SOC7: Web 2.5: The Love Story and Marriage of Your Website and Social Media

Lane Joplin 
Interactive Marketing Strategist, University of Advancing Technology

The audio for this podcast can be downloaded at

Announcer: This is one in a series of podcasts from the HighEd Web Conference in Austin 2011.

Moderator: So, I'd like to introduce Lane Joplin who has changed jobs since I last saw her. So, she is now working at News Star base close to Washington DC. And she's going to talk about the love story and marriage of your Website and social media. Lane, it's all yours.

Lane Joplin: Thank you Mark. So, I wanted to clear the air about a few things first. I am not Kevin Prentiss, he presented an hour ago. So, if anyone wants to oogle and ogle over him there he is. Next, go Cardinals. I got to get in my plug represent.

And then I want to start with this full disclosure. I for three years worked at the University of Advancing Technology in their marketing department. I worked as their interactive marketing strategist. After submitting to HighEdWeb, the week that I found out that I was accepted, I had a fifth round interview with New Star. So, I am no longer in Higher Ed, but this presentation is based on that for everyone here.


So, as an Interactive Marketing Strategist, my job was pretty broad. I was an army of one as many of us at this conference are. I did social media, I was the only one on our campus who oversaw social media. And I was in charge of doing anything with everyone else didn't want to do.

So this is me. And I covered marketing, Web and IT, customer service, and admission, all of this are networked together. Our Website supports admission, marketing supports the Website with content, and of course customer service bridges it all.

Ideally that was supposed to happen. I was the link to all of this. I had to sit down on our admissions meetings, IT meetings, all of these. So, in May of 2010 my supervisor came to me with a goal, and usually Allan's pretty far out there, he comes to me on Wednesday and would say, "I need a full competitive analysis from our top eight competitors by Friday."


So, I knew this was going to be a little crazy. He said, "I need you to create a more dynamic Website by integrating social media." Essentially he wanted me to create a marriage. A marriage between both our social media and our Website. Oh, and I had to keep the mission statement in there and somehow get it on the front page.

So, I had some questions for him. What's my budget? What can I change? Will there be support from my Web team? And what's my timeframe? Wonderful questions asked. These are my answers; you have zero dollars, you have zero support from the Web team, you can change zero stuff, and you have one week.



Yes. What am I going to do? I have to create this dynamic Website with social media in a week. So, my first thought was we're going to Vegas? two cents sending some cheap beer, and I'm marrying someone real quick.


But we wanted this to last. So, some quick background on UAT, and I forgot to grab something. So, we are known for not quite thinking things through or proofing them and this is a good example. This T-shirt was designed for a defense conference, for DefCon, a hackers con. At UAT we teach Japanese and Chinese to our students, but yet we forget to have them proof our shirts.

So, this was suppose to say 'Search and Destroy', it really says search broken.



So, some more background about UAT. All right, so you people are great, if I ever need anything I could go to them and they would take care of it. The other side is it's very proprietary. Our Website was built in-house, our CMS was built in-house, and when I first approached them about putting an IFrame on our site they said we can't do that.

We don't know who will ever change the content behind it, so it might hack into it, we can't do this. OK, so that's kind of setting the scene. So, let's dive into this. For two for a marriage you need people. So, here's our people for today.

We have Web Webster, we are going to say that he is screech. Here is your high school nerd or geek, or however you want to say. He's not very dynamic, he doesn't really know to interact with people. He's just screech. He might have the information, but it might not be the easiest to get out of him.


This is our Website, thanks to Edu check up, Nick Donartis. He did a review of our site in 2009 upon a request from me. And he's so gracious to give us an F. Contact Nick. So, some things that Nick said were very useful. There were things that I keep reiterating to our university, OK.

It's not accessible, if you were to disable javascript, you can't do anything on our website. So, I took this back to the university and said, "He doesn't know what he was talking about." So, nothing has changed. And then you have social Cindy. She's Quinn Fabray. She is dynamic, she is the high school cheerleader , she knows everyone. She's where people go for information.

