Social Media Breakfast Madison

If you’re not excited about compliance, you should be. That’s what social media expert Renola Swoboda of Great Lakes Higher Education told attendees at Wednesday’s Social Media Breakfast, held at the beautiful Yahara Bay Distillers.

When you think of compliance, you may not think of freedom. But that’s the opportunity compliance brings. Renola said people tend to put the cart before the horse and jump on social media without having a plan, then try to figure things out afterwards.

That’s why it’s important to have a policy. Renola said a policy helps you to be creative and should be approached from the perspective of being audited. “A policy helps you to figure out what your general correspondence will be, what are you going to do for listening, what are you going to do for engagement, if there’s a crisis, how are you going to handle that. You can’t ignore the rules. If you know the rules of your game, you can jump in and play your game and maneuver around your rules and that’s where you start to have a little bit of fun,” she said.

Renola shared some examples of her creativity at work:

  • Participated in AMA and tweet ups with partners
  • Went live and chatted with audience
  • Shared philanthropic messages
  • Promoted messages helpful to audience
  • Ran a sweepstakes that increased audience by 200%

Renola shared about the sweepstakes run by Great Lakes in which they gave a $6,000 prize. Before putting the time and effort into the sweepstakes, Renola said they asked questions and set clear goals—something we all should do. “Whatever your goals are, you can’t know if you’re successful, compliance or not, unless you set clear and attainable goals that you can measure at the end,” she said.

For the sweepstakes, Renola and team worked with the legal department, developers, designers and content writers from development to launch. They learned a few things in the process:

  • Difference between a contest and a sweepstakes
  • Making the entry process fair for everyone (for those without social media)
  • What applications were needed (Great Lakes used ShortStack, a contest platform for Facebook and Instagram)
  • Facebook rules and standards
  • Making sure they had the capacity to handle sweepstakes entries

The numbers prove the sweepstakes was a hit with Great Lakes followers:

  • 206,600 entries in 18 days resulting in 600 engagements
  • 40,825 increase in likes
  • Tripled the number of fans chatting on the Facebook page
  • 3,559 website referrals from sweepstakes application
  • 14,830 new accounts on the Great Lakes website

Renola had a couple takeaways—whether you’re running a sweepstakes or another type of social media campaign.

  • Provide multiple levels of engagement – For its sweepstakes, Great Lakes provided a quiz, which led to conversation starters on its Facebook page.
  • Keep the conversation going – Ask questions. Followers will begin to engage with you on Facebook and may ask questions of their own.



Hywania ThompsonWritten by Hywania Thompson, Writer and Editor, @hywania