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Social media successes

The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) uses a number of digital tools in pursuing its grant goal of disseminating and sharing resources and best practices. Because spring is always “reporting season,” the CTC staff has been looking back at 2022 activities and events. That work includes an in-depth exploration of online and social media traffic. Below are some strategies the CTC employ to maximize its outreach online.

Stock photo of a hand holding a smartphone that's displaying a number of social media app icons on the home screen.

* Re-send your monthly newsletter. Prior to 2021, the National CTC sent out a monthly newsletter only once. In 2020, the average unique clicks across ten issues was 29.2 with an average open of 19%. Once the National CTC started re-sending the newsletter to those who didn’t open it the first time, however, those numbers jumped. Specifically, the CTC now sends out newsletters on the first Friday afternoon of the month, then re-sends it on the following Thursday morning to those who didn’t open it on Friday. This is a simple task in MaiChimp.  And so, in 2022, the average unique clicks across eleven issues was 894.2 with an average open of 24%. Persistence pays off. (That said, in addition to re-sending the newsletter, note also that the format was adjusted in 2021 to focus more on specific calls to action. Each newsletter item now has a link, which may further explain the boost in click engagements.) If you want to sign up for the CTC’s newsletter, click here.

* Social media posts about students are very popular. The National CTC has long tried to showcase IT students and recent graduates through both short Q&A interviews and testimonial videos on YouTube. Those are then promoted across the CTC’s social media platforms. Posts featuring students often do well, especially when the student’s home school helps share and forward it along. The Facebook post with the widest reach in 2022 featured a blog interview with Cleveland Community College student Mathew George. That post reached 1951 users. The most popular tweet in 2022 was a video interview with Collin College student Amy Tong. That tweet earned 791 impressions, 22 engagements, and 4 retweets. (Note that the biggest tweet in 2021 also featured a Collin College student interview and earned 841 impressions.)

* Twitter has a farther reach than Facebook. With few exceptions, every post from the National CTC goes up on Twitter, Facebook, and (starting in 2022), LinkedIn. For the National CTC, Twitter tends to make a bigger splash. Looking just at impressions, in 2021-2022 the CTC’s Facebook posts reached 11,590 users while Twitter posts during the same period reached 29,684 users. Interestingly, despite that difference in impressions, Facebook engagement trends higher. From 2021-2022, those 346 Facebook posts attracted 861 engagements (likes, shares, comments) while the 419 Twitter posts only attracted 658.

* Schedule webinars to repurpose as YouTube videos to expand reach. Once the National CTC started making an intentional effort to program and host webinars with primary intent of creating new content for YouTube, total watch time jumped considerably. Prior to this, most YouTube clips were recordings of conference presentations and student testimonials. The actual number of posted videos decreased from 2019 (45 videos) to 2022 (33 videos), but the watch time increased from 85.9 hours to 130.1 in 2022 as the content improved with videos like the popular 30-minute “Brown Bag” webinars and interviews with BILT members and IT faculty created expressly for YouTube.

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