Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Amber Baesler & Ariel Adams
1.The proposal which explains the rhetorical situation and analysis of your intervention.
Our Commons Campaign was aimed to share with our peers the perks that come with going to school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Money causes a lot of people stress, and is always on the minds of college students. As devoted students we are putting the majority of our money towards our education. What little funds that are left over should be spent wisely. So we wanted to find a way to put these deals out there for our fellow students. Many businesses in Lincoln acknowledge they are in a college town and have developed many deals for students, the problem is not many students know about them. Not many people follow “Papa John’s Lincoln” on Twitter. However if we could build a large student following and retweeted a Papa John’s discount tweet, or any business really, the reach to students would increase greatly. We decided on our three main platforms to be Facebook, Twitter, and directly via table tents on all the tables in the Union and word of mouth. We hoped that our social media platforms would gain attention from table tents in the Union, and that a University organization such as Student Involvement or a business would be interested in carrying on our social media past the class. Another way we wanted to carry on the campaign was through our hashtag #HuskerHACKS.

2. Explanation of what you did.
At the beginning of the project, quite a bit of time was used to find the specific message and form of communication that would be most successful and beneficial to the students of the University of Nebraska.  When it was decided that we wanted to help students get the best of their college experience by helping them save money with discounts, we started research right away.  We immediately informed each other with every student discount we previously knew, heard of, or came across.  After getting as many discounts as we could find, we chose the mode of communication.  We chose to communicate to the students through the most presently popular form of communication: social media.
A Facebook page was set up under the name “Husker HACKS”.  The page was set up as community information page that is open to the public.  The page’s bio included the exigence, the audience, and the purpose of the page.  Everyone that went to UNL on each of our friends lists were invited to “Like” and “Follow” the page to receive the updates and alerts on discounts for students attending the University.  Posts were made regarding discounts for students every couple of days.
A Twitter page was made under the username “HuskerHacks”.  A few dozen users were followed to get the ball rolling.  We made sure to follow other University of Nebraska related users and accounts such as the UNL 4-H account and of course, the ever so trendy UNL Problems account.  Similar to the Facebook page, posts were made close to daily about student discounts.  The hashtag #HuskerHACKS was also started to make the account easy to find not only now, but even after the common campaign project is over.  We also added trending hashtags to the Twitter posts to guide people to our page and make the posts more visible.  
Table tents were also made for all the tables in the Nebraska Union on City Campus.  A reservation was designated for a whole week to display the tents.  The table tents included the group or project name, Husker HACKS, our bio on wanting to help UNL students save money through student discounts, and the links to the Husker HACKS Facebook and Twitter pages.  The table tents were used as advertisements to bring in more likes and followers to the social media pages as well as get the project name out there.

3. Evidence of your intervention.
First starting a social media account is difficult no matter who you are. On Twitter, to find our target audience we started by just following accounts that looked like students, anyone with UNL and their major in their bio. After not very many follow backs, we went overboard and followed accounts tweeting about #LNK, #UNL, local businesses, etc.  A majority of our follows came as a response from us following first, but after we started gaining recognition, there were some new people who engaged with us first. Although we cannot say whether they followed us because of the table tents, word of mouth or the Suggested section on Twitter, they were unique follows and show that our campaign gained some attention. We also received a lot more direct messages and tweets directed toward us after the mass following of student and non-student accounts. Most were spam telling us we could buy followers, but there were a few genuine messages, saying thanks for following.  

We also were happy to have a local business tweet at us for a special they were having.

Between the two accounts we had a total of 93 followers. This number increases every day, and with the maintenance of them could become valuable and well followed Twitter pages.

4. A reflection on what went well and what you would do differently had you had to do it again.

This commons campaign project was very much a trial-and-error learning  process.  The majority of the project’s allotted time was used to find the student discounts that were to be shared with the students and little time was left for the communication process to get our message out.  The Facebook and Twitter social media pages were the main outlet of communication.  The Twitter page was more successful than the Facebook page.  This is assumed to be because of the popularity movement or trend towards Twitter.  The table tents in the Nebraska Union were used to merely lead people to the social media pages to see the discounts that were posted.  Table tents in the Union seemed to be a logical and useful way to get more followers, likes, and overall activity on our pages.  It did seem to have a little bit of an effect.  
If given another opportunity to work on this commons campaign, there would be a few changes to improve our results. Next time, we would use our schedule to split our efforts into the discount research, social media page set up, and social media page postings and alerts.  We would also make sure to find enough discounts for daily discount postings and alerts for both Facebook and Twitter.  Next time, Twitter would be made the main mode of communication due to the decline in college students’ use of Facebook.  A more effective advertising option would bring more activity to the social media pages, something more suitable than table tents, such as attention grabbing posters all around campus.  We might also try to use the “Boost” options on the posts and alerts.  This is an option through Facebook where a small fee is paid to make the post more prevalent on Facebook users news feed.  This would mean we’d be paying for more visibility but it would be interesting to see the results.

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