Social networking is a phenomenon with which many people are familiar. Facebook and Twitter accounts are not only for college and high school students anymore. Many businesses and organizations employ social networking as a promotional tool. BGSU’s Recreation and Wellness is no exception.
While social networking’s promotional abilities make it useful to an organization, it can be used ineffectively.
“People are not going on social networking sites to be bombarded with advertisements,” said Melissa Rausch, Web and Technology Manager for BGSU Recreation and Wellness. “Promotion techniques need to be creative and unique.”
While overuse of social networking can turn audiences away, neglect is also harmful.
“A common mistake is creating an account, adding a couple photos, and then only updating every month or so,” stated Rausch. “Inactivity never looks good.”
BGSU’s Outdoor Program uses social networking frequently to inform students about upcoming trips.
“Facebook is updated daily,” said Jerome Gabriel, Director of the Outdoor Program. “When a trip comes around it could be multiple times daily. Twitter normally gets one tweet a day.”
When it comes to social networking, Facebook is clearly preferred.
“I use Facebook more,” added Gabriel. “We get at least 25 percent of trip sign-ups through Facebook.”
“Facebook is more effective (than Twitter) because it offers features like photos and video,” stated Rausch when offering her social networking preference. “I think the visual aspects really help.”
Interim Health Educator Caitlin Spontelli of the Wellness Connection does not have a preference for either Facebook or Twitter. The Wellness Connection has a Twitter account, and the Student Wellness Network maintains a Facebook group page.
“Our office uses both networking sites for different purposes,” said Spontelli.
“On Twitter we post health and wellness facts and links to information such as healthy recipes, online workout videos, health and wellness articles, upcoming campus events, and quick tips to stay healthy on campus,” explained Spontelli. “On Facebook the Student Wellness Network has a description of the organization, upcoming events, a peer education presentation list, how to become a peer educator, contact information, photos from recent events, and wall postings from current members.”