When Associate Professor Chiharu Ishida-Lambert offered her students an option to revamp the College of Business’s social media accounts as part of their Seminar in Marketing: Brand Management and Analytics course, five hands rose into the air to grab at the opportunity. Since that day, those students have worked together to generate over 85 new followers on the College of Business’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as 15 new followers on Twitter.
Seniors Maureen Christensen, Emma Vierck, Kelsey Chamberlin, Lacey Daebe, and Lisa Hipelius were very interested in initiating Illinois State’s College of Business Social Media Ambassador program as well as strategizing future plans for the College of Business’s online presence. Rather than posting a few times a week on various social media pages as expected, the students hit the social media platform running. They hatched a plan catering to their own influence on social media as well as to a specific age demographic. Chamberlin stated, “The College of Business’s Instagram account was our primary focus because it had not been used since the previous years Business Week, and because of its popularity amongst millennials.”
Though team members spoke modestly when discussing the social media accounts’ growth, their strategy was too in-depth, too multi-faceted, to be considered ordinary. Along with analyzing which photos received the most “likes,” the most success, the team found that showcasing fellow classmates in a “senior spotlight” via Instagram reached the biggest audience, and thus, gained the most traction. Chamberlin explained, “Students liked seeing their friends on the pages. We even had people asking those senior spotlight students how they got on the page.” The team also put together a “COB year in review” in hopes that there will be an album every year for students to look back on.
Without divulging any more of the team’s tested tricks of the trade, a follower may have noticed that the hashtags #BusinessRedbirds and #COBproud were implemented across the Web. Another regular occurrence was the time that the seniors chose to post as well as the specific day each team member took to revitalizing the College of Business online presence. Of her time spent working with the group, Hipelius stated, “I have worked with countless groups prior, but this particular group was a really fun, talented group of women that made it an enjoyable experience. I really appreciated the chance to work with four other individuals who cared as much about this project as I did.”
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