist students in identifying their values, interests, and career aspirations In order to meet this goal, our center: Provides career advisement/guidance Administers inventories designed to assist students in career selection Offers information and resources on various fields in order to help students more accurately weigh career options
Electronic Communications - Career Counselor Chat Create a chat room for career counselors to connect with students in order to provide immediate answers to their questions and provide useful information in regards to career exploration. Counselors will rotate on a monthly basis as to who will be holding the session (once a month). Objective: Provide students an opportunity to "meet" with a career counselor in the comfort of their own home. Goal: Assist students in identifying their values, interests, and career aspirations How to meet this goal with social media:
Online Assessments Provide links to online personality tests, aptitude tests, and profiles that highlight strengths and weaknesses. Students will be able to take the results and discuss them with a career counselor via online chat or discussion boards. Objective: Students will improve their career decision making skills by exploring their interests. Goal: Assist students in identifying their values, interests, and career aspirations How to meet this goal with social media:
Exploratory Videos Create bi-monthly videos that shadow different careers and offer guidance on what is needed to be successful in that field. (i.e. major, personal attributes, etc.) Videos will be posted to YouTube and Facebook. Example: "A day in the life of a photojournalist." Objective: Provide students a visual representation of what different careers involve as well as future opportunities they can pursue. Goal: Assist students in identifying their values, interests, and career aspirations How to meet this goal with social media:
Goal #2: Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development In order to meet this goal, our center: Offers resume and cover letter assistance Holds workshops and programming on a variety of career-development topics Assists students in personal skill development through interviewing information and mock interviews Provides career-related resources including handouts, a career library, and online references
Goal: Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development "D ress for Success" Photo Albums Create a Facebook photo album including pictures and information on how to dress for interviews, job fairs, and professional events Objective: Students can easily flip through an online photo album for quick, visual information on professional dress for interviewing. Each photo caption can contain a "plug" for mock interviews with a career counselor How to meet this goal with social media:
Goal: Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development How-To Videos Utilize Facebook and YouTube to create short, one minute videos on resumes, cover letters, portfolio development, and interview questions Example: Resumes in 60 Seconds; Interviewing in 60 Seconds Objective: Students benefit from quick information that is presented in an engaging and concise format. How to meet this goal with social media:
Goal: Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development Facebook Events Create events on Facebook to advertise and market career-related events and programming. Students can easily invite friends, see who else is going, and conveniently obtain information about the event through the Facebook invitation Objective: Increase student interest and traffic to Career Services Center programming; serve as a reminder of upcoming events (via Facebook's event feature) How to meet this goal with social media:
Goal: Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development Creating a Virtual Library of In-Office References Our office boasts an extensive in-office library, which is unfortunately underutilized as students do not take time to browse in the office. Creating an online library through Google Books allows students to conveniently browse resources online Objective: Online library generates interest in our resources as students can quickly find books they are looking for before coming in the office to check them out. How to meet this goal with social media:
Goal: Assist students in preparing for employment through career portfolio and personal/professional development For example: Source: http://books.google.com/books?uid=87713804026216931
Goal: Provide services and resources that support students in identifying and satisfying employment and graduate / professional school opportunities. In order to meet this goal, our center: Posts available jobs, both on and off campus Coordinates internships Advertises summer employment for students Holds career fairs for students to interview with potential employers Connects students through networking and professional events
Employment Opportunities Online Our center features an online employment and internship database, with updates that can be posted to Facebook and Twitter. Examples: New Job posted in 'Healthcare' for part-time office work, check it out! Several summer positions for local babysitting available, act fast and apply! Objective: Students find internships, part-time and summer jobs, and volunteering and mentoring opportunities for related experience and to gain practical competencies Goal: Supports students in satisfying employment and graduate / professional school opportunities How to meet this goal with social media:
Utilize Successful Students of the Center Past/current students post a blog or feature article on Facebook. Example: "My Internship Experience: A Summer Spent in the Agricultural Industry" "Part-Time Jobs are Juggling Act Between Class & Work: How I Learned Time Management" Objective: Students have access to a 'real' peer perspective, via an online format, with the ease of access through social media Goal: Supports students in satisfying employment and graduate / professional school opportunities How to meet this goal with social media:
Career Experience via Discussion Board Q&A Event on Facebook Discussion Board, promoted via both Facebook and Twitter. Example: HR Manager answers questions on what they typically look for Career counselor answers questions on a 'hot' topic, with one new topic each month Facebook Discussion Board: Internship questions, answered by students recently completing an internship Summer Employment Q&A Objective: Students have access to informative discussion boards and have their questions answered without hindrance Goal: Supports students in satisfying employment and graduate / professional school opportunities How to meet this goal with social media:
Networking via Discussion Board Network with students who have worked or are currently working in a specific company or industry Ask questions about the type of work Discussion postings allowed for all to see and learn View past shadowing opportunities facilitated by the office for students of the university Objective: Interested students gain insight from those who have first hand knowledge and experience with their prospective field/company. Goal: Supports students in satisfying employment and graduate / professional school opportunities How to meet this goal with social media:
Networking with Alumni Many alumni stop using their school email addresses, but Facebook allows for contact with these students regardless of their email address. This would be helpful in following up about employment opportunities, programming and other outreach. Objective: Students will gain insight from those who have first hand knowledge and experience as University students seeking a job after graduation. Goal: Supports students in satisfying employment and graduate / professional school opportunities How to meet this goal with social media:
Who Will Manage These Efforts? Managing our Social Media Strategic Plan will require input from all staff members, however, regular upkeep (including inquiry response, discussion board management, event creation, job posting and so on) will rest largely with graduate assistants. Based on the variety and scope of our social media strategic plan, roughly 5-10 hours per week will be required to maintain the plan (Reuben, 2008). Graduate assistants will be responsible for managing page creation, discussion boards, chats with students, event creation, photo/video upload, and job postings.
