Announcing Social Works: A Resource for Developing Effective Social Media Campaigns in #HigherEd


Announcing Social Works: A Resource for Developing Effective Social Media Campaigns in #HigherEd

Sep 11, 2012By Michael Stoner

Every college and university in America (and many in Europe, Africa, and Asia) uses social media for marketing, recruiting students, fundraising, alumni relations, brand‐building, and/or raising awareness.

This means that many people are seeking models of social media campaigns developed for these purposes to inspire their own initiatives. But examples are hard to find — they’re scattered across websites, blogs, in white papers, and in magazines and journals like CASE Currents.

Some of our own case studies — a campaign at Emory that boosted class giving; William & Mary’s extensive use of social media in selecting a college mascot; and Oregon State University’s Powered By Orange branding campaign — are among the most‐accessed pages on our blog. Their enduring value convinced us that there was a need for a collection of case studies that illustrated how colleges and universities developed and conducted campaigns built around social media.

Since nothing like this exists, we — and more than a dozen of our friends and colleagues — are writing it. Look for our book Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get Results this fall — we’ll publish in print and ebook format.

Social Works will contain 25 detailed case studies illustrating how 26 institutions in the US, the UK, and South Africa have used social media, along with other channels, in successful campaigns to recruit students, raise money, muster public support for institutional projects, create brand awareness, and boost alumni affiliation. Fifteen of the case studies are brand new, published for the first time in Social Works. The others started with case studies that were published elsewhere; they’ve been significantly revised and expanded with new material and illustrations for the book. I’m contributing the opening section, which looks at how to create a successful campaign.

In all, 17 different writers are contributing to Social Works. We asked every writer to address a set of central questions in their case studies:

  • What challenge or problem was this initiative trying to solve? Who was the institution trying to influence?
  • How was this initiative conceived? What kind of planning occurred?
  • What role did social media play? What other channels were used?
  • How was the campaign deployed?
  • What lessons were learned? What worked and what didn’t?
  • What kind of results did the initiative achieve?

We’re still working out (many) details about Social Works and I’ll share more information over the next couple of months: Watch this blog for updates. And if you want to know the minute the book is available, subscribe to our email newsletter, Intelligence. We’ll announce publication of Social Works there and tell you how you can get your very own copy.

  • Michael Stoner

    Michael Stoner Co-Founder and Co-Owner Was I born a skeptic or did I become one as I watched the hypestorm gather during the dotcom years, recede, and congeal once more as we come to terms with our online, social, mobile world? Whatever. I'm not much interested in cutting edge but what actually works for real people in the real world. Does that make me a bad person?