So, let's talk about social media, when you talk about social media and your higher ups at the university say, "We want to be in social media." What did I typically say?


You need to be on Facebook. All right, but we most us on this room, it's not all about Facebook. It's about Twitter, You Tube, Flickr, Zinch, Tumblr, Form Spring. There's a ton of social media out there and our students are on all of them.

They might not be an all in for you University, but they can run the gamut. So, it;s important to take each and everyone of this into account when you're integrating them into your Website. So, we know in real life Queen and Screech are not going to get married.

But with your Website and social media you can have a happy union that can last. So, let's dive into this process. We are now in the dating phase, the Website has finally decided to ask out your social media, here's the first date. So, UAT when my boss came to me last May he didn't realized we had been secretly dating. We kind of kept it from the parents.


So, one of the first thing at UAT, was I went to our director of technology, and say Ray Todd, I want a Facebook link somewhere on our site. He said, "Great. Where do you want it?" Admissions page preferably. Said, "Fine. We'll put in this little add on the side.

They said I have a laser pointer mark. Right here. OK. He did not tell me it will only appear every five times someone hits the page. So, you have one in five chance of hitting that. But as you can also see, it wouldn't load earlier when we did the screenshot. I also put in the icons for each of our social media sites on our admission's page.

So, when prospective students hit this page, they could see where we are at quickly. So, that was our first date. It went OK. We were lucky to get another date.


But we made it to the class ring and letterman jacket phase, where you know everyone needs to know that you're dating. You have the boy's ring, you wear his jacket. So, this time I went out and I found some examples before going back to our director of technology and I wanted to come prepared.

I want to say, 'Look at what other schools are doing, we should do this'. So, I pulled up Abilene Christian University and said look front page, they're right there. Want to see New Paltz, they are right there too. Then I went to Oklahoma Christian and they do have there's a little slide bar on the bottom, that you can minimize and maximize.

And it's there, it's not in your face, but it's there. I had a thumbs up. This was a very exciting moment for me. This was a big step forward. But there always is a but. I have never written a line of code.


They told me if I wanted it there, I had to produce the code. I think I had several concussions in the past year, but. So, I went viewed some page sources, called some people at OC, called some people at New Paltz. I need help, I need this.

I reached out to Ann White, I reached out to Rachel Reuben on Twitter. I used my network to help build this one. So, we got it, it was almost a year later, but it made it on to our page. The goal was to have throughout all of the Website, but we only made it on the fort page.

Small battles though, we're getting there. So, we put on there our Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Tumblr, Flickr, Zinch, and Cap X. To make sure that the students saw where we're at if they wanted to ask questions, they could go to this sites for us. So, we end the class ring and letterman jacket phase. We're on good terms.


We're also in the dating phase, and we're into the engagement. But sometimes you need some pre-marriage counseling before you get married, and we knew this. And so, there was a group of us that worked together and we had to build an asset collection. We need an asset library.

We needed to know where online all of this assets were. Were our students on YouTube posting videos? Were they on other Facebook pages that were not our universities? So we went out and we scoured. We set up all of our Google alerts, we follow a ton of pages on Facebook, and we found this assets.

And then we utilized them once we had them. So, we maid it through counseling. We got a thumbs up to move forward with our marriage and engagement. And this is our mission; our mission statement of our university is "Learn, Experience, Innovate."


We needed to get this somehow involved in this project, otherwise we will not meet our goal. So, this is our first try at moving in and engagement. But does anyone see any social media on this page? No. We kind of failed. The boyfriend only gave us the top drawer and the dresser.

We made it below the fold, but we still made it. Humans vs Zombies was an event on campus that the students has created by the students for the students, and it was an experience event. So, we took the story, we wrote the story, and we loaded it with our pictures on the Flickr, and threw them into a slideshow and onto our page.

