During Homecoming week, NIU reached 30,000 “likes” on its Facebook page, just one year after it reached the 20,000 mark.
The milestone was reached approximately three months ahead of a the target set by the Communications and Marketing Department within the Division of University Relations.
“Social media has been an emphasis for University Relations. It is an important tool in reaching students, alumni and the NIU community where they live online,” said Kathy Buettner, vice president for University Relations. “While this is a significant milestone, there is still ample room to grow, and that is what is really exciting.”
In just over two years, NIU’s Facebook page likes increased from approximately 7,000 to more than 30,000.
To mark the occasion, the Department of Communications and Marketing launched a photo contest on Facebook encouraging fans to upload photos from Homecoming. The person who submitted the photo with the most votes received an NIU sweatshirt and string backpack.
“We have made tremendous efforts to make the NIU Facebook site engaging, interesting and fun in order to further the university’s student-centered mission and vision,” said Brad Hoey, director of Communications and Marketing. “We’re seeing the fruits of our labor in the online community we are building.”
The NIU Facebook page increases the university’s exposure and allows students to keep up with what’s going on at the university as well as communicate with one another. Additionally, it allows NIU alumni to remain connected with the university and up-to-date with the NIU community.
“The NIU Facebook page allows the university community to engage on many different levels,” said Holly Nicholson, NIU social media specialist. “One of the most popular initiatives is our ‘Tag Yourself, Tag Your Friends’ effort, which has gotten students, alumni and members of the community energized and participating on the site.”
The NIU SmashUp site allows access for all NIU social media feeds in one place. It also contains links to the Facebook pages for specific university departments and areas of interest-.
Additionally, Facebook cover photos and other free downloads are available at www.niu.edu/extras. Users may download these resources to show off their ‘Huskie pride.’
Nicholson invites students, faculty and alumni to participate in NIU’s online community in ways that they feel most comfortable with. She said that the continued engagement allows for a better experience while at NIU and beyond.
If they do that, hitting the next milestone will come that much faster.