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Social Media Explained (As A City)

By on May 5, 2015 in Featured, Marketing | 0 comments

Many social media marketers still operate under metaphors that worked well two years ago but no longer come close to reality. So, in an effort to at least return to a funhouse equivalent, I want to provide some real-life comparisons for social networks — in this case, the areas they might represent in a city.

Teens & Social Media: 5 Insights From Pew Center Study

By on May 24, 2013 in Featured, Marketing | 0 comments

This week, the Pew Center released an in-depth report about social media use by teenagers that included some surprising and encouraging trends. Anyone who works with (or markets to) the high school demographic should consider the report a must-read. After reading the report, here are five of the most notable findings.

5 Facebook Marketing Alternatives

By on May 14, 2013 in Featured, Marketing | 0 comments

The defenders of Facebook cite a few legitimate arguments, but in some cases those very arguments serve better as a reason to expand (ideally) or choose a different social media platform.

What We Did Right: Marketing the State Title

By on Mar 19, 2013 in Featured, Marketing | 0 comments

The Wasatch Academy Tigers second state championship in basketball (ever) provided a much-needed late-winter jolt to the school’s campus. The impressive season-long run by the boy’s team also energized alumni, parents and even former faculty members, providing a prime opportunity to connect further with audiences who may normally offer passing interest. In a previous post, I detailed some of the lessons learned from the run, especially missed opportunities for encourage people to take the next step. However, from a marketing standpoint, the whole communications team had some notable successes, both at the state tournament and throughout the season. Twitter Rules (Live): For events such as athletics (or emergencies), nothing can top Twitter. The ability to post quick updates, pictures and even short videos makes it very easy for a global audience follow the game live. Thus, we pushed fans to our Twitter account throughout the season. Result? Our followers went from under 100 to more than 300, and our engagement (mentions, retweets and direct messages) also noticeably increased. Let Students Shine:We have about a half-dozen student “interns” in the communications department, and we utilized them throughout the season. It culminated with the state tournament, when we armed them with video and digital cameras and let them tell the story — and they told it very well (Josia Strom, Tony Chu, Bromen Stephens and Abdul Bhat). Upshot: If you treat your students like professionals, they will act professionally. Plan The News: Over the course of three days, we had nearly a half-dozen stories published in statewide newspapers or broadcast on statewide TV news that cast our boys and school in the best possible light. The work to get those stories, however, began weeks before when I began reaching out to prep sports reporters and editors with story ideas and background insights. During the tournament, I made sure the reporters could easily find me, which proved extremely helpful after the final when they needed our coach and suggestions for players to interview. Lesson: You will never truly script the news, but reporters will always appreciate, and often reward, preparation. Capture The Moment: Let video and pictures carry your coverage, and don’t needlessly fret about quality (but also don’t ignore it). Three of our highest-rated Facebook posts ran the gamut. One showed a player cutting down the net in a poorly composed, slightly out-of-focus iPhone picture. One had student intern Bromen Stephens interviewing our coach and players with well-prepared questions, good video and poor sound. One was a professionally edited and filmed video, published the next day. All effectively engaged in their own way. Enjoy The Ride: Advice given to parents can also apply to school communications professionals: Don’t miss the memory. When something momentous happens at your school, join the community in celebrating. Cheer the team, listen to the speaker, dance to the band. All of us, students and employees, had a great time all season long watching the team, and it didn’t hamper our ability to get the good shots or live tweet the action. Remember: don’t let your work overrun your...

Lessons Learned: Marketing the State Basketball Title

By on Feb 28, 2013 in Featured, Marketing | 0 comments

This past weekend, my alma mater and current employer, Wasatch Academy, won the state championship in boy’s basketball. From a marketing perspective, the Tiger’s title run presented a significant branding opportunity. Thankfully, our Marketing & Communications Team (including our wonderful student interns and volunteers) went into the tournament prepared and, because of that, had an incredibly successful weekend. I plan to revisit the recipes for those successes in later post, but for now I wanted to highlight some valuable lessons the weekend provided in getting the most impact from high-profile events. 1. Focus on Calls To Action: We had multiple Facebook Page posts that more than tripled our normal “reach” and engagement but none of them pushed people to our website. That is a significant missed opportunity. As social media becomes a primary form of marketing (and it will), directing people from those platforms to your website will become paramount. Posting content on your own website (embed a video, build a photo gallery) offers the simplest “call to action” for social media. Yet even when the content doesn’t logically fit on your site, alternative ways to push people to your site can be found. In our case, our most popular post showed a player cutting down a net with the caption “State champions!” Yet we had a video on our blog with the coach discussing the season-long focus on the state title. We could have linked to that video through the picture with the caption, “State Champions — just like coach promised” and more effectively captured some of that attention. 2. Prepare for Negative Comments: While we prepared for negativity from opponents, we didn’t do the same for negativity from our side towards the losing teams. We did respond quickly to the first negative comment about the runners-up on our Facebook page and immediately decided to delete such comments Luckily, the student body of Wasatch Academy has class, so we only had to delete a couple of comments. 3. Don’t Change At The End: All season long we pushed people to Twitter for live game updates, but for the first round I tried to shift to a live blog. While the Cover It Live module worked fine, engagement and traffic were zero. Our fans, alumni and parents expected Twitter. 4. Facebook’s Pages app kinda sucks — too many crashes, slow load times — and proves very undependable for live updates of an event. Also, Facebook generally doesn’t work well for live updating of events. Instead, push people to your Twitter feed, streaming video and so...

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