The 2016 homecoming parade at Ohio Northern University that took place on Main Street, Ada was quite successful. Overall, the parade had a healthy number of people in attendance who were all there to celebrate ONU’s homecoming. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in this parade as a member of Delta Zeta.
As we began preparations for this event, I decided to live tweet everything interesting that occurred. My tweets begin with pre-parade setup and waiting time, transition into the procession down Main Street (including Delta Zetas cheering for our sorority in celebration!) and finally, wrap up the live tweet session with a special shout out to our float driver. You can see all of the tweets I am referring to here. If you attended the parade, I hope you enjoyed seeing ONU’s Delta Zeta ladies! If you did not attend, take a look at my Storify that is made up of my homecoming parade tweets!
It was a great experience to be able to live tweet such an awesome event. It made me start to wonder how Ohio Northern University was doing in covering these events, so I took a look at its pages on Twitter and Facebook to see whether or not the people running them were doing well or not. I have to say, I was disappointed in their promotion of ONU’s events. Homecoming weekend is one of the major events that we host here on campus throughout the entire school year, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that there was hardly any promotion of homecoming on the pages. ONU’s Twitter account, @ohionorthern, had only a single tweet mentioning homecoming at all, and it simply stated that it was homecoming week with an attached photo. It did not mention any of the events ONU would be holding, and it didn’t even attach a link to show us where we can find the events. It didn’t even seem like much of a promotional tweet, since it simply stated a fact and did not encourage anyone to participate or engage with the tweet. Our book, "Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016", tells us to use hashtags to help promote a tweet or event, and ONU’s account did not even do that. The book also tells us to tag people that would be interested in your tweet to give you a shot at someone else helping to promote it, but ONU’s account did not do that either.
ONU’s Facebook page was severely lacking as well. The page has a single post from homecoming week, and it has absolutely nothing to do with homecoming—frankly, it has nothing to do with anything. It was a post about how “You can’t help but FALL in love with this campus”, which I suppose promotes the beauty of the school during the fall, but does not encourage engagement. “Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016” tells us that “interactivity is goal #1 for your Facebook posts” as well as to “be emotional” on Facebook. This post didn’t do either of those things, and it didn’t have anything to do with homecoming at all! I was shocked. The book also advises us to use keywords, but the post lacks these as well.
If ONU wants productive social media pages, the account owners will need to step up their game. On Twitter, they should learn how to tag people who might want to retweet them, use hashtags to encourage engagement, and attach links to sites that give more information about the school or event being hosted. On Facebook, they should consider tagging and hashtagging as well, but they should also consider being more emotional and applying key words to grab their audience’s attention. ONU’s athletic Twitter account live tweeted the homecoming football game, which is the only thing that ONU’s Twitter did right as far as homecoming promotion. ONU’s Facebook page didn’t do anything in regards to homecoming promotion, so that is something the account really needs to add next year. If ONU follows these tips, they may be able to have successful accounts.