Social media icons on the homepage part II

October 8, 2009

Wow has it been an incredibly busy start to the school year. It seems like we never let our foot off the gas from commencement to convocation and we are speeding right through the first semester.

My last post on adding social media icons to the homepage received a number of comments asking me to elaborate on the negative comments I heard.  So I thought I would provide the community with some insight.

I think at lots of places there is probably  a reluctant acceptance of social media. What is this reluctant acceptance? The understanding that it is important to some audience but it can’t really be here to stay and it can’t really be worth the time that web guy puts into it. Of course maybe they said the same thing about that world wide web thing in the 90’s.

I think Nick was correct in his comment that the  introduction of new colors called attention to the icons instead of other elements on the page. Most of the comments had to do with the “look and feel” and I think people reacted to the blunt promotion of these sites. Every once in a while I still have to answer the question on campus – why are we spending time in facebook?

I did get some links showing me how other schools handle social media icons and a few people wanted us to move them to the bottom. But I think Travis makes a really good point in his comment that if we are going to put time, effort, money, and resources into social media we better be ready to promote them. But that promotion doesn’t just happen on the web. If you have a collaborative integrated marketing team cross promotion in the alumni magazine and other venues are equally important.


Social media icons on the homepage

September 24, 2009

A few weeks ago we moved 5 social media icons onto the homepage and the site tools on the website.

This was part of a broad effort to increase the visabilty of our social media efforts on campus. Why put effort into projects if you don’t promote them right?

I was surprised by the reaction that we got across campus in a couple of ways

  • I didn’t get much of a response just a couple of emails or verbal comments as I crossed campus
  • The emails that I did get were very negative

Adding social media to the homepage is a growing trend in higher ed. If you check out Brad Ward’s blog @bluefuego you can find a post he did in august comparing the use of social media on a homepage over the course of 6 months. Well worth your read.

Good luck as we continue to fight the good fight with social media in higher ed.


Data Analysis for student blogs

March 12, 2009

Dara Crowfoot asked a good question about what metrics or usage stats I have in a comment on my post Thinking Differently About Student Blogs.

I pulled together some data to share:

We promote the blogs right off our homepage with a news article. It promotes all three of the spring break blogs we are supporting. Each group that blogs might do separate promotion with alumni and parents which we suggest as well.

So far the news article has received about 600 unique pageviews which is excellent for our news stories. This is more than double our average story. Part of your assessment efforts for these type of blogs has to be comparing your numbers against what might be “normal traffic”.  We do detailed news comparisons each year so we can tell our average pageviews on stories and how many doubled the average etc… This type of data is very helpful when we are attempting to quantify our efforts on projects like this one.

Additionally we have had over 300 unique pageviews to each blog so far. Of course these are still going on and we will do more post trip promotion. Admissions will use them in e-communications and we will often feature them in an alumni magazine. In the fall we had a professor take one of our first-year seminar classes on Homelessness to DC for fall break. This blog ended with over 2,000 unique pageviews.


What’s on the homepage?

May 26, 2008

At a college or university the question that it the title of this post What’s on the homepage? is representative of the institution, goals, programs, marketing strategies or which program has made the best case to have it’s link on the homepage. I was thinking about this question and how institutions answered it over the memorial day holiday so I decided while dinner was cooking tonight to take a look around. I looked at the main news sections of some of the sites I visit often (the Gettysburg College overlap schools) and here is what I found:

I expected to see more overlap than I did which was refreshing. The most popular stories were ones dealing with

  • Post Graduate Scholarships
  • Commencement
  • Development or Alumni Relations

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