And this is how our page hits ranked. I took the pst two years and dropped them into this. As you can see there was a spike here, and then it drops.


This spike here where it was featured on our homepage. Let's see if we can go back real quick. We'll get in a second. So, up on our homepage we have a big red square. And I want to utilize that square because we could put different pictures into it to promote things.

So, anytime we had a new story, we pop it up there and we put experience more, and they click on that to get to this story. So, the first spike is when it's featured on our page and then in drops off as we take it off. As you can see it still went back up. The social media there from people sharing it on Flickr brought it back up.

And you can still see that there's activity on the site the next year. So, getting a little bit technical just in case anyone wants to go back right away and implement this because this is something you can do on your Website if you have access to your CMS. For me I had access to our CMS, but our CMS only edited the middle 480 pixels.


So, I had 480 pixels to work with. So, on Flickr if you find your slideshows that you wanted to do, you click the share, and then it will give you an embed code. If you don't want to go that route, you just want to be able to pick your id if you have your set id, which is the red number here, you cam drop that into this code which I'll be more than willing to give you.

Something to remember is if you have a set with in your CMS that you can edit, it's important to change that. So, the default on this one is 500 pixels, I only have 480 before it really starts messing up my page. So, we change that to 480 and then it's an IFrame that you can plop into your CMS.

So, this is our Website, this is the big middle square that we can edit. I was able to put pictures in, but this all a flash image. So, if we want to talk accessibility we fail again. So, here is our next try. we get a little bit of room in the bathroom at the boyfriends now.


So, here we are able to drop in a Facebook like. And we're also able to embed a video from Vimeo. The 48 hour film challenge is something very dear to many of our student's heart. It crosses many of the disciplines at the university from digital video to animation, to robotics and embedded systems.

And every year we perform well so want to feature this. This information is pretty and you see a little bleep at the very beginning of the red line, right there. This page have been up for several years and that bleep was the most hits it ever got. So featured on our homepage from about here to here and then it dies, and then it resurrects again.

Because this was the most shared page from our university. So, to embed the Vimeo video into it, you once again go to Vimeo, find the video that you want to share, click share, and it gives you an easy IFrame to drop into it.


Again you can change the width and the height for your CMS and the area that you have. So we move on, we're doing good, we're moving in slowly but surely. We have a little bit of set back here, we only get one social media call on this page. And that's our Facebook like.

Technology form is a conference that we hold every year. It's three to five days long and we bring in industry speakers to present to our students. Kind of like here to say, this is what you can do in the industry. This is what you can do,this is what you need to do to make it.

So, we featured all of our speakers on the page, we got their bios, we put them up there, and we drop in a Facebook like. Traffic took off. Once again you see it there, the blue spike at the end is for this year's, they were able to pull it up again.


So, Facebook plug ins you have several to choose from and you can go to Facebook.comford/plug ins to mind all of those. Because of our limitations and how IT does not like to use other people's codes. We were able to do the like button.

But you have options like the send button which is one that I really wanted to utilize because now, not only can you share it on Facebook, you can send it to someone in an email. You can send it to them in a Facebook message, it crosses everything. This inner button you need to have access to the core code of your Website to be able to drop that into.

A Facebook requires some extra code on your part because we don't like to use other party's information. we're not allowed to do that. And one time we did have a little bit of an issue, Facebook came under attack the head of DDOS attack or DNS attack and I got IT in my office going, guess what we don't see your Facebook like because they came under attack, our point was proven.


Yeah, it's out most of the time you have this one time in a thousand, but it's not up, go back we're going to continue to use it. And so, this past spring here's another example we're on the grant it was our first grant we're so excited. We demolished a couple of rooms, we've built them again, like button, and we showed the pictures in our Flickr embed this time we're of the demolition and the rebuilding of this room.

