Sunday, April 19, 2015

Social Media Proposal Project - Stephen Antczak

 The Kennesaw State University Psychology Club needs to revamp its social media plan. As the incoming Vice President for KSU’s Psychology Club, I have decided to regard the club as my client for this social media strategy proposal. Currently, the KSU Psychology Club’s only social media presence is on Facebook. The club has a Facebook Public Group page with 384 members and a Facebook page with 42 “likes.” It does not have a presence on LinkedIn, nor on Twitter.

The Psychology Club represents the students of the Psychology Department at Kennesaw State University, and therefore should have a wider and more active presence on social media.  According to research by Scott W. H. Young and Doralyn Rossmann on the use of social media (specific to using social media in the context of an academic library), the key “Social Media Activity Components” are:

·         Audience focus
·         Goals
·         Values
·         Activity focus
·         Tone & tenor
·         Posting frequency
·         Posting categories
·         Posting personnel

Audience Focus
The target audience is layered. There are the existing Psychology Club members. Among those, there are the active ones and the inactive ones. There are the psychology majors at Kennesaw State University, all of whom can be regarded as potential members. Then, there’s the student body at large, all of those students at Kennesaw State who are majoring in something other than psychology. Additionally, there’s the Psychology Department faculty and staff, some of whom are more engaged with the Psychology Club than others.

Also, beyond Kennesaw State University, there’s the general public (local and nonlocal), which consists in part of high school students, some of whom may have an interest in either majoring in psychology, attending Kennesaw State University, or both. Staff and faculty at these high schools should be considered, as well. Students at other colleges, especially community colleges, who might have an interest in transferring to Kennesaw State University to major in psychology, make up another potential target.

The psychology community, both practicing and in Academia, makes up another potential target. Finally, people who have a general interest in psychology, regardless of their age or profession or location, can be considered part of the potential target population on social media for the Kennesaw State University Psychology Club.

Goals and Values
This is how the Psychology Club defines itself on its own web page: The Psychology Club is a general interest club that engages in community service activities, hosts speakers in a variety of psychology-related areas, and provides opportunities for informal socializing. Membership is open to everyone. The KSU Psychology Club sponsors a variety of activities designed to enhance the learning process, serve the local community, and provide a resource network to those interested in the discipline of psychology.”
This essentially states that some of the goals of the Psychology Club include having an impact on the community beyond just the members of the club, beyond the psychology majors at Kennesaw State University, even beyond the psychology community at large. The club’s social media strategy should reflect that. The primary focus should be on members and psychology majors at Kennesaw State University, but groups beyond that should always be considered.
This also reflects the values of the Psychology Club, which include scholarship, community service, making charitable contributions, and educating interested parties about psychology. These values should be reflected in the club’s social media content.

Activity Focus
Bringing speakers to the university to talk about various aspects of psychology as a discipline and profession, providing scholarships to students, fundraising activities, and sourcing information on relevant opportunities (undergraduate research, internships, jobs) are key activities for the club. Social media usage should be utilized to increase the effectiveness of these activities.

Tome & Tenor, Posting Frequency
The tone and tenor should be welcoming, friendly, and conversational yet grammatically correct with proper spelling. Content should be posted at least once per day, and as needed to promote upcoming events, deadlines to apply for scholarships, etc.

Posting Categories
These should relate to the Psychology Club’s agenda and sub-agendas, as discussed below.

Posting Personnel
There should be one designated social media person. This person will have the primary responsibility to approving all social media content, if not actually generating it all. This person will make sure all content adheres to the standards set forth in the club’s rules for social media usage. Because the Psychology Club is relatively small, it should be relatively easy for all content to pass through a designated social media person. This will help prevent the posting of contradictory messages, unauthorized content, and content with misspellings and grammatical errors.

Having a Facebook page is important, and there should definitely be more than one – having a general Facebook page for “likes” is a good idea, but it needs to be at least as active as the Facebook group. I recommend considering the Facebook group to be the primary online gathering spot for the club, for announcements directed at members, discussions pertinent to club events, etc. The Facebook page should be looked upon as the public facing version of the Facebook group, even though the group is open and not a closed group.

The club should also have a LinkedIn page, which would allow it to connect to people who may not feel comfortable connecting with the club on Facebook, or who wish to keep the connection on a more professional level (such faculty members at other universities or working psychologists). The LinkedIn page could be a great way to connect with potential speakers for club events, as well as to connect with other psychology clubs at other schools, and other organizations of interest.

A Twitter account is also recommended. This can be set up so that tweets are automatically posted in other social media, such as Facebook. Twitter should become the primary platform for announcements, as well as for distributing links to other content online, and commentary. All commentary should be posted according to rules established by the club, and probably by an officer of the club designated to do so. This is another good way to connect with other clubs and organizations, as well as with a wide range of people. It’s also a great way for the club to stay current in terms of news and developments in the field of psychology.

Beyond these primary social media platforms, I recommend that the club consider Instagram and YouTube. Instagram is a photo sharing site, and YouTube is for posting videos. The club can use Instagram to post photos of officers in the club, Psychology Department faculty and staff, members, and scenes from events. It can be linked to the other social media platforms.

