Since I arrived at Boston College last Fall 2017, every moment has been zero to 360. From networking to internship fairs, classes to MBA clubs, there’s barely enough time to fit in everything you aspire to do.
We are required to complete 20 hours of community service in the full-time MBA program. I wanted to make sure my volunteer hours counted toward something meaningful. As the proposed list of options became available, the first thing that caught my attention was the MBA 5K Run Club. Every spring, the club hosts a 5k run that raises money for a specific charity of choice. There are unlimited running spots and around twenty to thirty volunteers each year. It falls a few weekends before the Boston Marathon to get people in the running spirits and feel that they are involved in a good cause and part of the running community in Boston.
Since I joined the club, we hold monthly meetings that consist of selecting the race date, picking the charity, and organizing the operations and sponsors. The biggest challenge is marketing and promoting the event to the entire Boston College community, both graduates and under-graduates. The common goal for each race is to connect all years to come together and unify as a collective university, promoting school spirit and charitable giving. My main responsibility is working with Marathon Sports on brand partnership, t-shirt design, and marketing, and linking our information together on all social media websites. This year we have selected the following sponsors who will be either giving away discounts, t-shirts and swag for the top runner finalists.
Our charity finalist is an organization called YES, also known as Youth Enrichment Services. YES is a private, non-profit organization that provides affordable and impactful sports-based youth development and leadership programming for Boston children and teens. YES believes deeply in the transformative power of engaging youth in active outdoor activities. Its mission is to inspire and challenge youth with physical and mental activities that foster lifelong respect for self, others and the environment.
I thought to kick off this week’s posting, it would be favorable to share with you my involvement with this Boston College Club and let you know the ways in which we will use social media to drive awareness, registration numbers, participants, and volunteers.
We have created both a Facebook event page and landing page that you can access here – https://bcmba5k.weebly.com. The race date is Saturday, April 6th, 2019. There will be more updates to come. Stay tuned for the Facebook event page as we are sprucing it up and working with our designers to perfect the logo.
Our partnership with Marathon Sports includes a mention in their Road Race Monthly newsletter that reaches approximately 130k users, inclusion in regional road race listings on marathonsports.com, Facebook posts from Marathon Sports location closest to the race location, a Facebook event listing co-hosting with 14k followers, Instagram posts @marathonsports with over 8k followers and multiple tweets from @marathon_sports with over 9k followers. This partnership covers all social media angles and has more fans and followers than our Boston College 5K MBA page.
But let’s dive in further. Is there any way to continue to maximize our exposure? What is the right path to take full advantage of promoting a school race? Are there other methods and techniques to involve students on campus and get them to sign up? I know Facebook Event Groups, Twitter, Instagram and even marketing emails can help promote and build attraction and sign-up for student races. Those are staple social moves.
My sense is to focus exclusively on breaking down these social media channels and take full advantage of them. Here is a list of top twelve things that go outside of the box of just regular postings to get users more engaged and grow the awareness among the target we want to hit.
- Add social media icons to e-mail signatures
- Promote links on different school landing pages at the top
- Traditional marketing and advertising – use poster boards in front of classrooms
- Send posters to local businesses and the sponsors that are backing the event
- Encourage students in classes and professors to spread the news
- Ask current followers to share page – sponsors, charity, partners
- Go old school – use campus television stations or radio stations for self-promotion
- Make sure to use customized hashtags on all digital promotions
- Send out a newsletter – make sure to promote the idea that up-to-date information is always available on social media channels
- Have a contest. Those who comment and share the post get entered in for a gift card. People love winning
- Upload personal videos from last year’s race and place on YouTube channels to share on the Boston College channel
- Content is King – make sure quality graphics and videos are shown
Have any other suggestions? Please be my guest and share away! This list is a start to other ways to promote and I personally want to see what you all think!