GARY │ A Munster business received help with its social media marketing thanks to students of Indiana University Northwest.
IU Northwest students who were enrolled in a new online social media marketing course in the fall have reviewed and analyzed the social media marketing strategy of Benavente Eye Care in Munster.
The students spent several weeks closely reviewing Benavente Eye Care’s social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest, in which they analyzed social media engagement, persona and overall strategy.
The results were provided to Dr. Jorge Benavente, who plans to make some changes to his overall social media marketing strategy based on the students’ recommendations. He learned from students what he is doing on Facebook and Pinterest is good, but he has much room for growth and social media exploration on his other platforms, in particular with Twitter and Google+.
“I think this is great for business,” Benavente said. “It’s just an example of how a university helps the community and how it helps small businesses thrive and grow. I’m catching up with social media and with this kind of help it makes it a lot easier. It helps me to develop a strategy so I can help our business and help us grow. I got some good suggestions and some criticisms, which I’m open too.”
Matt Lambert, one of the students involved in the project, said he graded each media channel including dormant accounts such as Yelp, and that Benavente should either eliminate them or shift focus to them because they can be beneficial.
“Social media is not going away,” Lambert said. “We know it's continuously growing.”
Fellow student Lea Glines said one of the first things they learned in social media marketing is to listen and observe.
“If we were his (Benavente’s) competitor we see what he’s doing right and what he’s doing wrong and we would have to analyze it, build our own plan and kind of just learn from it,” she said.
IU Northwest Professor of Marketing and social media course instructor Subir Bandyopadhyay said the project was part of the exam for the class.
“The assignments give you opportunities to learn more than just taking a (standard) exam,” he said. “How to unleash those learning opportunities was our goal.”