Follow me to the Neighborhood: Using
Social Media in the Neighborhood
Concept at Michigan State University
 Introduction to Michigan State University and the
Neighborhood Concept
 Current social media ventures
 Recommendations and considerations for continued
social media engagement
Michigan State University
 Demographics
 36,058 undergraduates
 ~14,000 residential capacity
 Suburban campus (5,200 acres)
 Research I
 NCAA Division I
 Public, Land Grant
 11 Student Affairs and Services Departments
Academic, developmental, identity-based services
The Neighborhood Concept
 Division of Student Affairs
and Services (with campus
 2010-2011 Pilot Implantation
in East Campus
 Small campus feel to a large
campus - offering a central
engagement center in each
The Neighborhood Concept
 Academic and social integration
into living learning hallsincluding in-neighborhood
advising, resume workshops,
health services
 Tied to major institutional
endeavors, including the MSU
mission, core values, Boldness
by Design, Shaping the Future
 Both developmental and
practical outcomes (helping
students develop, staying on
campus, retention)
Neighborhood Concept and Social Media
 East Neighborhood Engagement Center Facebook Fan
Page (86 followers)
 Integration of YouTube videos from MSU partner
 SpartanConnect (Intranet social networking forum)
 (pictures, updates on
construction, learning outcomes)
 High collaboration with Neighborhood constituents
(Residential and Hospitality Services, Health Services,
various student affairs departments)
Recommendations and considerations
for continued
social media engagement
Create a Social Media
Virtual Vision Statement
 Define consistent standards for social networking
 Vision statement creates and outline of purpose, culture, and
goals for the neighborhood social media campaign
 Align with themes in MSU initiatives and strategic plan
 Innovation, enhancing student engagement, advancing
research, connecting learning in areas outside the class
 Vision should include details for how social media
promotes learning outcomes, advances the University,
and enhances the lived experiences in the
Reaching out to different demographics, millennial learning
styles, engaging in an online and offline community
(CAS, 2009; Lipton, 1996; Ellison, Steinfield, Lampe, 2007; Reisser & Roper, 1991)
What we know about
MSU Students and Social Media
 MSU students report higher levels of interaction
through social media between students who they
have met offline, the importance of building
students’ social capital, and learning about the
people in their residence hall, and learning more
about the offline community they are a part of
 MSU students report lower levels of meeting new
people or starting new relationships through social
(Ellison, N B., Steinfield, C, Lampe, C, 2007)
Training for Consistent Implementation
 Social media experts (faculty) at MSU will train student affairs professionals on social
media, social media marketing, and how to effectively use social media within each
unique neighborhood.
Student affairs professionals will advise and train the Social Media Student Committee
SMSC will be in charge of all social media accounts for their specific neighborhood
Student affairs professionals and SMSC Training Topics:
Neighborhood Environment
Unique characteristics of their specific neighborhood
Population demographics of specific neighborhood
Interaction and developing relationships with offices in neighborhoods
Training for Consistent Implementation
 Social Media Marketing
Making the most out of neighborhood social media accounts (incentives, advertising,
 Best way to reach students (what is being used, learning style inventory)
 Reaching students who do not have social media accounts
 Keeping up with latest social media trends
 How to navigate and understand the most recent research
 How does diversity play into social media accounts for neighborhood?
 Diversity activities through social media lens
Larger MSU Community/Greater Lansing Community
 Specific neighborhood and larger campus
 Incorporation of neighborhood into larger MSU campus and Lansing community
 Networking with local businesses
 Providing special deals to students living in neighborhood
SMSC will increase faculty/student affairs professional/student interaction
Training will continue for student affairs professionals and SMSC throughout the
(Astin, 1999; Schlossberg, 1989)
Understanding Social Ecology
 We all exist within and are shaped by our contexts
 Individual, relationship, community and society
 In order to reach individuals and create sustained
behavior change, they must be approached at every
level of their ecology
 Social marketing campaigns must be crafted and placed
in ways which consider the specific contexts influencing
target audiences at each level
(Bronfenbrenner, 1979)
New Way of Doing an Old Thing
 Social media were designed to
fill an intrinsic human need to
connect and converse
 Effective social media creates,
facilitates and maximizes human
conversation around meaningful
messages and converts the
audience into energetic,
authentic broadcasters
 Social Media is used by diverse
audiences – regardless of age,
ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic
status – it is increasingly widespread
and deeply ingrained
 As there are many observable
correlations between online and
offline personas – the opt-in, highly
personal nature of social media
requires dissolving the lines between
one’s personal and digital lives – the
extension of a social ecological
approach into this new space is a
natural and useful one.
