As part of the promotion of our work and development of the online presence of the conference we met with BSOAD marketing team to discuss the different avenues we could pursue.
Ed described that although many students have set up social media accounts in the past their are issues both with longevity and developing a substantial following to reach the right audience. The School of Jewellery is an example of a successful social media account run by students but operates independently to it, showcasing work but not under the umbrella of the school or under the BCU’s control (https://www.instagram.com/soj_bcu/)
He instead suggested to use the established school and Co.LAB accounts, which already have considerable following to promote the conference and our work following on from it. It was also suggested to reuse the hashtag from the conference and to reach out to the attendees for their feedback to add to the social media promotion.
Following on from this Ed had some additional advice for the content of the website, asking us not to include any course or school information as this is likely to become outdated quickly – causing confusion for potential students. Instead he suggested linking back to the BSOAD website, adding that they would also include a link to our website, again adding to the promotion and development of online presence.
As well as this Ed mentioned that BCU has developed a writing style guide, although as the majority of our content was created during the conference it may not be necessary to stick too closely to this. In addition the guide is aimed at an audience of prospective students, which aren’t the primary audience for the website.
We found the session very useful, especially as none of us had experience in marketing through these channels. We now plan to talk with the admins of the existing social media accounts and establish how best to proceed promoting our website through. Working with these established accounts will create more interest than we could develop in the short space of time we have for Co.LAB and is a benefit of working with large scale organisations with international reputation. Saying this there are drawbacks in that we will not have complete control and will need to get any content we post verified by the University.
If we had been able to get involved with the conference prior to it taking place (before Co.LAB had started) we would have suggested setting up accounts to develop a following over time and use it as a tool to document the conference as it happened, in a similar way to how festivals use their social media as a gallery of what takes place.
After having spoken to the student architecture society they are currently unwilling to allow external use of their account. We now plan to use the schools account to promote the completion of website and publishing of the book closer to the time.