I'm not sure if you can see that, but we had 20 likes, and this was the most liked page that people clicked like, not the most shared, but the most liked page. So, we had some more spikes, we took it off the homepage right around this spike here, but you can still continue to see it.

Once we were able to start integrating this aspects of social media into the pages, the professors and the student ambassadors were more likely to share them with prospective students.


So, when they're on the phone with the student they could say,"Hey you know what, you want to see this picture of the demolition in the new room? Here go this web page on our Website." We're no longer sending them off of our sites to get this pictures, we're keeping them right where on our site where all of our information is at.

So, our engagement ended, it's time to get married. The marriage -this is very important because it was also important for me, for us to be social in how we got our information. So, we reached out to all of our students, with all these alerts that we have set up, so we set up at the beginning during our asset collection, we are now seeing what students are creating.

We're empowering them to create things so that we can share them so that they can get the recognition on our site.


So, this past spring we initiated for the first time a student exchange program. In our short 28 years of existence we were finally able to send someone overseas. Good friend of mine Raul Garcia was our first student that we sent. And he posted a video every week of something that he did oversees.

Something that he was learning school again you see we included our Facebook like and we embedded his video straight on the page. I'm really sorry that the lighting is like that. It looks a lot better on my screen and I'll post the slide so either for you guys to get to so you can see them. And at the bottom you can see it says follow Raul's experience on YouTube we link directly to his site.

So, for every week, every one of the sixteen weeks that he was in London, he was posting a picture or a video. Saying, this is what I'm learning, I'm learning about modeling in my 2D and 3D animation classes. I went to Chinatown with the friends that I'm meeting.


So, he was able to share his experience while he was away with all of our prospective students. Students they were even considering going oversees and in exchange program, they now get to see his experience from 3,000-4,000 miles away wherever they're at we also had a huge spike and this couple other spikes here and here.

I know they're very small, but those were when we were pushing our exchange program with other students on campus. We started talking about Raul's trip and promoting for the next semester and they start to spike again. And then we have destination geek this page has been up for years, destination geek is our alternative spring break.

We allow students to go out in the community, they go to camelot horsemanship and they were paired trails for them. They go to the humane society. Our students are able to take their technical skills out and help develop the programs that these non profit's are in need of.


This is a very cool project that we did in conjunction with our student activities and student life group. The week of destination geek we also had academic palooza where we do academic events on campus for the students to participate in to earn prices like XBOX, a flip camera, and other things like that.

So, this big project and we try to as much as we could conceal it that it was a big marketing push because our students are very aware of when we're marketing to them and if we're asking them to give us marketing collateral, they're not happy. It was just something I don't know, it might be unique to us, but I'm not sure. And our students are very aware of it.

So, our marketing department puts out us a challenge of UAT uncut. We wanted to get what our students thought of the university without us being there.


So, our challenge to the students was create a video, 45 seconds to a minute long without a cut. So, you cannot go in and you cannot edit the video. It just has to be edited in the camera. And so, a good friend of mine Kenny, who I recommended for my job when I left, because he understood social media, he won.

He went out and he grabbed five different videos from each of the events and submitted them to our UAT uncut. What this did is was it allowed us to create playlist in YouTube. So, I went in and put all of his videos into one playlist and called it Destination Geek.

What you can do from there is you can embed the playlist onto the page and once video is completed, the next one will automatically start. So, you have five videos back to back as if they were one straight video. So, again you see our Facebook like and our YouTube playlist embed.


This page was has been up for four or five or plus years. And the only time it has ever registered any traffic was after we embedded these elements. So, creating a YouTube playlist, you choose your videos, you add them to a playlist. Under your account you select your playlist, select the playlist that you want to embed, click share, then embed, and you get the code.

Unfortunately this is where our marriage ended. Some marriage end in divorce, and that is how this one ended. When I was putting this presentation together over the fast few weeks, it involves some research on my part to get my information that I needed. And I've now been away from UAT since the middle of June.

