Thursday Apr 10, 2014

Five Steps to an Effective University Social Media Campaign

As a marketer for a college or university, where the primary demographic is 18-to-24-year-olds, the fact that you should be all over social media is an absolute given. Facebook is the first place a student will go if they want to find out if there’s a weather-related school closing. Alumni keep in touch through Twitter. Sports games can be documented through the blog. Let’s not even get started on how faculty engage with their respective departments, parents keep tab on what’s happening at the school, donors find recipients, and so on.
Even though you’ve probably already leveraged social media, it’s important to recognize that its best practices are ever-changing. Now is a great time to re-visit your campaign and ensure that you’re doing all you can do. Here are six steps for doing so.

Step 1: Have a Clear Vision of Where you are and Where you Want to Be

  • Take a good, hard look at the content on your school’s social media pages. Do they have a certain voice? Is there any rhyme or reason to the content? Perhaps most importantly, are they engaging? Who is responsible for them?
  • It’s time to set some goals. Decide what you hope to accomplish and take note of the types of posts that are particularly successful in terms of engagement. Use this information to develop broad goals. A few possibilities:
  • Gaining more alumni as followers
  • Get more students to sign up for x event through a Facebook link
  • Recruit student guest bloggers on certain topics
  • Develop themed posts for days of the week (e.g. Student Spotlight Sunday or Athletic Insider Tuesday)
  • Setting goals helps you to move forward and decide if your strategy is effective.

Step 2: Evaluate your Platforms

There are so many social media platforms that you can’t exactly have a page on each one, but you also don’t want to miss an important opportunity. Quality over quantity is key. It’s most important to think about what makes sense. For example, you might not need a Tumblr account for your entire university, but Literature students might find it to be a great resource for sharing student writing. Instagram is a great place for athletics to show videos from the big games and post scores. Come up with a few ideas and give them a test run, but nix anything that doesn’t seem to be working to save time.

Step 3: Go Department by Department

Piggybacking off the previous step, it’s important to understand that every department within your university has a separate target audience. Your school’s general accounts should be for sharing big news and school events, but it’s a good idea to encourage department heads to start their own social media profiles for more niche content. Residential Life, for example, can share information about parking updates while the Humanities department head can post pictures of student art and events at local museums. You can hold monthly social media meetings to discuss campaigns.

Step 4: Establish Consistency

  • While it may seem that having each department establish a profile would get out of hand, this is why you need to focus on consistency. The content may vary, but the voice and professionalism should remain consistent. This doesn’t mean hampering creativity, but rather, having each department share important announcements, ensuring that each page abides by any legal restrictions, and that all profile managers are moderating student engagement for appropriateness.
  • Consistency also refers to the school’s voice. What is your university’s brand or focused initiative? If going green is a big thing on campus, that should be kept in mind for all social media profiles, for example. Anyone posting on university social media profiles needs to remember that the school has a personality and values.

Step 5: Dedicate Time

It was already mentioned that a monthly social media meeting could be beneficial, but the need to allocate the proper amount of time to each profile is important. If department heads are incapable of posting on profiles daily, or at least weekly, it’s definitely worth hiring a student or other staff member who can. As we get deeper into the technological age, students rely on social media more and more. The social media landscape shouldn’t be cluttered with inactive profiles — rather, there should be active ones that provide useful and interesting information and are easy to find.

Thursday Sep 12, 2013

Social Media Analytics & Higher Education

Social media analytics is the process of collecting data from social media web sites and analyzing them to understand and improve customer satisfaction and experiences.  Most of the data collected is often non numeric and unstructured, requiring the use of text analytics to understand the emerging themes and sentiments among the social media users.

Social media analytics are becoming increasingly popular in higher education.  However, the application is still in its infant stages with primary emphasis on marketing, communications, athletics and enrollment management.  

Transient social media content over a period of time can provide valuable information on issues and challenges facing the students, both in social and educational environment that are tightly integrated on college campuses today.  Long term trends beyond counts and frequencies of social media data such as sentiment analysis can reveal issues of importance to institutions and students that are often on the back burner among the institutional priorities.

Adoption of advanced analytics in Higher education is still slow to improve student learning and success.  However, it appears that the increasing popularity of social media sites such as YouTube, facebook, LinkedIn and twitter on college campuses is forcing many areas, especially the admissions management, marketing and communication offices, to tap into this resource for recruitment, retention and brand reputation.

Although most of the conversations on social media often focus on sporting events, strategically shifting the conversation to topics such as college costs, sponsorships, quality of faculty and staff, and employability after graduation may help the students to better understand the college choices and in the process improve student satisfaction and experiences.

However, social media analytics need to be integrated with PeopleSoft on college campuses to tap into the richness of data available from several offices to gain complete perspective on students.

Oracle offers products like Oracle RightNow and Oracle PeopleSoft CRM which bring integration to social tools and likewise websites. Besides a lot of other benefits, Social Experience enables brands to harness consumer influence and passion in service of the brand. From social media monitoring to branded online communities to a full-service Facebook experience, it is designed to extend experience to the places where consumers are learning, sharing, and buying across the social web.

Some other benefits include:

  • Enable a truly differentiating Facebook experience – one that increases your credibility and customer loyalty by delivering on your brand promise through support and engagement
  • Build a thriving peer-to-peer support community empowering customers to help themselves, each other, and your organization.
  • Make it easy for agents to monitor and engage in relevant customer conversations as they emerge on Twitter, YouTube, RSS-enabled sites, Facebook fan pages, and your own community.
  • Provide customers with a forum to collaborate and share insights into product improvements and potential new markets to further drive innovation


Mohit Satraj Phogat
Author: Mohit Phogat

This site focuses on Oracle's offerings to higher education in the Indian region. It intends to cover news, reviews, guides, how-to articles, descriptive videos, and podcasts on the trends which should be helpful to customers, prospects and developer community alike.

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