Karine Joly No Comments

robert_bochnakRobert Bochnak, Assistant Director, Alumni Marketing and Communications at Harvard Business School, is one of the 12 presenters of the 3rd Higher Ed Social Media Conference.

In this 3-question interview, Robert tells us how he manages social media, shares a surprising social media outcome and tackles the tough ROI question.

1) How do you manage your activity on social media?

I follow the same protocol every day. Each morning, the first thing I do is review social media interactions from the day before and add them to my social media tracking sheet (see below). As part of my work, I record information on all the alumni we engage with via social media so we can have a sense of how many graduates we interact with on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram during a given week or month.
Whenever an alumnus/a interacts with us his or her information is added to our excel spreadsheet.

This “data” includes the year the alumnus/a graduated, the city and state in which he/she lives, and his/her interests as conveyed in their Twitter bios.

My spreadsheet records comments, retweets, and other social media activity. We also “score” alumni to get a better sense of how engaged they are with us. An alumnus/a who interacts with us 1-2 times a month is “minimally engaged,” 3-4 times a month is moderately engaged, 5 or more times a month is “highly engaged.”

Once I’m done with my daily record keeping, I jump onto Twitter and start reviewing my alumni lists. To date, we have added more than 5,000 HBS alumni onto Twitter lists and each day we look for ways to engage with as many of them as possible; this outreach includes promoting the blog posts of alumni, sharing their career news, and amplifying any other personal or professional achievements. Since January 2013, this approach has helped us generate more than 25,000 unique interactions with alumni on social media. None of this would have been possible without Twitter’s list functionality. By having a centralized location where alumni Twitter handles reside, we can engage with them based on their interests each and every day.

2) What’s the most surprising social media outcome you’ve experienced this year? What did you learn?

I’ve been surprised by how productive Instagram has been for us when it comes to connecting with alumni. Last year, we launched our feed in earnest and since the Instagram has outperformed to a large degree—when it comes to likes and comments—our Facebook outreach. The difference in outcomes may be related to the changes Facebook has made to its algorithm, though this would be speculative.

3) How do you approach the question of return on investment (ROI) when it comes to social media?

Our approach to social media ROI is informed by the tracking process I referenced previously. Since we gather data on all alumni social media interactions, we can produce reports, on a monthly basis.

Also, using Spredfast, we tag all linked content to our alumni website. Therefore, we can see on an annual basis how much activity our social media work is able to direct to our website.

Higher Ed Social Media Conference

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