Social Media Strategy

1. The Role of Social Media at Hampden-Sydney
The general purpose of social media is to:

  • expand our audience by communicating through a variety of digital media;
  • engage our audience in conversation;
  • allow for residual communication with your audience instead of requiring active participation;
  • offer a distinct voice representative of the individual or organization.

At Hampden-Sydney, the purpose of social media is to:

  • build community by publishing content that is relevant to the Hampden-Sydney brand and its constituents;
  • support a lifetime connection with alumni through active and residual engagement techniques;
  • recruit prospective students by engaging in conversations;
  • inform and educate our constituents on the state of Hampden-Sydney College;
  • give students another medium of conversation with the Hampden-Sydney administration and their fellow students;
  • highlight the accomplishments of Hampden-Sydney faculty, staff and students;
  • support, highlight, and reinforce the Hampden-Sydney brand and the Hampden-Sydney Athletics brand;
  • increase Hampden-Sydney brand awareness among non-constituent audiences.

2. What We Value From Our Audience
The community at H-SC values:

  • active feedback from constituents;
  • conversation, the exchange of ideas, and support from our audience and user generated content such as photos, videos, etc.;
  • content related to the Hampden-Sydney brand that is shared via the methods corresponding to platform in use;
  • the idea that our constituents can be our biggest supporters and promoters;
  • the unique challenges and educational opportunities inherent in non-traditional communication techniques;
  • the innovation and modernization of the Hampden-Sydney brand;
  • the ability to respond quickly to our constituents and the general engagement and involvement of our audience;
  • providing information that is important and relevant to our constituents and audience;
  • call to actions with high click through rates which drive traffic to our other digital presences (i.e. H-SC Website, Alumni Portal, Athletics Site, etc.);
  • a consistent message between all H-SC web presences.

3. Brand Management
When using social media on behalf of H-SC, your channel should reinforce the Hampden-Sydney brand. Consider the following:

  • offer a visual identity standards as stated in the Hampden-Sydney Style Manual may influence badges, icons, profile pics and avatars in use on channels that represent H-SC;
  • most H-SC logos are Registered Trademarks;
  • provide editorial quality that reflects your rhetorical knowledge, including limiting typos, grammatical errors and subpar content. Clarity and correctness in our writing reflect positively on our readers’ perception of the quality of the education we provide;
  • everything you post on social media has the potential to affect Hampden-Sydney’s reputation; enhancing to or detracting from the institutional brand;
  • when reasonable, add @HSC1776, or the respective account for the social media outlet in question, to your tweets or posts to add legitimacy and reinforce your connection with the College’s social media accounts.

4. Content
Content is king. Our social media accounts are communication channels to the extended community. What we post remains our content. By making our photos, text, or links great, we can help ensure a strong future for the College.
Hampden-Sydney’s goals related to content on social media include:

  • increasing the amount of user generated content that is discovered and shared;
  • creating new methods for our audience to interact with us (E.g. quizzes, contests, features, historical pictures, etc.);
  • cross-account promotion of official H-SC social media accounts;
  • increase the use of relevant keywords and hashtags among our constituents;
  • continue to brainstorm and create new innovative ways to use social media.

5. Current Social Media Engagement
Facebook: Currently the Hamdpen-Sydney College Facebook page has 12,500 followers and on average reaches 50,000 people per week via postings on our page. The most engaged and active fans are alumni, parents of alumni, and friends of the College. In addition to these audiences, we also reach many current students. Currently, these students are not as engaged as other audiences (in regards to likes, shares, and comments) and is an area we are focusing on improving. Facebook posts highlight the accomplishments of our current students and alumni, feature interesting tidbits about the history of the College, and share important College related news. The Hampden-Sydney Facebook Page averages 4–7 posts a week.
Twitter: The Hampden-Sydney College official Twitter account has 4,900 followers. Our current students are engaged (via retweets, favorites) on a regular basis and with more consistency than on our Facebook page. In most cases, our tweets are coordinated with Facebook posts, however not all information shared on Twitter is available through our other social media accounts and vice versa.
Twitter is, by nature, instantaneous and can be more current than Facebook. By using Twitter, we aim to deliver news and information in “real time.” Because of this, the College shares content more regularly than it does on other social media platforms.
LinkedIn: The Hampden-Sydney Alumni Relations Office is currently devising a strategy
for how LinkedIn will fit with our existing policies and strategies.

6. Strategy Updates
At Hampden-Sydney we’re committed to on-going improvement of our services in an effort to bring value to our constituents. For this reason, we reserve the right to change this policy at any time without notice. You are responsible for reviewing this Policy from time to time for such changes.

updated September, 2015