University of Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE)

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE)

The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE) program through the University of Florida is one of the nation’s premier graduate entrepreneurship experiences. The program is not parallel to typical business programs. The stimulating, experiential curriculum is designed with the entrepreneur in mind, and is intended to inspire, fund and launch the students’ ventures. The program is designed to be completed in one year, and consists of 36-credits. As of Spring of 2015, there will be an online option available, and according to Program Director, Laura Johnson, the timeline for completion is capable of being made flexible.

Target Audience: This integrated marketing campaign is intended to recruit applicants for the Spring 2016 semester. The target audience for the program includes undergraduate majors “from Finance to Fine Arts”. While no work experience is required, it is of the belief that having more seasoned individuals with a 2-5 year professional background may be most beneficial to the program as a whole and the peers within it. While the MSE program is launching an online component for the Spring 2015 semester that does not require students to step foot on campus, it is my personal belief as a Gainesville resident, and after performing further research, that our city provides a unique environment to facilitate the success of entrepreneurial ideas/ventures. For this reason, as well as others that will be covered in more detail throughout the following sections, I have chosen to market to young professional, college graduates in the local (Gainesville) market.

Strengths: The MSE program was awarded #1 National Model Graduate Entrepreneurship program in 2013 by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2012,  the program was awarded the Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. In addition to the programs accreditations, the Academic Director of the Entrepreneurship Program, Dr. Michael Morris, is a leader within the entrepreneurial education industry and has been an asset to the program since joining in August of 2013.

Opportunities: The support from the Gainesville community to facilitate growth of the entrepreneurial movement within the university and the city as a whole is exceptionally optimistic, and provides positive opportunities for program growth and success.


 

Why use an IMC strategy?

Grooveshark,  Feathr, MonkeyWish…all are startup companies that incubated right here in Gainesville. What’s one thing all these companies have in common? They’re all tech related, in fact many entrepreneurial concepts involve technological advancements of some form. Entrepreneurial candidates for the MSE program can be found on social media, which is why an IMC plan including platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is essential to the program’s growth.

Integrated marketing and social media use is about building relationships. Not only can these platforms be used to find candidates, but also maintain relationships with alumni and build online relationships that enhance search engine optimization. As these companies grow to become more successful and increase their presence on the internet, the MSE program should leverage these relationships by including features about these Gainesville entrepreneurial success stories congratulating them on social media.

According to an Entrepreneur.com article written by Toren, “a solid marketing plan is key for any successful entrepreneur’s product.” Toren expands upon various social media marketing tools, within his article such as Hootsuite, $99Social (“created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs”) and Hubspot.

Even the greatest entrepreneurial ideas require marketing of some form. Many of which rely on social media. In a sense, the MSE program as a whole is rather innovative itself. What better way to market than on the same platform your potential candidates, program graduates, and target market of entrepreneurs are located.

While IMC plans can incorporate more traditional forms of marketing, the approach for the MSE program will primarily entail social media and internet, simply because of the target market’s use of these platforms. The messaging is to remain consistent across across all platforms. The goals for the IMC campaign are as follows:

  • Build a larger online presence through connections with successful Gainesville startup companies that have a significant social following.
  • Engage with local entrepreneurial geared programs and community organizations.
  • Strengthen recruitment, and thus increase enrollment, by creating a buzz about the program locally and online.

Seeing as the opportunity for the program is geared toward the city of Gainesville and its supportive environment, social engagement with local organizations is essential for building relationships online and within the community.


 

Conclusion

While I understand there is a limited amount of financial resources and staff to maintain the various social media accounts for the MSE program, I would recommend exploring social media management platforms, such as Hootsuite, that allow you to post on multiple platforms and schedule posts in advance. This would make repurposing Facebook content for Twitter easier, and would make posting to the two additional recommended platforms, Google+ and LinkedIn, easier as well.

In addition to creating Google+ and LinkedIn profiles, I would also recommend using email marketing, not only as a follow-up for the career showcase event, but for a more regular means of communication with potential program candidates, current students and alumni. All email campaigns should be mobile responsive, as all platforms should be (i.e. website, blog, etc.).

The CEI/MSE blog could improve drastically from an SEO standpoint. Tags and categories should be utilized and content should include entrepreneurial tips, success stories about Gainesville startups (as shown scrolling on the bottom of the MSE website), appropriate guest blogs, Gainesville news relevant to city’s support of innovation. In fact I would recommend setting up Google alerts for Gainesville start-up companies, in addition to following them online to receive the most up to date information.

Increasing engagement begins with listing. Below are some Gainesville organizations I would recommend finding on social media, following, engaging and sharing content. This relationship will likely become reciprocal, and they too will also share your content and help create a buzz about the MSE program.


 

Resource

Toren, A. (April 18, 2014). “3 Social Media Marketing Plans for Every Startup Budget.” Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232798

 

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Analyzing Facebook & Email Analytics for Company ABC (In Your Words 12)

*Please note, this blog post is strictly for educational purposes. 

Company Background

Company ABC is a health-oriented entity in the Central Florida area. In addition to a Facebook page, they also  send out a bi-weekly e-newsletter and have accounts on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. 


