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Speechies Speak Out Blog: Exploring the Role of Social Media in Promoting University Programs

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  • The Speechies Speak Out blog was created to advocate the Speech Language Pathology & Audiology program at the University of Alberta and to attract prospective students. Weekly updates or \"posts\" included highlighting the experiences and perspectives of students, as well as integrating current topics of research. The end goal of the project was to detail the process of setting up the blog and to develop an understanding of what motivated people to read it. This was done by monitoring changes in viewership over time and examining three questions: (1) Will the blog show an increase in viewership over time?; (2) What category of posts received the most views or was most popular?; and (3) How were people referred to the site? The results from data collected for one year revealed that the blog showed an increase in viewership of almost 200% over 10 months, with an average increase of 25.5% per month. The posts in the categories of Student Perspectives (1,328 views) and Events at Corbett Clinic (641 views) received the greatest overall views. Most viewers were referred from outside sources, with Facebook being the top referrer. These results suggest that the blog was a successful tool in promoting interest in the program and that posts directly relevant to the school and its students were most effective at drawing in viewers. Other professional university programs may therefore choose to develop a blog with a student-life focus while using third party social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, as referral tools to positively impact viewership and program promotional efforts.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International