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Graduate admissions professionals are often tasked with promoting programs without an increase in marketing budgets. In this session we will explore how you can use word of mouth marketing and social …

Graduate admissions professionals are often tasked with promoting programs without an increase in marketing budgets. In this session we will explore how you can use word of mouth marketing and social media to engage prospective graduate students and retain the ones you have. This is not a theoretical lecture: you will leave with no-cost or low-cost tactics and strategies you can implement next week.

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  • 1. NO MONEY? NO PROBLEM USING WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENGAGE STUDENTS AND GROW ENROLLMENT Matthew Painter MBA Program Director, Texas State University TXGAP Conference, UNT-Dallas July 26, 2013
  • 2. THE DISCONNECT “We want you to increase applications and enrollment!” “Great. What about our budget?” “Here, take some more branded pens!”
  • 3. PRIVATE-SECTOR TAKEAWAYS • Really good marketing isn’t necessarily expensive • People love to talk (and you can leverage that) • Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, free, and not a random phenomenon • Social media is a tool, not a universe
  • 4. ©HughMacLeod www.gapingvoid.com
  • 5. 7 THINGS YOU CAN DO IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS TO INCREASE APPLICATIONS, RETAIN CURRENT STUDENTS AND LOOK LIKE A ROCK STAR IN THE PROCESS
  • 6. 1. IDENTIFY YOUR TALKERS
  • 7. • Alumni • Current students • Employees • Industry leaders • Advisory board members • Brand evangelists • Excited prospective students
  • 8. 2. LISTEN
  • 9. EVERY GOOD CONVERSATION STARTS WITH GOOD LISTENING Online • Facebook • Twitter • Blogs • Google Alerts Live • Alumni events • Advisory boards • Community functions • Industry conferences & publications
  • 10. 3. HAVE A CONVERSATION
  • 11. "It used to be about who shouted the loudest. The title with the biggest marketing spend tended to get the biggest audience.” “[But] now it's about conversations between developers and players and, more importantly, between the players themselves.” Lee Schuneman, Studio Head Microsoft - Lift London Studios
  • 12. Remember: The conversation about your university, college or program is going to take place whether you participate or not.
  • 13. 4. IT’S NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
  • 14. it’s SOCIAL media not social MEDIA
  • 15. 5. FEED YOUR TALKERS
  • 16. • Relevant, free, portable content makes your talkers look smart. Replace your marketing boilerplate with useful information. • Swag is good, but don’t just brand- provide conversation starters
  • 17. • Make your best talkers into VIPs: Loyalty and word-of-mouth will ensue!
  • 18. • Fantastic customer service is worth talking about
  • 19. 6. NEGATIVE COMMENTS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO SHINE
  • 20. • You will never have 100% positive feedback, so don’t expect it • Don’t respond like a corporate attorney • Recognize the mistake • Offer to fix it • Thank them for pointing it out
  • 21. • Remember you aren’t just replying to one person in a public forum: you are replying to everyone that will ever read the interaction • You don’t need to win • An over-the-top, amazing response is incredibly valuable
  • 22. 7. BE HUMAN. HAVE FUN. IT SHOCKS PEOPLE. © Hugh MacLeod www.gapingvoid.com
  • 23. 1. Identify your talkers - They are your best marketers. 2. Listen - Just like at a dinner party, if you aren’t listening you won’t contribute much to the conversation. 3. Have a conversation - Don’t yell. Don’t observe. Talk with people. 4. Recognize that technology is a means to an end - Don’t get distracted or intimidated by the tools. SUMMARY: THE 7 THINGS YOU CAN START DOING NEXT WEEK
  • 24. 5. Feed your talkers - Be worth talking about, and make it easy for them to have the conversation. 6. Negative feedback happens - Respond. And respond in a way that disarms your detractor and impresses your fans. 7. Have fun. Be human. Don’t talk like a robot. - Students and prospective students expect university-speak. Shock them by being friendly, helpful and normal. SUMMARY: THE 7 THINGS YOU CAN START DOING NEXT WEEK
  • 25. THANK YOU! Matthew Painter MBA Program Director Texas State University 512-245-3591 mpainter@txstate.edu Web: McCoyMBA.com Facebook: facebook.com/McCoyMBA Twitter: twitter.com/McCoyMBA Blog: McCoyMBA.wordpress.com