Facebook Analytics for Company ABC (April 28, 2013 – May 25, 2013)

(*However some information provided about individuals posts is outside of this timeframe.)

ABC FB Overview

As of May 25, 2013 company ABC has 880 Facebook likes and almost a 40% increase in weekly total reach. Facebook “reach” is the terminology used indicating the number of people who have seen your posts. 

ABC FB Reach Demographics

The demographics of the individuals reached by company ABC’s Facebook are predominantly female (60.3%) and mostly between the ages of 25-34, followed by 35-44 years of age. The breakdown of the primary male and female demographics groups is as follow:

Gender Age Percentage of Reach
Female 25-34 28.6%
Female 35-44 13.5%
Male 25-34 13.5%
Male 35-44 9.7%

*Females 25-44 make up 42.1% of the company’s reach, and males age 25-44 make up 23.2%

The strong majority of the individuals reached by company ABC are English speaking (5,027), followed by Spanish speaking (428). Given that the company is located in the Central Florida area, it is not surprising that Orlando (1,634), Celebration (252) and Kissimmee (243) are the three cities with the highest reach.

Also by no surprise, the demographics of the individual “Talking About” company ABC coincide with the demographics of the individuals reached. Females age 25-34 are talking about company ABC most, followed by females age 35-44, males age 25-34 then males 35-44 years of age. These individuals are also primarily English speaking and in the Central Florida area (Orlando, Celebration and Kissimmee, respectively).

Talking about this - Demographics and How While the actual details of the content posted during this timeframe are not viewable, some general information can be deduced from the information provided.

ABC FB Posts

The first post received the highest level of virality. Given that the content of the post was geared toward a national observance, National Cancer Survivors, it is not surprising that this topic was considered more viral than the others. Not only was it an observance acknowledged by an entire nation, but also a topic that affects many – whether it be yourself, a family member or friend. While the reach of this post was relatively low in comparison to others, there were 7 engaged users and 6 people were talking about it. Other posts to take note of include “Join in some…” (5/28/13) and “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” (5/19/13). The post on May 28th reached 428 people, had 18 engaged users and 5 people “Talking about this.” The second post has a larger reach of 509 and an increased number of people “Talking about this” (10), but less engaged users (13). Of the eight posts for which data was provided, these were the three most significant.

How you reached people (no paid)

It would appear there were no paid posts during the time frame under review. Given that the individual post details are from May 27, 2013 – June 2, 2013 and the insights information is from April 28, 2013 – May 25, 2014, it is difficult to determine a definite correlation between posts and traffic. Also with limited information on each post, further analysis is also somewhat undeterminable (i.e. what was the exact wording of the full post, what was linked to, what images were used, etc.). However, what we do see is a spike on May 21, 2013, which is when the bi-weekly e-newsletter was sent out.

Visits to your page

*Note: The stats from this email are further evaluated below.


Email

The email statistics provided by Bronto are shown below. Given that we do not know the content of the email and if there was a call to action to generate revenue, this portion of the information cannot be further evaluated.

Email stats 

There were a total of 2,624 emails sent out for the May 21, 2013 campaign, 2,606 were deliverable and 661 were opened, making the open rate 25.4%.

According to MailChimp, the average open rate for a health and fitness related email campaign is 24.27%, thus making company ABC’s open rate slightly above average. Even more impressive, MailChimp claims the average click rate for health and fitness campaigns is 3.64% and the average soft bounce is 0.83%.

Company ABC’s click rate was far more impressive at 10.9%, and their soft bounce rate was better than average at 0.2%. Overall the email campaign statistics appear to be better than average. 


Improvements, Other Channels & Future Campaigns

In the future, I would continue to utilize posts similar to “Join in some…” (5/28/13) and “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” (5/19/13) posts, as they appeared to receive the most level of engagement.

I would also highly recommend targeting your content to the most dominant demographic – females between the ages of 25-44. This may include female related health-oriented posts, observances of awareness days more geared toward women (i.e. Breast Cancer, etc). Given that a strong portion of this age group of women are likely also mothers, health related tips for pregnant women and young children may also be worth exploring.

While I do think company ABC should also utilize their other social media channels, such as Twitter and YouTube, I believe they would receive the most positive results from the utilization of their Pinterest account given the demographics of their audience and the dominant amount of female Pinterest users.

Although Google+ may not seem like the most active platform for company ABC’s target market, I would still recommend, at the very least, completing an account.  Since the company already has a YouTube account (which is owned by Google), it would be wise to complete a profile on Google+ because of how these two platforms are increasingly being integrated into one another. Additionally, it is wise to be on Google+ for search engine optimization purposes.

In addition to utilizing Twitter as a teaser for Facebook posts and YouTube as a platform for expansion on popular posts, it is also critical that all of these channels are integrated. Not only should each platform contain a link to the other platforms but they should also have a consistent look, messaging and tone. In addition to linking the various social media accounts, they should also include an email sign up on their social media pages, and include links to their social media pages within their enewsletters. This will allow them to grow their social media followers and email list.