IU Northwest to Create Social Media Plan for Small Businesses, Nonprofits

rot1Small businesses and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) throughout the state will soon be able to implement a cost-effective social media strategy using a plan created by Indiana University Northwest Professor of Marketing Subir Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D.

The model, to be developed over the next seven months, will be based on research of printed and online publications, focus groups, surveys, and individual interviews. The project is enabled by the Indiana Campus Compact (ICC), a partnership of Indiana’s public, private, and community college higher education institutions, which awarded Bandyopadhyay a grant to conduct the research and create a plan.

According to Bandyopadhyay, small businesses and NPOs are under increasing pressure to reduce costs in order to survive in today’s marketplace. “Cutting operating costs is an option but is limited in scope because excessive cuts may jeopardize the quality and extent of products and services. An effective alternative is to develop a strong digital and social media marketing strategy to effectively communicate the message.”

Helping Indiana thrive
In the interest of the helping the state grow its economy, Bandyopadhyay and the ICC will provide a step-by-step template that is easy to implement and maintain. It will be provided free of charge to qualifying small business, NPOs and community agencies as a public service, as well as published for use in academic publications and research conferences.

Anna Rominger, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the research has tremendous value and complement IU Northwest’s Shared Vision that links academic excellence to service learning and community engagement.

“Dr. Bandyopadhyay has extensive experience in integrating successful client-based student projects with service learning work,” Rominger said. “His current project will entail substantial research to uncover the challenges faced by and small businesses and nonprofits. It will also enhance the ability of students to become more informed and intelligent consumers.”

Bandyopadhyay, who teaches Digital Marketing at IU Northwest, will collaborate with several nonprofit organizations in Northwest Indiana, including the Small Business Development Council (SBDC), and the Indian American Cultural Center. He will also involve students in the project.

About Indiana University Northwest
As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of nearly 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home. IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit www.iun.edu.

About Indiana Campus Compact
Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) is a partnership of Indiana’s public, private, and community college higher education institutions focused on advocating, implementing, and improving service engagement so that students graduate as well-informed, engaged, and productive members of society who are fully enabled to provide leadership and service that advances the public good in their communities. Indiana Campus Compact is an affiliate of National Campus Compact, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.