And I was lucky enough to still have some good friends there that could pull the data for me for our graphs. I wish I could give you the information from our social site, social site of all of these, and the traffic that we got from there.


Unfortunately they're not willing to share that with me at this time. I explained to them that this was for the conference, and they're like "I'm sorry we can't give that to you." I can tell you that when I was there, anytime we did a push for one of these pages to go up, our Facebook likes increased 10 to 15, I guess 10-20 depending on the story each time.

For a small university of 1800 students, I was very pleased every time that happened. So,our marriage ended in divorce when I left and it has not been continued. So there are no new pages that are being created currently at UAT to push the social media for the webpage integration.

When you guys do this on your campus it is very important to have a backup plan and to train other people in doing this as you are moving forward so that these can continue if at any point you or another person on your team were to leave.


I know it's very hard for some of us that are teams of one and armies of one to get other people to buy into it. But if you can create a couple of pages that show the increase in social media use, you can get more buy end from the rest of the community.

I'm sorry the people in the front were suppose to tell me to slow down when I was talking really fast and they failed. So, if you need to get a hold of me or have any questions, you invite me on Twitter or feel free to email me and once again, Go Cardinals.


So were there any questions, and then Mark's going to ask you to come up to the microphone and ask or if you want to just yell them I'll repeat them into the microphone if need be.

Mark: That's OK.


Lane Joplin: So, the biggest bang for your buck driving traffic. I think the most important part is going to have a call out to it somewhere. So, whether you do an Email push and say hey, this is where it's at. But most importantly I would say, depending on where your audience is.

If they're mostly on Facebook, if you see a lot of interaction on your Facebook page, I would definitely say put a Facebook like. And if you have access to your core code, put in a Facebook send.

One of the things that I wanted to do that I thought would just make our site really dynamic would be to put the Facebook comment option. I was able to create that in Facebook developers, but once again I was not able to put that core code into our Website for that to happen.

If you're able to do that basically you make every page that you want to put the comments on so you create your new story, put your comments on there the facebook app. And then every person just comes to the page if they're signed in to Facebook can comment on your story.


So, now every page is dynamic. The one thing that I really wanted to do that on the Facebook comments was our major speeches because then people can go to your major's page. They can ask you question, and it's not filtered by those people in admissions or the people on marketing that want to say you can't say that.

Because to me I want to be transparent with the students that were coming in. And I would tell them, OK, digital video it's a very small program, but it's very active. They might only have three or four professors, but they're experts, they're winning film festivals.

We want our students to be able to say that because that's what they say on Facebook, so why not put it on your Website.\So, that's my suggestion to you. If you have the access to your core content, put the comments in, if not just put a Facebook like on there for the time being.


Is there another question? Is there any questions from the Inverness town? She asked Helena? OK.


Well, once again the YouTube playlist it's a little bit complex to get to. Let me actually show you guys. I don't know you might want to show her. I think I have a playlist of pancake tweetups. All right. So, once you go in to your channel, if you just click on your little name at the top and go to I think my videos.


And you go to playlist, and I want to choose this one. I'm a runner by the way so there is something like that. And you click share, you get this fun little url right here, and then you get your embed code. And once again you can edit the width and the height.

So, right there just create your playlist. If you don't know how to add videos to your playlist. And then it's add to ne playlist. And we will get out of there, so it doesn't seem like I'm promoting.

OK. Any other questions? Yes ma'am?

Audience: Are you able to embed videos from other users like your student that was abroad. How did you get the embed code for that?


Lane Joplin: OK. The good thing about YouTube and most social media is you can embed almost anything that's out there. So, let's see, social media for the CEO. If you click on share there's an embed code.

And the same thing with the Flickr, you can do that you can go to any playlist or any slide show or set on Flickr, click share and you can get the IFrame. Anything else?

All right, well I'm here until Wednesday afternoon, I'm Lane if you want to catch me, I'll be more than happy to talk social media or Websites with you guys.