YouTube would be a great way for the club to promote itself and psychology in general through the use of video content. This would require more effort, but could pay off with increased interest in the club and its activities.

If the club makes videos for YouTube, they should be well made, meaning they should have decent production values (they should be in focus, and the sound quality should be professional quality). This can be accomplished by joining forces with a video production group at Kennesaw State University. This would be a great way to present videos from speaking events sponsored by the club, as well as original content generated by the club – an example could be “Psychology Minute” wherein a member of the club delivers an interesting factoid about psychology, especially something that pertains to current events. Video interviews with Psychology Department faculty would also be something worth considering.
Social Media Strategy
The Kennesaw State University Psychology Club should have a solid social media strategy in place, with specific tactics spelled out for each platform and situation. Not every situation can be accounted for in advance, so there should be an overall tactic for handling unknown variables. What follows are the key points that the club should adhere to in order to successfully

Designated social media person: This should be someone who has the primary responsibility to approving all social media content, if not actually generating it all. This person will make sure all content adheres to the standards set forth in the club’s rules for social media usage. Because the Psychology Club is relatively small, it should be relatively easy for all content to pass through a designated social media person. This will help prevent the posting of contradictory messages, unauthorized content, and content with misspellings and grammatical errors.
Content should relate to the overall agenda of the club as indicated in the quote from the club’s web site, which should be broken down into sub-agendas such as:

·         fundraising
·         awareness raising
·         promoting interest in the club
·         promoting interest in the psychology major at Kennesaw State University
·         promoting interest in psychology in general
·         providing accurate and potentially useful information about psychology

The sub-agendas can be derived from the club’s purpose or mission statement on its web site, and in consultation with the club’s faculty advisor. All content should adhere to social media best practices, such as keeping it positive, using language that is easy to understand, avoiding grammatical mistakes and typos. Since it is a club that is associated with a university and a scientific discipline, content should be conversational, but slang should be avoided.

Examples of social media content from psychology clubs at other universities are below. The school name has been bolded, and the content has been italicized to differentiate it from the rest of the body of this proposal. Commentary on each example is below the example.

University of Michigan – Dearborn: Just a reminder that today at 5pm in Kochoff A, will be the       second event for Mental Health Week: "Question, Persuade, Refer: Ask A Question, Save A Life". Please note that some professors are offering extra credit for coming to this event. If your professor is offering some extra points as well, make sure to sign-in at the event (there will be a volunteer in charge of writing down the names of students who come for extra credit!)
FREE refreshments provided!

This Facebook post uses a hashtag, which makes it easier for people to follow the conversation about that particular topic. CDC’s Guide to Writing for Social Media recommends tagging (using both the hastag -- # -- and the “at” symbol -- @). Good motivating call to action (mentioning that some professors are offering extra credit for this event).

Texas A&M International University: Our friend and colleague Crystal R. is visiting us from the University at Albany State University of New York, and we are helping her recruit subjects for a research study THIS WEEK! Spanish/English Bilinguals please sign up for her study and you will receive $7 compensation for 30 minutes of your time!
Thank You TAMIU!

This Facebook post delivers information that is of interest to psychology students, but it would have been more effective if it included a hashtag.

Florida Southern College: Dear Psychology club members,
There are still lot's of psychology shirts waiting for pick-up in the psy offices. Also I would like to encourage you all to attend FSC's Fiat Lux Academic Showcase on Friday April 10th in the Christoversen building between 1:30 and 3:30. Many of your fellow psychology majors will presenting their research and would benefit greatly from your support. Refreshments will be provided : ). See the list of presenters and times below...

Friday April 10, 2015
Location: Christoverson Lobby
1:30 to 2:30 pm

Ellen Cuppage - State Mood, Arousal, and Self-Esteem on Implicit Stereotyping of Women
Lauren Dill - Aesthetic Preference, Attention, and Memory in Children with Dyslexia

(A list of a dozen other presenters followed.)

The Facebook post above it long, although the important information about the event is above the “More” link that opens up the post so the rest of the content can be read. Could have been written more succinctly. Also, it has spelling and grammatical errors. Could also have used tagging to make it easier to keep up with any related posts, or connect it to others on Facebook.

Indiana University: Welcome back! Hope everyone had a great spring break! Keep an eye on your email for awesome events this week.

The tweet above is good in that alerts followers to be on the look-out for an email. Could have used a hashtag to make it easier for followers to keep up with further news about the upcoming events, though. It is well under the 140 character limit, which CDC’s Guide to Writing for Social Media recommends in order to allow for retweets that might include brief comments.

Below are links to other social media pages on LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube for psychology clubs at different schools.

California State University – San Bernadino:

Santa Monica College:

Works cited:

Centers for Disease Control. CDC’s Guide to Writing for Social Media, April 2012.

Young, S. W. H. & Rossman, D. “Building Library Community Through Social Media.” Information Technology and Libraries, March 2015.