One of my main assignments as a content strategist for FIU, as previously mentioned, was taking steps towards creating social media channels that were exclusively for the graduate school of business.
FIU’s College of Business is separated into two schools: the Landon Undergraduate School of Business and the Chapman Graduate School of Business. Most of the marketing that is done for these schools just comes from one unified entity known as “FIU Business.”
Unfortunately, most of the information and content on the FIU Business Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn does not come from our graduate office nor does it need our approval. Although we manage our paid ads through these accounts, we don’t manage or produce any of the organic content.
We wanted to create and disseminate information that resonated with our own alumni and prospective students who were a bit older than the audience of the current accounts. We wanted content exclusively for actual business professionals – specifically those interested in pursuing graduate education.
Our team was already creating tons of new content and had no way of sharing it other than word-of-mouth. Oftentimes, we tried posting about our own content, announcements, and events but found it too difficult to reach out to the appropriate parties or to get a response. Our social media goals simply did not align with the current ones and therefore we took steps in “consciously uncoupling” (kudos to those who understood the reference, we’d get along in person).
Step 1: Research and Planning
Reviewing Our Current Presence on YouTube
Since we were already working from a centralized YouTube account for the College of Business, namely FIU Business, we reviewed the presence we had there:
- How many subscribers did we have?
- What type of branding was done?
- What was the tone?
- What was the format of the channel?
- What were the comments like?
- How was it managed?
- Which content were students engaging with?
We also did this with the main FIU account. From there, we moved on to competitors.
Reviewing Competitors on YouTube
Very rarely are undergraduate and graduate schools separated, but we were able to still compare schools of business and some graduate schools of business to see how they were utilizing the platform.
We asked the same questions we did when reviewing our own channels.
Preparing a List of Best Practices
The next step was writing out everything I wanted for our own channel after having seen what worked and what didn’t work for other channels:
- Type of profile picture
- Name of the channel
- The design of the banner
- The customized URL
- The layout or display of videos
- The types of videos to produce in the future
It was important for me to help the graduate school differentiate itself from the FIU Business account in the look and feel of the channel – including video content.
Preparing a List of Current Hurdles
The task of separating accounts was not going to come easily. For one, we had to show an inevitable need for separation to the dean of the college. Once we got approved, we needed to:
- Decide what would happen to our videos already published on the existing channel
- Figure out how to link our ads to the new page and give access to staff
- How were we going to inform students of the channel’s presence?
- Learn how to create, manage, and optimize our YouTube channel with no Social Media Coordinator on our team
Although we all had some knowledge of managing a channel, it was the blind leading the blind.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, where I’ll uncover everything I learned about creating and optimizing our new YouTube channel and as a team took steps to tackle each hurdle.