(Or how the University of West London wised up to student engagement through social media) Nicola Miller Head of Communica...
Meet...... West London Guru <ul><li>Strategy:  a conversational, customer service tool offering an expert source of inform...
Meet...... West London Guru <ul><li>‘ Best Social Media Strategy’ - Institute of Internal Communications Awards 2011 </li>...
West London Guru... <ul><li>... is a unique approach in the HE sector </li></ul><ul><li>... engages a primary stakeholder ...
What’s happening across the HE sector? <ul><li>Universities are embracing the opportunities to engage with prospective and...
<ul><li>What’s happening across the sector? </li></ul><ul><li>(research from CIPR Internal Communications Diploma project,...
How are students using social media at UWL? Use of social media by UWL students*:   Used: Used frequently: Facebook 91% 79...
How are students using social media at UWL?
Background <ul><li>Pre-summer 2009 – the University has no formal social media profile or presence  </li></ul><ul><li>Summ...
How we do it <ul><li>Student ‘social media ambassadors’ enable West London Guru to be almost 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>West L...
What we do (and try not to do...)
How the University benefits <ul><li>Has created an engaging and important link to current students </li></ul><ul><li>Signp...
<ul><li>Judges for the IoIC awards gave West London Guru (then TVU Guru) full marks in the ‘fit for purpose’ criteria, whe...
 
 
 
 
West London Guru has gradually become integrated into the University's corporate communications
<ul><li>The University is becoming well-known for West London Guru as it is gradually being integrated into the University...
West London Guru... <ul><li>... is a unique approach in the HE sector </li></ul><ul><li>... engages a primary stakeholder ...
Questions, comments, ideas? Nicola Miller Tel: 020 8231 2919 Head of Communications E-mail:  [email_address] University of...
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West London Guru: how the University of West London wised up to student engagement through social media: Nicola Miller, Head of Communications, University of West London

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Nicola and her team devised and implemented an innovative approach to social media to engage their student communities. West London Guru moved from a student recruitment tool to responding/reacting to enquiries from enrolling/current students as part of an online community.
The 'Guru' persona offers live conversation with students to solve their problems and provide helpful information. With management support from the Communications team, student ambassadors offer authentic, relevant advice and information as the Guru.
Despite limited resources to constantly monitor and respond to queries the number of fans/followers dramatically increased and the West London Guru has filled an information gap for students in a timely and accessible manner. The project won Best Social Media Strategy, Institute of Internal Communication Awards 2011.

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West London Guru: how the University of West London wised up to student engagement through social media: Nicola Miller, Head of Communications, University of West London

  1. 1. (Or how the University of West London wised up to student engagement through social media) Nicola Miller Head of Communications University of West London West London Guru
  2. 2. Meet...... West London Guru <ul><li>Strategy: a conversational, customer service tool offering an expert source of information on life at University of West London </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering – facilitating discussions, not ‘controlling’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Friendly expert’ </li></ul><ul><li>West London Guru listens and responds to conversations and builds relationships between students, presenting them with a credible voice from the University. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Meet...... West London Guru <ul><li>‘ Best Social Media Strategy’ - Institute of Internal Communications Awards 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Shortlisted for ‘Low Budget Campaign’ for social media on a shoestring - </li></ul><ul><li>Some Comms Awards 2011 (results in October!) </li></ul>
  4. 4. West London Guru... <ul><li>... is a unique approach in the HE sector </li></ul><ul><li>... engages a primary stakeholder group: students </li></ul><ul><li>... goes beyond a standard ‘corporate’ presence </li></ul><ul><li>... fosters an online sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>... utilises in-house resources with negligible costs </li></ul><ul><li>... is accessible and relevant to students </li></ul><ul><li>... fills an information gap in a timely and accessible way </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s happening across the HE sector? <ul><li>Universities are embracing the opportunities to engage with prospective and current students via social media, as well as the wider public </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>27 UK universities surveyed in January 2011: all but one were already using social media in their external communications strategies and just over half (52%) for their internal communications. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The 1994 Group: using social media to engage students and reduce drop-out rates. The group intends to develop guidelines for using social media, further evidence that universities are taking notice of the opportunities presented by social media for communications and engagement </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>What’s happening across the sector? </li></ul><ul><li>(research from CIPR Internal Communications Diploma project, January 2011) </li></ul>
  7. 7. How are students using social media at UWL? Use of social media by UWL students*:   Used: Used frequently: Facebook 91% 79% YouTube 70% 50% Blogs 19% 8% Twitter 18% 8% My Space 18% 10% Forums 16% 3% LinkedIn 6% 2% Flickr 7% 3% Vimeo 5% 1% *research carried out by UWL Careers & Employment Service
  8. 8. How are students using social media at UWL?
  9. 9. Background <ul><li>Pre-summer 2009 – the University has no formal social media profile or presence </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2009 – ‘TVU Clearing Guru’ is born on Facebook and Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Autumn/Winter 2009 – ‘TVU Clearing Guru’ evolves into ‘TVU Guru’, moving away from purely recruitment to continuous student support service </li></ul><ul><li>January 2010 – TVU Guru comes into its own during adverse weather conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Development of TVU Guru as a valuable resource to prospective and current students throughout 2010 and into 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>New name for the University: TVU Guru reborn as West London Guru </li></ul>
  10. 10. How we do it <ul><li>Student ‘social media ambassadors’ enable West London Guru to be almost 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>West London Guru is a personality, not a channel </li></ul><ul><li>Customer service tool </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating with other teams </li></ul><ul><li>Support and training </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor, report and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Run ‘official’ page/group: </li></ul><ul><li>answer questions </li></ul><ul><li>put people in touch with one another </li></ul><ul><li>share content of interest to students, not just the University </li></ul><ul><li>birthday wishes! </li></ul><ul><li>online chat (Facebook) </li></ul>
  11. 11. What we do (and try not to do...)
  12. 12. How the University benefits <ul><li>Has created an engaging and important link to current students </li></ul><ul><li>Signposting, answering queries, customer service... </li></ul><ul><li>Supports other departments (admissions, student services, registry, Facilities...) during key periods of activity (clearing, enrolment and a good old crisis...) </li></ul><ul><li>Early identification of issues affecting students – and addressing them </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering a sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, ok, to prospective students too as a recruitment support tool </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Judges for the IoIC awards gave West London Guru (then TVU Guru) full marks in the ‘fit for purpose’ criteria, where they said: ‘The communications tone and concept is spot on’. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The results are powerful and the concept original and highly effective. I feel sure this will be copied by other universities’. </li></ul><ul><li>Judges also praised the model for using student ambassadors in order to communicate ‘peer-to-peer’. </li></ul>
  14. 18. West London Guru has gradually become integrated into the University's corporate communications
  15. 19. <ul><li>The University is becoming well-known for West London Guru as it is gradually being integrated into the University’s wider promotion and considered a part of its reputation indicators </li></ul>
  16. 20. West London Guru... <ul><li>... is a unique approach in the HE sector </li></ul><ul><li>... engages a primary stakeholder group: students </li></ul><ul><li>... goes beyond a standard ‘corporate’ presence </li></ul><ul><li>... fosters an online sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>... utilises in-house resources with negligible costs </li></ul><ul><li>... is accessible and relevant to students </li></ul><ul><li>... fills an information gap in a timely and accessible way </li></ul>
  17. 21. Questions, comments, ideas? Nicola Miller Tel: 020 8231 2919 Head of Communications E-mail: [email_address] University of West London [email_address] twitter.com/WestLondonGuru Add ‘West London Guru’ facebook.com/universityofwestlondon

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