(Universal McCann, 2008; Vazire & Gosling, 2004)
Levels of Social Media Ecology
Individual, Relationship, Community, Society
(Koch, Souder, & Banyan Communications, 2009)
Applying Social Media within Social Ecology
 The current landscape of social media behaviors can be mapped
to the four levels of social ecology and provide a framework for
effective, measurable communication strategies. Facilitating and
maximizing communication across all levels of the social
ecological model is necessary to affect students
 Facilitate conversation
Finally, many social media strategies fall victim to old habits and
fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of Social Media and
how messages travel through it. across all levels of the social
ecological model to maximize the scope and potential of those
(Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Gregson, 2001)
Student Investment and Involvement
 MSU students will have the opportunity to become a part in creating the social
media environment in their neighborhood
 SMSC will be composed of students who apply and are accepted to the
 SMSC will consist of MSU students who:
Have a desire to learn more about social marketing
Want to use their unique skills to enhance the social media experience in their
Would benefit from practical experience in the field of their choices
 Students of all majors encouraged to apply and serve on committee
 Student affairs professionals from various offices will take turns advising the
Student Investment and Involvement
Student’s Major
Marketing of all social media
Fine Arts
All photography for social
media accounts
Assessment for social media
Graphic Design
Layout and design
Relationship building with
campus contacts
Assessment Strategies
 Assessment as a practice to grown, learn from, and
improve upon practices
 Different methods for different stages
Benchmark before changes, during programs and interventions,
 Tracking hits/followers, immediate program evaluation,
learning outcomes assessment
 Astin’s (1991) Inputs-Environment-Outputs Model
Within-institution test for campus culture, understanding how
students relationship with social networking has changed
 Collaboration within the division and faculty
 Residence Life, Communication Arts and Sciences, and more
(Astin, 1991; Bliming & Whitt, 1991)
Astin, A. W. (1991). Assessment for excellence. New York: Macmillan.
Astin, A. A. (1999). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, pp. 297-308.
Bliming, G., & Whitt, E. (1999). Using principles to improve practice. In Bliming, G., & Whitt, E. (Eds.). Good practice in student affairs (pp. 179-204).
Washington, DC: Authors.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press.
Council for the Advancement of Standards. (2009). The book of professional standards for higher education 2009. Washington, DC: Council for the Advancement
of Standards in Higher Education.
Ellison, Nicole B., Steinfield, Charles, Lampe, Cliff. (2007). The benefits of facebook “friends”: Social capital and college students use of online social network
sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 1143-1168.
Gregson, J. (2001). System, environmental, and policy changes: Using thesocial-ecological model as a framework for evaluating nutrition education and social
marketing programs with low-income audiences.Journal of Nutrition Education, 33(1), 4-15.
Koch, C., Souder, K, & Banyan Communications. (2009). Social media inthe social ecology: A conceptual framework for behavior change online [PowerPoint
slides]. Retrieved from
Lipton, Mark. (1996). Demystifying the development of an organizational vision. Sloan Management Review, 37, 83-92
Oetzel, J. G., Ting-Toomey, S., Rinderle, S. (2006). Conflict communication in contexts: A social ecological perspective. In J.G. Oetzel & S. Ting-Toomey (Eds.),
The SAGE handbook of conflict communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Reisser, L., & Roper, L. D. (1999). Using resources to achieve institutional missions and goals. In Bliming, G., & Whitt, E. (Eds.). Good practice in student
affairs (pp. 113-132). Washington, DC: Authors.
Schlossberg, N. K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: Key issues in building community. New Directions for Student Services, 48, pp. 5-15.
Schroeder, C. C. (1999). Forging educational partnerships that advance student learning. In Bliming, G., & Whitt, E. (Eds.). Good practice in student affairs
(pp. 133-156). Washington, DC: Authors.
Universal McCann Comparative Study on Social Media Trends,April 2008
Vazire, S., & Gosling, S. D. (2004). e-Perceptions: Personality impressions based on personal websites. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(1), 123132.