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Social Media: Surviving the Summer

By Kristin Menconi, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, Hiatt Career Center, Brandeis University

The summer months aren’t the only thing that can bring on a drought. Career Center’s social media accounts can become stagnant during the months of June, July and August causing social media managers to scramble for gripping content to stay relevant. We’re all guilty of returning to the well of insignificant posts; the career articles from the Wall Street Journal, the random photo of the campus landscape and even “hey we’re are open all summer” update. Let’s face it, when the career center is fully functional, your marketing is driven by what is going on within the office whether is it large scale career events, guest speakers, workshops, etc; your hands are tied to help elevate each of those. Instead of seeing the summer as a disadvantage, I approached this as an opportunity to be creative and introduced Facebook Live to the Brandeis University Hiatt Career Center page.

Facebook live is a real-time video broadcast hosted on your Facebook page giving followers the chance to interact directly with your video during the broadcast. Prior to developing episodes, I enlisted the help of our assistant director of career development Jackie Blesso as a co-host. Jackie’s extensive experience in working with students on a number of career related topics coupled with her vibrant personality made her a great compliment to this initiative.

Over the past four weeks the Hiatt Career Center has hosted episodes regarding leveraging summer internship experiences, introductions to new staff members and even a nod to Jimmy Fallon’s “5 Second Summaries” with films about careers as a theme. The majority of the episodes thus far are pre-planned but unscripted, which gives us the ability to appear more relaxed and inviting to our audience. #HiattLive airs every Wednesday during lunch time hours, which is strategic as our goal is to reach our students at home and our employed audience during the summer months. Although we are still in the early stages, our engagement and reach have increased significantly. During the last month, the Hiatt Career Center Facebook page had a 116% increase in reach (the number of people the posts had reached, liked and commented on), 124% increase in page views and an overwhelming 1065% increase in video views.

As we approach the academic year with a full schedule of events to promote, I will most likely scale back the episodes from weekly to possibly one or two a month. The premise of each episode will have a greater focus on what the office is doing and how students, alumni and community partners can be a part of it. Some themes will include behind the scenes at a career fair, live interviews with employers and hot topics in the world of career readiness. Though structure is great, I am still planning on taking note from the summer and including fun elements. One of our goals as an office for the year is to become more human and approachable to our audience and the best way to do that is to show who we really are as an office, staff and community at Brandeis University.

If you are interested in starting your own Facebook Live broadcast in your career center, here are some quick tips:

  • Plan the types of topics to address in each episode and identify who will be a part of it
  • Advertise ahead of time what your episode will be about to your followers
  • Write a compelling headline and description to draw in viewers
  • Do a trial run to verify picture and sound are working (you can do a private broadcast on your own page to test it out)
  • Ask your staff, student workers and other members of the community to tune in live
  • Test your connection (this is a MUST!)
  • Have fun. Career topics don’t have to be serious all of the time. Be light, inviting and make your audience feel welcomed

Kristin Menconi is the assistant director of marketing and communications in the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University.

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