Category Archives: E-Newsletter

These are a few of my favorite social media things

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Favorite logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the musical film The Sound of Music. The song that everyone knows from this movie is “My Favorite Things.” In tribute to this movie and song, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite social mediathings.


A refresh of the original Social Media Revolution video with new and updated statistics. The facts in the video come from the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.


This is a great presentation, courtesy of the Social Media Club of Greenville.


A list of 126 social media policies, all in one location. Also, another must-read for developing and implementing your social media policy: 10 Must Haves for Your Social Media Policy.


Chris Brogan from his new book Social Media 101: “Social media lets you go wide, but YOU have to make it go deep.”

Want more social media quotes? Then, you should read 99 favorite social media quotes and tips.


PR Daily — a daily e-newsletter and website from Ragan Communications — that highlights the top stories from the web about social media, marketing and public relations.


What are some of your favorite social media things?

Show your constituents some love

We’ve been featuring Alumni Valentines in our GW Colonial Cable alumni e-newsletter for three years running. I typically have some trouble finding couples to profile, but this year was different.

We leveraged social networks and asked couples whose relationship began at GW to share their stories. I posted a message to our GW Alumni LinkedIn Group and on Twitter (@GWAlumni) and watched the messages rolled in.

We received 25+ stories, more than enough for our e-newsletter, and enough to spill over into a “More Alumni Valentines” story next month. The story received two to three times as many click-throughs as our traditional feature story in our e-newsletter.

On this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to show your constituents some love by engaging them across your social networks to help you tell more interesting stories.

Know Your Audience

We try to segment our social media outlets and target our messages accordingly. Here is how we focus our communications on each of the GW Alumni social networks (recognizing there is some audience overlap):

LinkedIn– Build awareness of career services, opportunities, and news, encourage peer connections, find story ideas, and open conversation through “discussions”

Twitter – Quick hits to build prestige around the university and its alumni (top news and prominent alumni), support relationships, and find story ideas

Facebook – Promote events, share regional-specific information, encourage peer connections

YouTube – Share highlights from alumni and university events, build awareness of leadership in the university and alumni association

Flickr – Repository for event photos, maintain engagement

Social media is by its nature not about simply pushing information out, but learning about your constituents needs and engaging them in dialogue. GW graduate and social media consultant Steve Goldner recommends bringing an “LCR mentality” to your social media outreach – Listen, Conversation, Relationships.

One powerful way to encourage conversations and build relationships is by soliciting advice and feedback from your audience on story ideas. In this case, the quality of our engagement through social media is just as important as the quantity.

Recognize Your Reach…and Limitations

For most organizations, social media provides another platform to reach a certain segment of your audience. Our largest GW Alumni social network – LinkedIn, with 10,430 members – only represents about 5% of our alumni population.

According to research by Forrester (see Josh Bernoff’s post on Social Technographics) 17 percent of U.S. online adults are “inactive” on social networks and the largest percentage group are simply “spectators” who read, listen and watch, but do not take an active role in a conversation.

It is important to use a variety of communication platforms in your outreach. For our Alumni Valentines feature I solicited names of couples during in-person conversations, through e-mails, and on social networks. The story was e-mailed out through our e-newsletter, featured on our website, and posted on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages. The piece included a call to action for others to share their Alumni Valentine stories, which allows us to build off the original story.

Create Winning Content Through Collaboration

Some people are more interesting in 140 characters than others. Some videos on YouTube become viral hits and others flounder. Some individuals on LinkedIn spark thought-provoking discussions, while others come off as completely self-promotional. And some stories in your e-newsletter receive more click-throughs than others.

Creating content that resonates remains crucial. Develop content with input from your constituents on a variety of social networks and share that content across several different platforms. You will engage more individuals, hear more ideas, and produce a better end product.

How have you seen success by engaging your social networks in developing content?

This post is courtesy of guest blogger Matt Lindsay (@lindsam8). Matt is the director of alumni communications at The George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C.


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