Harding Dining Services has increased its outreach to students by engaging with them on social media, as well as hosting numerous events on campus to draw interest.
Taylor Weir, marketing assistant for Harding Dining Services, manages the Harding Dining Instagram, as well as their website, hardingdining.com. Weir said that with the opening of the new Panda Express and expanded Chick-fil-A in the Hammon Student Center, Harding Dining decided to increase their presence on campus.
“To support the growing dining program, at the start of the year, we hired a group of 10 Harding students to form a peer-to-peer team to help commuting students select which meal plan fit their lifestyle best,” Weir said.
Additional outreach such as campus-wide scavenger hunts and campaigns have been used to get the student body more involved in the dining program.
According to Weir, the use of social media has been a successful outlet for generating buzz among students and allows open interaction between the Harding Dining Services staff and the student body.
Kasey Schluterman, district marketing manager for Harding Dining Services, points out the success of the dining program has been largely attributed to their presence on social media.
“As our students evolve, so should our dining program,” Schluterman said. “Our students need and expect an online presence for many reasons. Social media has proven to be a fast, effective way to build brand presence, create trust through feedback and action, and communicate on a broad level.”
Sophomore public relations major Maleah Brown believes that the dining program’s new initiative will benefit both the company and Harding’s students.
“It’s pretty important for organizations on campus like the dining program to have and know how to use social media, because that’s the way students communicate these days,” Brown said. “This way there’s always a way to get in touch with the dining program if you have an issue or suggestion, or are just curious about what they have to offer.”
Schluterman said the dining program plans to continue engaging with students via social media, as well as use their new online presence to promote new offers and deals. Schluterman hopes that through the dining program’s Instagram and website, students will become more aware of the resources available to them, such as the Campusdish App, which allows students to view menus and nutritional information online.
Schluterman and Weir said that the use of social media and campaigns has been a success so far, and they hope that it only gets better from here.