23: Belmont University’s Student Social Media Street Team w/ Lougan Bishop

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Lougan Bishop, Web and Digital Media Manager at Belmont University, discusses how to leverage students to build social media street teams and add authentic voices to your enrollment communications.

When other students see the talent thatis on the BOLIVARD team. That attracts the kinds of students that we want, the really creative, really motivated, really energized students. You're listening toenrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher educationleaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking forfresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to theright place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university.I'm Eric Olson, AVP of marketing at Helix Education, and we're heretoday with Logan Bishop, Web and digital media manager at Belmont University and cohostof the highered social podcast. Logan, welcome to the show. Thanks,it's great being here. We're going to have a great conversation today about howto leverage students to build up Social Media...

Street teams at your institution. Butbefore we get too deep into that, Logan, can you get the listenersa little bit better understanding of both Belmont University and your role there? SoBelmont University is located in Nashville, Tennessee. We are a mid sized Christian Universityof about eight thousand eighty students, though that seems like it really iseight thousand and eighty. So that's anyway. We didn't make it up. Belmontis, as I said, a Christian institution the kind of mixed liberal, arts and professional education. So we're we're kind of a hybrid as faras schools go. We're a teaching university. So not a lot of research happensat Belmont beyond what students do. We do a lot of student researchand things like that, but it's a great institution where in a great city. And what I do of Almont? I'm the Web and digital media manager, as you mentioned, so I lead our social media and web teams andkind of work with digital strategy. Also...

...in charge of video at Balmont.So do a little bit of everything. Look, and I'm really excited aboutthis conversation today, when people hear the phrase street team, they might instantlygo to gorilla or grassroots marketing, musicians asking their fans to promote their concerts. What does it mean to be a part of your boulevard team? Verynice alliteration, by the way, at Belmont University. So the Bolivard teamis a little bit of everything. They help us do many things at Belmont, especially around our social media and video the Bolivard team is a street team, so they do help us with guerrilla marketing to some extent, but forthe most part they help us generate content for our social media accounts. Now, as I mentioned, I'm the web in digital media manager. I doa whole lot of stuff and it's over the years gotten harder and harder forme to really help plan and implement social media campaigns. So the Bolivard teamreally helps implement the kinds of crazy, wacky ideas that I have and theyalso have their own kind of ideas and...

...such that we implement. It reallyadds a student voice to the things we do. So these are communication specificand communication heavy roles that require students with hustle, students with social media andvideo skills, students who authentically enjoyed being at Belmont and sharing their Belmont experience. How do you find these students? So we have a multitier process offinding students. Now, number one, we have facebook groups. As studentsare coming in, the Bolivard team actually helps monitor and moderate those. Sowe have an extra touch point right there. Where students that are coming to Belmontfind out about the Bolivard team because they are interacting with those students inthe facebook groups. Second we also have our admitted student kind of yield eventthat we have in the spring semester, which is actually coming up this inthe next couple of months, called be Belmont Day, and our students actuallyrun a footo booth there and that's giving an in person touch point with thestudents that are coming to Belmont. And...

...then during our student activities fair,we have a a kind of booth there with the other student organizations to helprecruit students. And then finally, with every post that students make or studentsgenerate content that they generate, we give them credit in the in the postthat they do. So if they do a great video or they take agreat photo gallery of photos that we post on Facebook, we give them creditfor that and we find that the students see the level of talent that wehave on the Bolivard team and that makes them want to be a part ofit. So we're not just recruiting students that are coming to Belmont or arejust came to Balmont. We're also recruiting those current students as well. Ilove it. I love it. Logan. Many institutions have formal paid student internshipprograms. Some institutions find alternative ways to keep students excited and motivated,like you mentioned. How does it work? Explicitly with Your Street team? Well, with the bull of our team.

I found that then being able todo work that's beyond things that are in their major and get experience tendsto be motivation enough. And and not just that, but I also doa lot of mentoring with our students. It originally did not start out methinking that I would become a mentor, but, as I found helping themwith internships, helping them with getting letters of reference, all of these kindsof things has been really helpful. But what I've really done is I've reallytried to find students that are incredibly motivated that want to do the work.Now I do have students that are on the Boll of our team that arestudent workers, but their scope goes well beyond what the Bolivard team does.They help us more with marketing and web and and stuff like that, sothey get some experience that way and those are paid. But the BOLIVARD teamitself is volunteer. So I found and it's been very interesting. I havevery good retention. I think most of...

...the Bolivard team has usually stays ontill they graduate, which is interesting, and I kind of built the modelafter our brewer recruiters, which are, you know, our student recruiter volunteersthat help out during previous days and and give tours and all that kind offun stuff. I love it. I think it's a hey, it's impressivebe I think it's really exciting for folks who love the idea of having astreet team but don't know how to find the budget for it. So helpingus understand that you can find folks that are just motivated put the work itselfis super exciting. I really love the structure that you've developed for your studentstreet team. Talk about the four pods that you've assembled and how that organizationalstructure works. So the BULIVARD team the first few years did not have astructure and I found that to be very problematic. It was very disorganized.So we really thought about the things that our students do and the campaigns thatthe students have come up with. So that's kind of how we structured ourpods. So number one, we have...

