Case Study: How Johns Hopkins Recruits Using Social Media

Johns Hopkins University: They use social media to enable their current students to market the school to potential students. They aren’t using it for admissions. Instead, they are using it to introduce people to the University by showing them what it’s like to go to school there.

Tools used: They have a website called Hopkins Interactive, which is their social media portal managed by faculty but run by students. In their portal, they have a news bulletin, a list of Twitter accounts, including @JHU_Admissions, as well as accounts for their six student tweeters who are posting every day. They also have student run blogs with twenty students actively participating by posting once every two weeks. They get to write about whatever they want. Johns Hopkins synchronizes content so that it gets the most visibility on several platforms at once. They have students asking and answering questions on their message board. They have students film YouTube videos where they explain what it’s like to go to school there. Other tools they use include Google+, Facebook and Flickr.

Results: They’ve had 5,000 students post on their message board. They are averaging 8,000 visitors per month on their interactive site, with 15,000 page views. Their applications have doubled in nine years, from 10,000 to 20,000, in part by their social media usage.

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Personal Branding in the Workplace

Recently, I was interviewed by The Daily Beast about a new lawsuit that threatens the use of social media in the workplace. Employees should be able to build their personal branding using social media tools and not be obligated to hand over their profiles when they depart. In this case, Noah Kravitz, an employee at in a social media role was sued $340,000 ($2.50 per each of his 17,000 followers per month) by his company after departing. There was no written agreement but supposedly there was a verbal one.

The only issue I find with this case is that Noah had the name “@Phonedog_Noah,” which means that he was obviously using his account on his company’s behalf and his company’s name was helping him build a following by association. If Noah loses his account, it will hurt his career. will yield no results from his account because Noah’s followers care about him and have no relationship with his company. The case has been brought to court and lets hope it’s dropped because no one will ever want to work for again (especially Gen-Y!).

I’ll be writing a piece of soon about this issue and I’ve already interviewed several corporations to get their takes.