An internship to develop a social media strategy for the Department of Communication Studies has led to a published paper authored by Mass Communications graduate Stephanie Buermann and St. Cloud State University faculty.
Buermann, together with co-authors Drs. Heidi Everett, Jeffrey Ringer, Traci Anderson, Alex Davenport and Eddah Mutua published “A Social Media Strategy for an Academic Department” in the Summer-Fall 2020 edition of the Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, released this spring.
Buermann went above and beyond in her intern role and developed an audit of other departmental social media sites both at St. Cloud State and at other universities with Communication Studies departments, taking notes of number of followers, number of posts, and special themed posts and events.
“I learned how to create and manage a social media plan and figured out what actually worked in a real world setting and what didn’t,” she said.
She identified 14 different types of posts that were posted by departments such as announcements, history and celebratory posts. She developed a plan for the department identifying their target audiences and recommended the frequency and types of posts they should be doing each week to engage those audiences.
The faculty authors decided to take the work Buermann was doing and approached her about putting together a mini-case study, which was posted as the journal article.
The Communication Studies department hired Buermann as an intern because faculty weren’t sure what to put on a department Facebook page to make it successful, they thought Communication Studies professionals working in departments at other universities would be interested and inspired by her work as well through seeing it in the article, Ringer said.
They plan to revisit the article in a year with analytics to assess and discuss how it’s going and how they adapted the initial plan, Everett said.
Buermann has since graduated with her bachelor’s degree and is working with social media in a professional role in her job at Eyecon.
“I learned a lot during this internship. It was my first real world experience with creating a social media plan that was put to use,” she said. “It also in a way made my transition into my social media position at Eyecon much easier because my internship with the Communication Studies department gave me the confidence I needed to work in social media marketing.”