Click on This: BC Athletics Case Study

bc-football-1000x750A great story from SMC friend, social media expert and CSOM Prof. Jerry Kane was recently published in MIT Sloan Management Review. “The Seven Lessons of BC Football’s Social Media Campaign” highlights the hard work done this year by BC football Coach Steve Addazio, his staff and the BC Athletics Department.

Much has been said about the #BeADude campaign, but as Prof. Kane notes, the results are hard to ignore. “Within one year, the program’s recruiting class jumped to 17th nationally and 4th in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Many new recruits attributed their decisions directly to the #BeADude campaign. What’s more, a campaign that started to attract recruits also began to attract fans and alumni.”

Lessons from this campaign extend beyond athletics: Know your business objectives. Pick the right platforms for your audience. Make social fun. Kane links to this feature by two INSEAD Profs. Quy Huyy and Andrew Shipilov, “The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations,” who study how social can aid in developing goodwill surrounding a brand. They write: “Our finding is that to be successful, internal social media initiatives must focus first and foremost on the development of emotional capital, which we define as the aggregate feelings of goodwill toward a company and the way it operates.”

Underscoring the power of emotional capital when recruiting – be it a wide receiver, a valedictorian or a renowned researcher – is an article by Jim Nolan, President of Southwest College that Denise Ho, Assistant Director of the BC Graduate Student Life recently passed along. “In Higher Education, Social Media is Your Job,” Nolan provides some “tough love” to colleagues and hits on many of the same themes as Kane. Nolan writes: “Business, these days, including the business of higher education, is, thankfully, in an era in which connectivity, developing relationships, leading with authenticity, and offering transparency, are the currencies of the realm. We need to build relationships with our prospects. And relationships no longer begin with a handshake — they begin with a Retweet, a Like, a Share, a Subscribe, a Comment, an interchange in social media.”

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