Category Archives: Twitter

A new #BCEagles look on Twitter

TwitterSwitch

Beginning Friday, July 1, Boston College Athletics – as well as the football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey teams – will have a new look on Twitter.

Starting at noon on Friday, all four accounts will get new handles for their official Twitter streams:

  • BC Athletics will now be @BCEagles (previously: @BCSportsNews)
  • Football will now be @BCFootball (previously: @BCFootballNews)
  • Men’s basketball will now be @BCMBB (previously: @BCHoopNews)
  • Men’s hockey will now be @BCHockey (previously: @BCHockeyNews)

Fans already following the accounts won’t have to do anything to keep receiving the latest news from The Heights automatically – the posts from these four accounts will continue to appear in their feeds.

However, going forward, in order to tag, mention or message these four accounts, fans will need to use the new account names.

“From the Athletic Department’s point of view, the new @BCEagles Twitter name – plus the three new team usernames – better aligns with our brand and who we are,” Senior Associate Athletics Director JM Caparro said. “For our fans, Twitter has become more than just a means to spread news. It’s about engaging and coming together as a community, and showcasing and sharing the many great stories happening both on and off the field, ice and court.”

First launched in August 2009, @BCSportsNews served as the department’s official Twitter feed, bringing news from all 31 sports to fans. Beginning in 2011, individual teams started adding accounts – including football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey.

Originally, the department’s Twitter accounts were used to broadcast news – which is why these four accounts all had “News” in the name. These were the official Twitter homes for all the news you needed about BC Athletics.

As the medium changed and adapted to its users, however, Twitter morphed into a true social, conversational platform. The department’s account names became outdated as conversations flourished and Eagles fans created a community online.

So, as of Friday, July 1, we’re updating the accounts to better represent the communities that our fans have helped create over the last seven years. It’s no longer about the news, but rather the school, the sports and the BC Eagles.

Read more on the BC Athletics website.

Click on This: #BCSummer

BC Summer in the sand

A few weeks of #BCSummer remain (27 days until students return!) and your school or department’s social editorial calendar is looking…bare. What do you do?

Inspiration is here in the form of University accounts that have been going strong with fresh content throughout the summer:

BC Bookmarks is a blog and Twitter account continually producing interesting, new material promoting all things literary at BC. The posts on faculty, staff, student and alumni publications fuel the Boston College Books Pinterest page. Offered by the Office of News & Public Affairs, the blog is great resource for publications, events and awards.

Although on hiatus until September, the John J. Burns Library Blog continues to be a phenomenal resource for historical information. A great, evergreen post from this week, “Where is Chestnut Hill, Anyway?” was done by Anna Whitham, Conservation Assistant at the library.

BC Social Work in Italy is a pictorial story on the BC Graduate School of Social Work‘s social media accounts. Students of Prof. Westy Egmont traveled to Italy this summer to study the response to increasing immigration from Syria and North Africa. An interesting topic and interesting student photos gives perspective into this unique program.

#EagletoWatchBoston College Alumni produced this new series of posts every Wednesday. Featuring young alumni “doing great things,” this is an example of scheduling themed content. (What is themed content? Think #TBT.)

Everyone is hungry for great photos. Two options to keep on your radar: Boston College Flickr – which is quickly approaching 1 million views — has select photos that were published in the Boston College Chronicle from 2010 to present day; and the recently launched OMC Stock Photo – a catalogue of select photos from the Office of Marketing Communication staff photographers.

Finally, BC Athletics has been building excitement around football season with a #KickoffCountdown, illustrated with a series of player graphics. This, along with the College Colors competition should get Superfans pumped for the upcoming sports year.

What is your favorite resource for summer content?

Later this month we will be featuring new social accounts at Boston College. If you know of a new social account to be added to the University social directory, email social@bc.edu.

Click on This: Changes to Facebook & Twitter

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 4.17.12 PM
Big changes have come to Twitter and Facebook. Both platforms have (or soon will) launch redesigns for profiles and pages that will force users to revisit how they represent themselves to fans and followers.

Don’t panic.

First, a bit of background. To read all about the specific changes to Twitter, click here. Facebook’s changes are outlined here. Next, make sure your profile photos follow the new size requirements. According to Twitter, that means profile pics should measure 400 x 400 pixels; Cover photos are 1500 x 500 pixels. On Facebook, profile pictures should measure 180 x 180 pixels, cover photos 851 x 315 pixels.

