Thursday, October 13, 2011

Social Media For Business: How Does Your School Rank?

You might think business schools would be the place to go to learn how best to leverage the phenomenon of social media marketing in your favor. Unfortunately, a new report seems to show otherwise.

In fact, according to the top three ranked schools-Stanford, Harvard and MIT-are sorely lacking in social media savvy, at least with regard to their own marketing efforts. In some cases their Facebook page is not being updated regularly, in others they are not making the best use of available tools for marketing their business. It is a shameful state of affairs when you consider four year tuition to these schools costs more than the average U.S. home.

This is not to say that these schools have a curriculum which is lacking, just that they apparently don't have a good grasp of how to use social media to market their programs. This might imply their curriculum is lacking, but it's not possible to draw a direct connection between the two things. Of course, if my auto mechanic drove a car which kept breaking down I might think twice before I took my car to him.

The imperative here is to "practice what you preach." Don't say you are business masters if you cannot grasp the latest business practices. And we aren't talking about the most recent social media marketing tools, either. Facebook pages have been around for years now and there are some fairly obvious "best practices" for making the most of them. It's not rocket science.

Of course if it was rocket science, maybe the folks at MIT would have a better Facebook page.

After another search, we found that Stanford also has a Stanford MBA Program Facebook Page that’s actually fairly active. However, the majority of the posts seem to be similarly formatted program announcements, which get pretty boring after reading the first few. Their “Like” feedback reflects the poorly developed content too.

There have been a couple of cases in which Fans ask questions about upcoming programs, and in response the admin. coldly refer them to web pages; in a way that lacks the ardor and intellectual edge one might expect from a world class operation. The last time they even posted, as of 10/12/11 was last Monday, which is over a week ago! Ideally, Pages should post once or more a day with exciting news and updates–miss a week and everyone assumes you’re out of the game!

It’s also a sad state of affairs to see only 65 fans “talking” on this page too. We’ve seen three times better for local mom-and-pop FB pages who are giving social media marketing a serious effort. The one consolation is that they do have the Page default set to display “everyone’s post,” which indicates some level of desire to be social. As of now they are fairly detached, but perhaps they’ll elevate their efforts in the future. It’s kind of like the student who just turns a test in with only a name scrawled across the top–you hope he or she tries harder next time.

Click here to read more of the review.

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