The use of the Internet and social networks will continue to accelerate in their use of learning platforms as a result. The design principles of Web 2.0 technologies as shown in Appendix a will also continue to have a significant impact on how social networks used in society in general and in education specifically (Kraemer, 2009). The long-term effect will be the accelerating adoption of Internet technologies to support higher education at the graduate and post-graduate levels.
3.0 Web Traffic Plan for MarketNet
In devising a Web traffic plan to boost the awareness, interest, desire and action (AIDA) for the MarketNet Facebook networking group, the precise definition of objectives is critical. These objectives must be global in scope to maximize the reach of MarketNet for students in other colleges and universities as well. The objectives must also be measurable and quantifiable to determine the extent they are attained. They also must be flexible enough to allow for a change in approach or direction depending on the lessons learned from implementing the Web traffic plan and also from feedback gained from students globally who use the MarketNet Facebook group. Lastly the goals must have stages of accomplishment to sequence the completion of strategies. All of these attributes need to be included in the objectives to build traffic to the MarketNet Facebook group page and also support its continued use.
Facebook MarketNet Group Web Traffic Plan Objectives
Creating objectives for the MarketNet Facebook group that have precision, global reach and appeal, measurability, flexibility, and staging of results is critical if the full potential of group globally is to be attained. The following are the objectives for building traffic to the Facebook group site:
1. To broaden the distribution of content contributed and posted to the MarketNet Facebook group site by creating and actively maintaining Digg, del.icio.us, Friendfeed, SlashDot, StumbleUpon, RSS feeds and Twitter accounts that automatically syndicate all content posted. This will have a multiplicative effect of distributing content from the MarketNet group and also drive up the search engine rankings for the group on Bing, Google and Yahoo.
2. To create a MarketNet Facebook group blog within 30 days and actively promote blog posts about news of interest to undergraduate and graduate students in marketing and business courses globally. Blog content will be syndicated through the channels as are mentioned in objective #1. The blog will be on a sub-domain of the main university site to further increase its performance in search engine results quickly.
3. To define a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for the MarketNet Facebook blog and post at a minimum of a blog post every forty-eight hours. Each blog post will be SEO optimized for the specific keywords defined for the Facebook MarketNet blog to optimize the blog's location on search engines over time.
4. To create a YouTube channel for the MarketNet group and have student and faculty members regularly produce video that explains a core concept or idea they have been working on for the benefit of the group and its subscribers globally. The goal of the YouTube channel is to produce three videos a month to educate and help the subscribers to gain greater insights into key business and marketing concepts.
5. To define an online learning agenda of twenty four webinars hosted by the founders of the MarketNet Facebook group where guest speakers on specific business and marketing topics host a webinar every two weeks. These webinars will be presented live and also recorded for playback on the MarketNet blog and also made available on the MarketNet Facebook group page. The intent of this objective is to create interest in the MarketNet group, a desire to potentially join it, and also create exceptionally valuable content for the benefit of group members.
6. To create a LinkedIn group specifically dedicated to MarketNet users and their needs to transition from being undergraduate and graduate students to their professional careers. The intent of the LinkedIn group is to assist group members globally find positions and attain their professional objectives in the short- and long-term.
7. To provide all members globally access to the blog for posting their ideas, insights, and lessons learned in the area of business and marketing. Contributors to the blog would have the opportunity to contribute content and have their own picture and contact information provided. Each blog entry would be evaluated by the blog administrator team for appropriateness and to make sure the posts were not blatant in terms of self-promotion or the promoting of a product or service. Giving blog readers the opportunity to contribute their own content to the blog would also make the blog more active, thereby increasing the potential for higher SEO performance over time as well.
8. To devise a comprehensive Web analytics strategy that has the ability to track Facebook, social networking bookmarking, blog traffic on WordPress, YouTube Channel, and LinkedIn traffic. This analytics platform will be used for determining which specific content areas resonate and interest the group globally. In addition the medium used to deliver the content (Facebook post, blog or video) will also be analyzed every month to determine which strategies are leading to the highest levels of performance. Analytics for Facebook, blogs, YouTube and LinkedIn will be organized into a report group administrators and key contributors will use to further refine and plan content.
9. Stretch Objective for Phase 2: Create a Key Influencer Strategy that concentrates on the top twenty business schools globally and initiate collaborative content, video and link-sharing programs with them to further increase the value of group through these influencers.
10. Stretch Objective for Phase 2: Implement Google AdSense on the blog site and also on all associated independent content sites within the first ninety days. The goal of doing this is to gain incremental revenues that can be used to fund a Google AdWords campaign.
11. Stretch Objective for Phase 2: After gaining up to $100 from the Google AdSense objective being attained, initiate an optimized Google AdWords strategy to further promote the unique content and value of the blog and associated sites. The combination of objectives 9 and 10 are self-funding to promote the group and its supporting structure of online properties.
3.2. Facebook MarketNet Group Web Traffic Plan Strategies
In defining strategies for the attainment of the eleven objectives of the Web Traffic Plan, the need for having them in chronological order is critically important. The investments in attaining one objective serve as the foundation for each subsequent objective over time. With this foundational focus in mind, the following strategies are recommended. While the Facebook group MarketNet has been created there is significantly more work that needs to be done to assure future growth.
First, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords and terms need to be defined. These are the keywords and search terms that will permeate the postings on Facebook, MarketNet blog, YouTube channel, LinkedIn group, and also be used for defining the content for online webinars posted on the blog. This is a critical first strategy as the MarketNet group can quickly gain search engine rankings on Bing, Google and Yahoo through the consistent and continual use of keywords (Anderson, 2009). Long-term this is also a strategy that will attract new group members across all platforms that MarketNet content and membership access. Using Google Analytics and analytics plug-ins for the MarketNet blog which will be created on the WordPress platform, the MarketNet team will be able to quickly determine how effective each search term or keyword is in attaining the needed results (Lawrence, Melville, Perlich, Sindhwani, Meliksetian, Hsueh, Liu, 2010). Second, there needs to be a more strategic approach to creating a community and also fueling content for the site. Creating accounts on all major social bookmarking sites including Digg, del.icio.us, Friendfeed, SlashDot, StumbleUpon, RSS feeds and Twitter is critically important
(Barnes, 2010). These social bookmarking sites serve to propagate content across the Web and also contribute to SEO efforts as well. In addition to these social bookmarking sites, it's critical to create a LinkedIn group, YouTube Channel that MarketNet leaders post short videos on, and also create a MarketNet blog on the WordPress platform. Facebook can be used to promote the LinkedIn group, YouTube channel and the MarketNet blog. The strategy of creating a LinkedIn MarketNet group is that all students are concerned about their future employment prospects given the economies in many nations of the world (Strehlke, 2010). The LinkedIn MarketNet group is aimed at the needs students have in transitioning into the workforce and gaining recommendations, providing an online resume and building support for themselves. The strategy of the YouTube Channel for MarketNet centers on providing valuable, useful content for students who are subscribers globally. Professors and students can recommend YouTube videos and submit short ones up to 2 minutes long. This is a strategy to increase participation on the site and…