Marine Military Academy Embraces Social Media

Social Media Here to Stay at MMA

Maj Harold Compton

facebookThe is no denying that we all live in a digital world today. How many of us go through a day without using a computer, searching on the Internet and interacting with friends and associates on the various social media channels?

Social media initially began as a way for friends to meet online, to share and connect in a way just as the name implies: socially.  Today the social media outlets have become even more important to the business world as a means of finding and connecting with potential customers and interacting with our current customers. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a myriad of other venues are fast becoming the focus of online activity.

Those in the marketing community have recognized the value of these venues and have found them to not only be a source of finding customers, but also a means of providing much of the information customers are seeking to make buying decisions.  Social media venues are becoming a primary means of searches; and, although far behind the current leaders in Internet search, are quickly moving up in popularity.

Social Media in Our School: Facebook, Twitter & YouTube

It seems like it was only yesterday that I sat in a meeting talking about MySpace and the conversations were all about the problems and dangers of social media. How it could become a nightmare and all sorts of legal issues could arise from allowing it on campus.

Barely two years later, we are fully on board with a tremendously successful Facebook pageTwitter pageYouTube page, Flickr page and two active blogs. Why the big shift?

The major reason was the acceptance of the value of social media as a marketing tool. Not only that, but it was an easy means of communicating with over five hundred parents and thousands of family and friends. Other value came from the establishment of our name, what we do, and how we do it throughout the entire country — and even the world. It was understood that there was not going to be some magic wand waved and customers would be knocking our doors down; however, a long view was taken that our efforts today would pay off later.

videoMr. Allen Aleshire was the initial driving force behind opening the eyes of the administration three years ago. Department heads quickly came on board in support of embracing social media.

He immediately created the school’s Facebook page, which was an immediate hit with our parents and families, particularly during our next summer camp. Our Twitter and YouTube pages were created at the same time and over the next years we watched as our fan base grew from nothing to over 143,000 fans. Likes, comments and shares continued to climb over this entire period, and today we are proud of one of the busiest and most viewed high school Facebook pages in existence. We are also proud of our YouTube channel, which boasts over 248 videos, 350 subscribers and over 165,000 views.

In 2011, MMA set up its first blog, which was also an immediate success. In the last year-and-a-half, a total of over 160 articles have been posted and has had over 30,000 views. The success of the blog lead us to establish a separate blog for our summer camp program, which we are using to keep families posted on events during summer camp.

Understanding the need for our cadets to also remain connected with their families, the academy also set up the computers in the barracks study rooms to provide access to such venues as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and email on weekends. Additionally, cadets have begun being more active on the MMA blogs by creating their own stories about MMA and their experiences here.

Future of Social Media at MMA

infographicMMA has recently begun work on developing a more detailed Social Media Marketing Plan.  The purpose of the plan is simply to better coordinate the activities of the various personnel that manage the individual venues. Recognizing the vast use of Internet and social media venues, the academy is actively working to maximize its efforts in each area to better serve our current customers while attracting new ones.

Click on the infographic to the right to learn how many people are in the category of Internet users.  It is easy to see how important a coordinated plan is to our future marketing efforts.

All departments are actively involved in this process and we are looking forward to a more robust and interactive social media presence through these efforts. As social media continues to expand to greater audiences and take a large and large role in the area of marketing, we are positioning MMA to be able to take full advantage of the benefits it can bring.


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