My First Homework


I’m a student again. I’ve signed up for the Social Media Bootcamp offered by Media Bistro — if you want to learn a little about it, check out my post over at My Posterous. Meanwhile, here’s my first homework assignment…

Dr. Elaine Young

Marketing Professor, Champlain College

Consultant in Residence, Champlain College Graduate Studies



1. What are your social media marketing goals?  Be as general or specific as you like as you write the answer to this question. We’ll ask you to revisit these goals during the boot camp.

  1. Goal 1: Stay Current. As a College Professor it is a challenge to stay current in the evolving Social Media Marketing space. My number 1 priority is that I am current in this field so I can bring it back into my classrooms.
  2. Goal 2: Apply what I’m Learning. I’m in a unique position right now as “Consultant in Residence” at Champlain College where I’m working exclusively with our Graduate Studies Program to help them better understand how to utilize social to engage current students and alumni while also seeing how it can improve acquisition rates. It is my hope this course will provide me with opportunities to practice what I’m learning.
  3. Goal 3: Become attuned to what others are doing. What is best practice? What are others doing with Social Media that is illustrating the power? What challenges are others facing and how are they overcoming those challenges?
  4. Goal 4: Meet interesting people, network and start great conversations!

2.Review Michael Brito’s presentation: “The Rise of the Social Customer and Their Impact on Business” in the Archives. List 5 to 10 ideas you got from the presentation on how to create relevant and meaningful content.

  1. Create actionable posts that call participants to some type of action.
    1. Polls
    2. Questions
    3. Encourage sharing
  2. Post our content in all of our social channels but write it differently. Avoiding feeds and the same content everywhere.
    1. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn better.
  3. Organizations have to change in order to cope with the social customer. My biggest ideas came from this:
    1. New structure to address social channels (starting to play with this already)
    2. Clarify roles/responsibilities
    3. Create an internal communication plan for the college that communicates what is happening on social and where/how they can participate.
  4. Train individuals on how to humanize their voice on social channels — it’s ok to be “on message” with the branding, but not ok to be so corporate you don’t show personality.
  5. Listen to what people are writing and know who should take action. Create a social media action plan to help individuals know what to do when needed.


3.  Are your customers social customers? Are they brand advocates for you?
Document your current answers to these questions, and revisit them throughout the boot camp

  1. How much do you already know about the social media behavior of your current customers?  Your target customers?

    1. Not enough. We have many researchers and participators but very few advocates. However we haven’t been tracking them enough to know.

  2. What sites do they visit?  What platforms do they use?  How engaged are they on those platforms?

    1. Different majors behave online differently — this we do know. Depending on the platform they will interact more or less. A group is on Facebook, while others are on topic-specific forums.

  3. Is this data mostly anecdotal, or do you use analytics and listening tools to look at results?

    1. We are just wrapping our heads around data gathering in a more specific way. No social listening right now, more analytics. Social listening will be utilized more.

4. Review Dave Kerpen’s presentation: “How to Establish a Brand Personality Through Social Media” in the Archives. List 5 to 10 ideas you got from the presentation on how to create a voice for your brand, listen and respond to your audience, and deliver engaging content on social media.

  1. We’ll have multiple voices that will be representing different programs — the big idea here is to train the team in understanding what “voice” even means and how to represent the Champlain College brand, be helpful and informative while at the same time being themselves. It can be intimidating so training and practice here is key.
  2. We need to do a better job of listening and responding. As we provide more useful and actionable content we’ll need to do a very good job of coordinating among the different individuals to make sure we know who should respond.
  3. How can we do a better job of using multimedia? I loved the video stories and will work with our Grad Studies team to consider how we can play with video to make things better for our students, our alumni and our prospective students.
  4. We have a great story to tell — our students who have been successful and our current students should be given the tools to tell that story in a raw and real way — not in the polished way most Higher Education organizations approach “testimonials”.
  5. We have to do more on “Surprising and Delighting” our audience. It’s too easy to just pass on events and information. What can we do in a Grad Studies arena to surprise our students? To delight our followers?  I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I’m working on it.


5.  What’s your brand personality?  How can you use social media to get it out there? Write down your thoughts on this topic.

  1. Define your brand personality in a few sentences.

    1. Champlain College Graduate Studies : Master’s level education that connects you to your job, creates opportunity for you to grow, allows you to apply what you are learning in a meaningful way, and helps you become a part of an engaged and diverse learning community in your field (IT, Business, Law, Mediation, Digital Forensics, Health Care, Early Childhood Education and Creative Media).

  2. Do your current social media efforts show your brand personality?  How can you enhance your current plans?

    1. No. Our current social media efforts are anemic — one of the reasons we are working to change that.

    2. We need to begin by training staff and creating content, which has begun and getting practiced. In other words, we need to get out there in a more intentional and meaningful and CONSISTENT way.