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Corynn MyersCorynn Myers, Digital Marketing Manager at the University of Michigan, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2019-2020 Higher Ed Social Media Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Corynn tells us about higher ed social media in 2020, a favorite tool, 3 higher ed social media campaigns as well as strategy and measurement.

1) Where do you think higher ed social media is heading in 2020?

Content is — and will always be — king but I believe there will be a larger shift toward authentic experiences (buzz word of the year). This means talking heads in interview-style videos should be exchanged for student-led content. I also believe student-led content will be especially important for underrepresented populations across campuses. Students from all walks of life need & want to see people that look like them experiencing similar situations, overcoming similar problems and becoming heroes in their own stories. Also, in my office, we’ve beefed up paid Instagram ads but have not abandoned Facebook, since it still is the #1 driver of leads for recruitment campaigns.

2019 Higher Ed Social Media Conference

2) What’s your favorite new tool for your social media work?

Facebook’s Creative Hub and Screen Recording (iPhone). Neither of these are new tools, by any means, but they’re something we’ve come to embrace in the last year. Creative hub is widely used by teams to create ads but my office uses them to present ideas and report to leadership. While I can speak to strategies and tactics, visuals are a much easier way of communication, which is where Creative Hub and Screen Recording comes in. We often mock-up creative in Creative Hub, take screenshots or send previews to FB/IG, record experiences in-app and then add the content into Google slides to show what the experience will look like. It really helps “sell” campaigns, strategies, creative and budgets.

3) What higher ed social media campaigns have recently caught your attention?

University of Maryland’s You and UMD
During the Big Ten Plus Conference (Big Ten schools get together to talk marcomm), UMD presented a case study of a multi-channel opportunistic campaign that I thought was GREAT. UMD wanted to take advantage of tech execs on their campus for a new building dedication and the HQ2 Amazon announcement by launching a campaign aimed at promoting their computer science program and students, their affordable area for start-ups and, ultimately, gain sponsorship/funding from tech companies. They strategically placed cohesive messages in airports, subways, bus stops, online via display, social and paid search and drove all traffic to a dedicated landing page. When UMD presented, they already had 12 high-quality leads. #winning

University of Nebraska’s use of thumbnails on their YouTube channel. Thumbnails can significantly increase clicks on videos and I think Nebraska is doing a great job with their thumbnails.

University of Michigan’s tweet related to this Ohio State story.
Shameless plug for our owned team and this tweet which broke some metric records.

4) What are your strategic social media goals and how do you measure against these goals?

I have the privilege of overseeing paid social strategies at the brand level as well as across our campus and medical system. Our goals range from applications and student engagement to patient acquisition and positive sentiment. Regardless of each campaign’s focus, goals, objectives and KPIs are always clearly established, evaluated and reevaluated and optimized to within algorithms and during strategy meetings.

Our state-wide storytelling campaign sets out to increase positive sentiment around the University of Michigan’s impact in our state. Positive sentiment is often measured through surveys but the metrics in-between matter just as much. For this campaign, we decided advocacy was the ultimate metric and advocacy on social media is others telling our stories through shares/retweets. We also track video retention rates and time-on-site. We recently completed a brand lift survey through Facebook which showed an increase in favorability among our audiences.

Other campaigns have more tangible goals like leads and applications, RSVPs or report downloads. My team measures the performance of campaigns against the business goals we set out to accomplish and simply use metrics like reach and engagement as KPIs.

A conference focusing on higher ed social media?

The 7th Higher Ed Social Media Conference (HESM19) is a must-attend event for higher ed social media professionals and teams looking for inspiration, ideas and best practices to get ready for 2020.

Read below what your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Social Media Conference said about their experience.

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