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Lynn University revamps its social strategy
Published Mar. 27, 2013
Lynn University, celebrating its 50th anniversary, has made a big name for itself in the world of social media.
StudentAdvisor continuously ranks Lynn as a top social media college in the nation, and after hosting the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, 2012, the #lynndebate Social Media Campaign received numerous accolades from national organizations including the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Public Relations Society of America, among others.
Building upon the buzz and social success from the debate, Lynn’s social media team in the Office of Marketing and Communication aspired to stay ahead of the curve and strategically determined which social platforms the university should add. The first task: replacing bloggers with student storytellers.
After researching new platforms and analyzing existing ones, Lynn realized that blogging wasn't something Lynn students were doing naturally. However, they are still telling their stories, just on different social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, among others. These platforms are also where Lynn’s target audiences (prospective students, current students, alumni and others) already exist.
"Once we put two and two together, it seemed obvious to find brand champions who were actively using various forms of social media and to promote them,” Laura Stephens, public relations specialist at Lynn who oversees the university’s social strategy, said.
In an effort to increase social engagement and host authentic conversations, Lynn recruited five student storytellers – a program that was first tested with volunteers during the debate – to actively use their own social media platforms and to have an official presence on Lynn.edu/social, without an institutional filter.
As Lynn.edu/social states, “No one can tell Lynn’s story better than our own students. So we've found five of our most social media-savvy students to tweet, blog, post and shoot that story using their own personal social media accounts. No company platforms, no pre-approved posts, just real posts from real students, honest and truthful.”
By launching student storytellers, Lynn hopes to enhance its image by building an institutional presence on the web that is notable for the lack of "institution speak."
“Encouraging students to use their own personal platforms to tell authentic stories about their lives on and off campus is not something I've seen other organizations doing,” Stephens said. “We trust our students to talk about their college lives. The only guidelines we gave them were to watch their language and to adhere to the university's existing policies regarding personal conduct and communication.”
Lynn actively studies the social media landscape that is constantly evolving and changing. “We feel we have differentiated Lynn from our competitors by pulling student stories forward, and letting our students talk about their experiences themselves,” Stephens said.
Visit Lynn.edu/social to follow Lynn’s student storytellers and actively engage with Lynn’s official social platforms.