Both platforms seem to be morphing to a similar profile appearance and placing even greater value on compelling content: photos, videos and engaging posts. Simply stated, those who produce interesting, share-able content will get preference. Some ways to do this? Mashable’s Lauren Drell explains:

“Facebook research has shown that posts between 100 and 250 characters — one or two lines of text — get 60% more Likes, comments and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters. Buddy Media research found a similar trend, determining that posts with 80 characters or less in length have 27% higher engagement rates. The moral? Like content on Twitter, keep it short and sweet. Of course, your post should be different than your content on Twitter, or else your fans don’t have a reason to follow you on both platforms.”

Be mindful of two additional changes: users now have the ability to “mute” noisy feed cloggers on Twitter and Facebook has slashed organic post reach over the past few months. (For more on that, here’s a response from Facebook’s Brian Boland.)

Panicked yet?

The challenge is to continue to think visually and be social. You simply can not succeed on these platforms with occasional status update and link pushing. These changes give us all an opportunity to freshen up, rethink how to promote important content and evaluate if all the channels are needed in our strategic communication plans.

Throughout the summer we’ll be sharing some tips and resources here. Also, remember that one of our greatest assets is the established network of social media administrators at BC. Tagging, liking and sharing one another’s content has become more than simply boosting engagement or encouraging colleagues, it is now a vital strategic action.

What have you done in response to the changes on Twitter and Facebook?

Social Spotlight: BC Rec’s Spring Break Contest

The time immediately before and during spring break can be a tough time to populate social media channels with original content. Megan Burkes is behind Boston College Campus Recreation‘s campaign to engage students while they are away from campus and agreed to share a guest post on #BCSpringBreak:

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 12.25.59 PMWe have a lot of fun with our Spring Break Photo Contest each year: It gives us a peek at some of our students’ fun adventures while providing fresh content, new followers and increased interactions during a time when our social media pages tend to be pretty quiet thanks to midterms.

Each year, we order a few hundred bright, fun t-shirts with our logo on the front and links to our social media channels on the back and pick a day to hand them out to students at the Plex. Along with the free shirts, students are given a handout with the simple contest rules and are encouraged to bring their shirt along on Spring Break and submit a picture wearing it for a chance to win an Under Armour backpack full of BC Rec and Under Armour gear. We decided to choose two winners: One would be chosen via a random drawing and the other would be the picture with the most interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

We see it as a win-win, because even if the majority of the students do not post photos, they are still wearing our shirts and advertising both BC Rec and our social media channels. We love spotting them in the gym, on campus and around the community. The photos that we do get are usually a lot of fun: we’ve had pics posted from service trips, scuba diving, roller coasters, ski trips, reenacting famous photos, posing with celebrities, dressing up dogs, posing with monkeys and more.

This year, our photo contest generated 2,313 interactions over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winning photo had 476 interactions alone! We saw a steady stream of new followers on all of our channels and both our total reach and number of interactions jumped exponentially. To be honest, we underestimated the calculation we would have to do to find our winner, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the creativity many of the photos displayed.

We have also enjoyed seeing the shift in preferred social media channels; when we started this two years ago, it was entirely on Facebook. Last year, many submissions came through Twitter and this year, the original submissions were almost all posted via Instagram.

— Megan Burkes, Manager of Marketing and Communications at BC Rec

Twitter and LinkedIn Breakout Sessions

Happy New Year, SMC-ers!

Photo Credit: ebook-selfpublish.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: ebook-selfpublish.blogspot.com

As your calendars are quickly filling up for the upcoming semester, please consider the two breakout sessions that we’re offering for Council members in upcoming weeks. By popular demand, Twitter and LinkedIn will be our focus. These sessions are designed to be short, one-hour courses to help those starting or maintaining accounts on behalf of the University. Should you attend? Read on.

Twitter for Business 101: Are you new to Twitter? Are you on Twitter personally, but nervous about representing your school or department? This session is designed to have our News & Public Affairs team provide an overview of the platform, explain the differences between personal vs. brand accounts, review University guidelines and share basic strategies about how to engage with followers. (This session is ideal for users who are thinking about Twitter or recently created an account.) Scheduled: Friday, Feb. 14, 10:30 in Stokes Hall N203 Conference Room. Space is limited, so please email social@bc.edu to reserve a seat.

LinkedIn 101: LinkedIn has become the social site for professional networking. Are you putting your best professional foot forward? LinkedIn expert Kelly Alice Robinson from the Boston College Career Center will explain how to get the most from this platform. (This session is ideal for users who are interested in creating or enhancing a LinkedIn group or personal account.) Scheduled: Monday, Feb. 24, 2:30 in Stokes Hall N203 Conference Room. Space is limited, so please email social@bc.edu to reserve a seat.

12/4 SMC Review: Closer Look at SEO

Google. It has not only changed the way people search for information, it has altered memory and the way our brains function. (No, really.)

