When Michael Stoner's new book Social Works arrived in the mail, I was anxious to dig in and read. I soon discovered that I would want to revisit this book regularly. What a treasure chest of information.
In case you're not familiar with mStoner, they are a top tier higher education strategic communications company with a wealth of services and a stable of creative people. I've had the opportunity to work with some of them and I am a fan. In addition, principal Michael Stoner partners with Slover Linnet and CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) annually to produce a state of the union report on social media usage in higher education. So this book comes with a lot of pedigree.
The first chapter lays the foundation for what is coming with a road map for successful social media strategy based on the latest data from the social media research mentioned above. Do not skip. Data always answers the question, "Why should we do this?" This book will be valuable to every sector, so don't skip it just because you're not in higher ed.
The book details a collection of case studies put together by the mStoner crew (and friends) on best practices of social media in higher education. You will find every size institution in this book, from Webster in St. Louis to Florida State in Tallahassee. You will find a breadth of operations: advancement, alumni, admissions, responsive website design, short term fund raising campaigns, long term fund raising campaigns, crisis management, and more. Most importantly, you will find creative ideas you can scale and copy.
Higher education institutions are implementing social media in creative and sustaining ways. Everything from gamification to crowd sourcing is covered here. If you can get a grasp on scale, the ideas presented in this book could revolutionize the way you use social media, and produce an acceleration of response and return. That's what happens when you look for the best of the best and show how they did it. And not only that, you get real takeaways you can use.
My favorite case studies: American University's WONK campaign, UW-Madison's #UWRightNow 24-hour photo campaign, Oregon State's Powered By Orange campaign, the fictional alumni battle between Cornell and MIT, and the risky social media announcement and promotion of a new football coach at Vanderbilt. Do I have to stop? There are 25 top notch case studies to get your creative juices flowing.
Get a copy for your communications team, your web team, your marketing people, your alumni team, your admissions folks...just get a bunch and pass them out. And, oh yes, discuss amongst yourselves.