Who Will Manage These Efforts? The cost for graduate assistants to commit 5-10 hours weekly would be $625 - $1250 per semester, or $1875 - $3750 per academic year. When student traffic is lower during the summer, efforts can be reduced slightly, closer to 5 hours per week. Additionally, outside sources will be utilized in the creation of videos and articles: As part of an internship, Communications and Journalism students can assist in creating videos and/or writing articles. Recruit former students to be guest authors of articles.
Marketing: Getting Students to Like Us Partner with other university departments to like each other's pages and get the word out. Examples: The University main page posts an update about checking out Career Services. WKU Academic Advising and Retention Center likes WKU Career Services on Facebook so students can connect to both. On-campus marketing – small giveaways with attached notes discussing the benefits of liking or following us – Find us on Facebook for the latest info on job postings, networking events and career tips! Post instructions on the Career Services main website on how to access Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social media can be a very successful tool, however, its effectiveness relies on students following or liking the page.
Marketing: Getting Students to Like Us Publish quality content and don't neglect those who wish to follow up! (Gunelius, 2011) This will ensure that people continue to follow our site(s). Ask students that come into the Career Services office if they use social media and encourage them to check out the our pages. Add the information to business cards. "Tag" fans in pictures taken at events. This will increase views to our page as the friends of those tagged will view the album, essentially leading them to the Career Services page (O'Neill, 2009). Social media can be a very successful tool, however, its effectiveness relies on students following or liking the page.
Assessment In order to see how effective utilizing social media is at meeting our goals, Career Services can: Create surveys and conduct focus groups with students to discuss their thoughts, observations and suggestions in regards to the social media used. Monitor the number of students who "like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter as well as insert a counter to see how many hits the site(s) obtain. Administer questionnaires at events asking how the student found out about it. Example: via Facebook, Twitter, Website, Friend, Flyer, etc.
Potential Difficulties Information Overload: We must be wary of striking a balance between offering useful, beneficial information and overloading students with "updates." Consistency: As information is updated, we must ensure that is accurate on the various sites and pages that we manage (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, CSC website). Loss of face time: The Career Center could lose face time with students as more services are offered via social media. Assessment Participation: Student participation in surveys/questionnaires could be low, making it difficult to properly assess our effectiveness through this method. Privacy: We must create an ethical policy that draws the line on what is kept private and what is not to ensure the protection of our students (Hayes, Ruschman & Walker, 2009).
Conclusion As students change and adapt to new technologies, we must make continual efforts to connect with them on these levels. We cannot simply rely on old methods of reaching students but rather, adjust to meet the needs of a changing population. Social media provides an excellent outlet to market and deliver our services to a large population of students. As Student Affairs blogger L.B. Kaliher put it, Let us not be restrained by our old practices, but rather re-invent them in a manner that transforms our student affairs profession. (2010)
References Ebherhardt, D. M. (2007). Facing up to facebook. Whiley InterScience About Campus September-October, 18-26. Facebook press room statistics (2011). Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics Gunelius, S. (2011). 10 laws of social media marketing. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/16/idUS163103698720110216 Hayes, T. J., Ruschman, D. & Walker, M. M. (2009). Social networking as an admission tool: a case study in success. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education. Hird, J. (2010). 20+ mind-blowing social media statistics. Retrieved from http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/5324-20+- mind-blowing-social-media-statistics-revisited Kaliher, L.B. (2010), Student affairs application of technology. Retrieved from http://thesabloggers.org/2010/09/student-affairs-application-of-technology/ McNeill, T. (2011, February). Twitter in higher education. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/20025500/Twitter-in-Higher-Education Optimal Resume. (2009, September 30). Career services and twitter: jump in!. Retrieved from http://www.optimalresume.com/blog/?p=702 O'Neill, N. (2009). How to develop a facebook page that attracts millions of fans. Retrieved from http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-page-strategy-2009-03 Rueben, R. (2008). The use of social media in higher education for marketing and communications: a guide for professionals in higher education. Retrieved from http://doteduguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/social- media-in-higher-education.pdf Turner, D. (2011). Social media marketing: sites that benefit most. Retrieved from http://www.onlinesocialmedia.net/20110118/social-media-marketing-sites-that-benefit-most/