Search engines – with Google in particular – have become the gateway to the internet. They are a de facto virtual editor – separating trusted information from spam and ordering results. For brands, the top search returns are prime real estate. At the Dec. 4 Social Media Council, University Advancement Social Media Manager Stephanie St. Martin walked us through SEO, search engine optimization, and explained why it matters both for web and social media administrators.

“How many of you go to page two of Google?” Stephanie asked. The response: chuckles and a few scattered hands. Her question made the point – “page one” matters and being aware of your school, department or center’s natural search returns matter.

Among the topics covered, Stephanie explained several shortcuts to fine tune search results, introduced us to Google Trends and explained how specific keywords can be helpful when creating bc.edu webpages. Driving traffic to those pages – through sharing or engaging on social media – improve search returns for the web and social channels. (To see the full presentation, click here SEO.)

Jim O’Neill, ITS Web Technology Group Senior Web Administrator, was up next to show just how to implement some of Stephanie’s tips when publishing content. Jim’s advice included: fill out all fields – title is the most important, but also keywords and description play a role in search engine rankings. Being mindful about length, writing for the web and taking advantage of photography and video content were all among Jim’s to recommendations.

Stepping into the Social Spotlight, Sgt. Jeff Postell explained how Boston College Police have found success, not only on Facebook, but on their new account on Twitter. Sgt. Postell said a mix of humor, dealing with negative interactions head-on, responsiveness and engagement with other brands has helped make BCPD leaders among campus law enforcement departments on social media in the country. (To see a great example of BCPD in action, check out their newest video. Love.It.)

Sharing the spotlight was Remy Hassett ’14 who explained how Boston College History Department found early success on Facebook and Twitter. Both accounts are just a few months old, but have gained hundreds of followers by making history accessible. Remy explained how undergraduate student, graduate student and faculty talent are all used to manage these sites. She credits a candid discussion with administrators – both of the page and the department – with getting everyone on the same page prior to launch. Using the hashtag #TDIH, combined with a unique voice, that manages to be both academic and youthful, are some ways this accounts delivers for many audiences.  

Two ongoing campaigns of note: #Andre44Heisman is going strong and BC Athletics has asked that we all support Andre’s Heisman campaign through the hashtag when possible. For those interested, Boston College Instagram is using the hashtag #ChristmasOnTheHeights throughout this month. If you would like your photos regramed use it!

Thanks for your attendance this year, SMC-ers! Please vote on topics you’d like to see in the upcoming semester below. If you don’t see a topic you are interested in, please enter it in the space provided.

SMC Preview: 12/4

"In case your invitation was lost in the mail, SEO and Social Media are getting hitched. The search engine gods have brought this power couple together, with Google itself confirming that social signals directly influence search results." Credit: http://onlinebusiness.volusion.com/

“In case your invitation was lost in the mail, SEO and Social Media are getting hitched. The search engine gods have brought this power couple together, with Google itself confirming that social signals directly influence search results.” Credit: http://onlinebusiness.volusion.com/

So you want more fans or followers. How will they find you? Chances are, they’ll start with Google.

Before you leave campus for a well-deserved Thanksgiving break, mark your calendar for the next Social Media Council – Dec. 4, 2 p.m. in McGuinn 334 – where we will tackle SEO (search engine optimization) and social media. Increasingly, it has become important for social media managers to understand the relationship between the two. University Advancement Social Media Manager Stephanie St. Martin will help explain SEO and how we can use some basic strategies to improve search placement for our web and social pages.

After Stephanie explains SEO 101, a representative from BC ITS Web Technology Group will put the idea into practice. Many Social Media Council members are, often times, a department or school’s de facto web administrator. Our partners from ITS will hold a mini training session to explain how to execute the strategy discussed. (For overachievers in the group, ITS’ Jim O’Neill shared these resources on this topic: Google’s SEO Starter Guide and SEO Best Practices. Also helpful: Beginner’s Guide to Integration.)

Happy Thanksgiving! (Photo credit: http://toddmpost.wordpress.com/)

Happy Thanksgiving! (Photo credit: http://toddmpost.wordpress.com/)

Stepping into the “Social Spotlight” are two departments that started very interesting accounts this semester. Boston College Police Department and the History Department have each managed to find a unique voice that resulted in hundreds of new followers in just a few short months. Sgt. Jeff Postell will talk about how BCPD started on Twitter and Carolyn Twomey and Remy Hassett ’14 will discuss the success of BC’s History Department on Facebook and Twitter.

As always, we will leave time for individuals to share their struggles, successes and upcoming campaigns to increase awareness of social initiatives.  (Please be sure to RSVP to social@bc.edu so we can ensure everyone has a seat at our very popular meetings!)

To all of our members, may you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!