Page 15 - Marist Magazine Fall 2012

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Thanks to the foresight of Marist Admission
and Information Technology staff, the @
Marist name was reserved on Twitter and
Facebook before it was clear exactly to what
use the College would put these services.
The official College accounts joined an
already active Marist community, which took
to the social networks, particularly Twitter,
early and enthusiastically. A widely adopted
theme on Twitter is “Follow Friday,” in which
people recommend weekly other Twitter
accounts worth following. Marist put its own
spin on things early on when avid Twitterer
Michael Sterchak ’07 (@MichaelSterchak)
started the #MaristMonday hashtag, with
which students, alumni, and others make a
habit of Tweeting something special about
the College, generating thousands of positive
messages.
The official Marist social media accounts
reside in Admission and are managed in con-
cert with the Office of Public Affairs. As a
result, there is a strong emphasis on exter-
nal audiences. Inevitably, individual clubs,
sports teams, and campus offices have taken
to Twitter and Facebook to get their own
messages out to their respective audiences.
While in keeping with the freewheel-
ing nature of social media, the result was
a sometimes muddled and confusing con-
glomeration of official, semi-official, and
unofficial communications going out under
the Marist name. To address the problem, the
campus-wide Marketing Communication
Group recently conducted an inventory of
all social media accounts associated with the
College and developed a new, unified brand
to tie them all together.
The result is a detail of the “M” from
the Marist College seal. The idea, accord-
ing to Director of Social Media and Online
Initiatives Brian Apfel ’05/’11MS, is to create a
unifying brand for academic schools, depart-
ments, and programs in much the same way
that the Red Fox serves to identify Marist
athletics.
“Many of the world’s great colleges and
universities use a seal or crest to identify
themselves,” Apfel says. “Marist belongs in
this company, and the mark we’ve adopted is
a modern take on a historic Marist symbol.”
The Next Best Thing to Being There
With thousands of members of the Marist
community regularly sharing Marist-
centered messages, photos, and videos with
their vast networks, there now exists a legion
of enthusiastic ambassadors helping to create
and sustain interest inMarist simply by doing
what comes naturally on social media.
But it’s fair to ask, to what end? In addi-
tion to serving as a practical source of infor-
“Prospective students are on these sites trying to get a genuine sense of life at Marist,
and we need to be part of that conversation.”
mation and a means of generating interest in
the College and keeping alumni engaged with
their alma mater, there is increasing evidence
that prospective students and their families
feel that the information they get through
social media, in addition to the College’s Web
site and other traditional communications,
gives them all they need to know to make a
decision on where to attend.
“As we have grown our geographic diver-
sity, we see more and more students making
the decision to enroll in Marist without ever
doing a formal tour and information session,”
says Apfel. “Over the last several years we
have seen a growing number of deposited
students visit campus for the first time dur-
ing Orientation or even Freshman Move-In.”
Many of these students report becoming
interested in Marist online. That’s the power
of social media.
n
Greg Cannon is Marist's chief public affairs
officer.
Marist Social Media by the Numbers
Facebook
More than 11,000 likes
Twitter
More than 5,700 followers
YouTube
More than 101,000 video views
Fox Tales Blog
More than 84,000 views
Pinterest
More than 540 pins
Flickr
More than 1,300 photos
LinkedIn
More than 5,200 members
Marist.edu/socialmedia
More than 500 view per month
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