Student Project: Wedgewood Inquirer

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The following includes excerpts from Frank Paris’s final report on his Social Media Magnet practicum from the Fall of 2018.  Frank was incredibly creative in his project creating his website to look like a newspaper feed.  It was an incredibly successful campaign as you will see below.

“My blog for the semester was the Wedgewood Inquirer, a satire and comedy news outlet based around the Belmont and Nashville community. In signing up for the course and embarking upon the social media campaign, there were a few things I wanted out of the experience. First of all, I was interested in learning the best strategies and tactics to prepare me for any digital marketing campaign. I wanted to learn to cultivate a brand online as well as promote that brand into something noteworthy and popular. In regards to the project in particular, I sought to acquire 120 email subscribers and 300-500 page views each week. This would assure that my blog is consistent and garnering a loyal following. Personally, I also wanted to make sure I had a diverse portfolio of content ranging from print to video.

In terms of internal strengths, my blog excelled in a few different areas. It was highly targeted and specific, so in creating content, I could appeal to an audience I knew would resonate with it. The concept of the satire blog is also somewhat unique and creative, making it fun to generate content as well as easy to promote. In terms of external opportunities, the collaborative nature of the project allowed me to work with some influential people on Belmont’s campus that greatly helped my reach out to the community.

In terms of internal weaknesses, maintaining the content calendar and planning out content was really difficult and lead to some missed opportunities. For example, I got off the calendar in filming interviews because of other people’s schedules. In addition to this, I occasionally worried content would be too specific and choke my reach slightly. The  only real external threats were other news sources and well as people not understanding my content. With any comedy, there is always a gap between people exposed to the message and people who get and enjoy the jokes, so there certainly was some dissonance there.

In terms of final data, my blog certainly ranked among the highest in the class. In all of the categories demonstrated above, Wedgewood Inquirer ranked above the mean. I ranked third in page views, which I believe was reflective of the wealth of content I put out and the  loyalty of my fan base. Although I did not have as many subscribers, the ones I had were very loyal. Instagram was certainly the blog’s most fruitful method of acquisition, but Facebook and Instagram still played integral roles in brand building and in finding new users.

There were 3 posts that stood apart from the rest on WordPress itself. The posts with the most views were the Top Fashion Trends article and Tea video segment. There both were super unique, non-traditional types of posts because one was a video and the other was graphic based. The post in 3rd place was 10 decent looking cups of coffee, which was an absurdist reflection of artsy coffee pics and Instagram culture, so it stood out among some of my other stuff as well.

An interesting note about my top three posts, is the buckets for which they were designed. There were certainly fewer posts in lifestyle and interviews as opposed to the breaking news bucket, but I think the spare nature and highly targeted messaging helped these to stand out. These posts became big and methodical content drivers, while the breaking news posts served as ways to get people onto the page every day.

In looking back, I definitely have a few takeaways and reflections. I really think I accomplished everything I set out to do, even though it was more work than I anticipated. It definitely took a wealth of content and a long time to hash out everything brand wise. Though it was work, it was very rewarding. Another big takeaway is the constancy in putting out content. This refers to both consistency in the nature of the content, as well in the volume posted. I benefited from putting out about 3 posts a week, as well as making sure those posts were all relevant and on topic. Finally, I realized how important defining and working toward fostering a specific audience is. Everything is about making sure people see and understand the content, so I now definitely understand much more about this entire process.”

Thank you Frank for allowing us to share your content strategies.  You did a great job!

If you are a college professor and are interested in learning more about The Social Media Magnet, check our professor overview with highlights of our features and benefits.  If you would be interested in considering The Social Media Magnet for your university, we have a professor preview function that would allow you to see and work with some of the content.  Or if you just have some general questions, feel free to contact us.  We would love to assist you however possible.

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