...music pod. Music pod runs ourmusic Monday campaign, which we have every Monday. We promote student music.Now, at the beginning of each semester, fall, Spring and summer, wegenerate a playlist where students, it's actually submit their music and then weadd it to this big long playlist of about fifty or sixty songs and fromthat playlist we choose the best of the best, so the best music,and then we also create playlists too that we also share at during special timesof the year, like finals or such like. You know, music tostudy by those kinds of things. The next pot that we have as thevideo pod, and it actually is exactly what it sounds like. Those studentsmake video and we call them hype videos, and they make them for special eventslike moving day or the first basketball game or things like that. Sothe next the next group is story pod. Story pod handles our takeover Thursdays andour instagram accounts. So generate the photos and they help find students aroundcampus that can take over our our instagram...

...account on Thursdays, which we doquite well, I think. And finally, we have planning pod, and planningpod is what takes the ideas from the other three pods and puts themtogether into a coherent weekly social media plan and they work with the students acrossthe Bolivard team to to really come up with the events that we're going tocover and the different songs that we're going to do a music Monday and thestudents that we're going to do on takeover Thursday, and they just really helpour team, which is the University Marketing Public Relations Team, really put itall together, along with university news stories and all that kind of stuff,to have our social media plan for the week. I really, really likethat structure and our students exclusive to one single pod. They are not sobloard. Team members can be in up to two pots and each pod hasa leader that works with the other students on the pod to really generate whatwe're going to do. I love it.

Logan where you getting the most valueout of this street team today, where it's not just nice to haveprojects, but where they're doing mission critical, high value communications work for you?Well, the really have I stuff comes from two big things, andthat is helping give a voice to Belmont social media. I mean that's whatthey really do they really give us that authentic voice, and I hate buzzwords like that, but they really do. They really give us things that studentsare interested in and they keep me under control, which is which isinteresting because you know, I think about, Oh, let's make this particular kindof joke and they're like, I don't get it, and it keepsme from really embarrassing myself and the university in that sense. But they alsohelp, especially when it comes to admissions. They help in those facebook groups.They really help keep students interested in Belmont. They help form that communitythat's so important so critical, especially when...

...it comes to yielding those students,because the students in the facebook groups are admitted students and we want them topay their enrollment deposit and they the Bolivard team really shows them what it's reallylike to be a student in Belmont and I think that's incredibly important. Lookingone of the tough aspects about working with student talent is is that they inevitablygraduate. How do you make sure that you retain the knowledge that's being builtby your current team moving forward, and how do you create that conveyor beltof talent to continually attract and train new students. Well, I like tosay the conveyor belt of talent is something that the students kind of generate,as I mentioned before. You know, when other students see the talent thatis on the Boulov our team, that attracts the kinds of students that wewant, the really creative, really motivated, really energized students, and the leadershipstructure that we set up in the pods is really meant to help bringout those those talents. Wants those two...

...that raw talent of the new studentsthat joined the group and then foster it so that they can become the nextleaders of the team. and and it just keeps feeding on itself time andtime again, and that that knowledge retention is, of course, kept withme. But when you have students that stay on the team for, youknow, two, three years, even four years at a time, you'reable to keep those students and you can put them into leadership positions and thenthey can they can help mentor those students that are coming up and and itreally is a conveyor about it really self perpetuates, which is actually a surpriseto me. I did not expect that to happen, but I think everyyear the team just feels like it gets better and better and better, andthat's a little bit because, you know, because we have the pods structured asthey are, they're really based off of specific campaigny things that we're doing. That doesn't mean that we can't create new pods for different things that we'redoing later or and we can dissolve pods that no longer work, and wehave. We have done that and we have experience, experimented, tried newthings, and I think that's what continues...

...to drive us forward and what actuallykeep students interested. Logan is such a good model that you've set there atBelmont. Any final advice for listeners who love the idea of having a streetteam and and aren't sure what to do to take that next step their institution? So, as far as advice that I have, never be afraid toexperiment. The BOLIVARD team itself was an experiment and we started out with onesingle event. I wanted to show my leadership that was above me that wecould use students to create something awesome, and so for an event that wehad, you know, four or five years ago, we employed to studentsto help us, you know, come up with ideas and get their inputto do things and from that I was able to create the Bulov our team. And you know, when you start out with your team, try tofind the most really engaged student leaders around...

...campus. Now they're going to bebusy and it's going to be hard to keep them engaged, especially considering theywill probably graduate soon because they're going to be a classman. But if youget those high talent, high quality, high motivated students, you can getthat conveyor belt, as we mentioned previously, started and you can start getting thoseyounger students as they're coming into the university, or underclassman students, youknow, freshman, sophomores and and they will stay on the team if youkeep them engaged and you know, you can really start this this talent thinggoing. Logan, you are the best. What is a good place for listenersto can with you they have any follow up questions? So folks canreach me on twitter. My name is Logan with a you, so it'sLou Ga N. that's my twitter, that's my facebook, that's my linkedin. It's great having a weird name. or they can email me at Loganat GMAILCOM, because I got my first...

...name at gmailcom and that's pretty awesome. Well done, awesome. Thanks against so much for joining us today,Logan and sharing such great stuff. No problem. Thanks for having me.Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations datadriven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrivein this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition oftheir enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solvetoday's most pressing enrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom.Slash playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. Toensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the shown itunes or yourfavorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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