Why should financial education programs use social media? At the UNL Student Money Management Center we use social media for 4 main reasons:
- To disseminate financial education in a format that is extremely relevant to today's college student.
- To build our brand - our image around campus. Branding activities have been shown to increase our one-on-one session participation, the number of event/workshop requests we receive, and the number of partnerships we have with other University programs and organizations.
- To create brand ambassadors - students who promote our services and share our financial education posts across their own social media channels.
- To promote our own events, and also to promote the events put on by other University groups. These simple promotions help us build stronger campus relationships that result in more opportunities for us to reach students through partnering on events and other financial education activities.
Who exactly is our audience, or do we have more than one audience?
We determined we have 5 audiences on Facebook: our students, the parents of our students, faculty & staff members, other financial educators from various organizations, and financial professionals in the local community.
What image do we want to convey?
We knew we wanted to support our current brand, which we determined can appeal to all 5 audiences.
Do we need to create our own content?
There are hundreds of great financial education resources out there, but we have never had luck with social media users taking the time to click on links to access those resources. Thus, we determined we did need to create our own financial education images - pictures that will grab attention, quickly disseminate tidbits of financial education, and that users will want to share on their own social media channels.
We knew we needed to come up with entertaining formats for our financial education tidbits. Boring copy writing is a waste of time. Thus, we developed several social media campaign ideas, including Money Black Holes and Money Secrets.
What third-party resources will we use?
We decided to supplement our own content with content from Mint.com, LearnVest, Dave Ramsey, and other entertaining personal finance websites.
When should we post?
Through market research we determined it would be okay to post once or twice every day without running the risk of becoming "annoying" and losing fans.
Who should be responsible for our social media channels?
Developing and executing social media campaigns takes a lot of time and patience. Thus, all SMMC representatives take part in social media tasks.
So far our Fall 2013 social media campaign is very successful. One of our posts was shared on the main University social media channels, which resulted in over 6,000.
We will continue to execute our social media campaign throughout the semester and see what results we achieve, as well as determine how we can improve our social media strategy for next semester.