Beyond Blogging: Create an Integrated Online Student Ambassador Program

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What is your institution’s strategy for connecting with prospective students online? Does it involve your student ambassadors? (Hint: It should!) Take your Bloggers beyond blogging!

In this presentation, given at the eduGuru Online Summit in March 2011, you learn how to expand, integrate and manage your institution’s student bloggers' presence across multiple social networking platforms, including twitter, formspring, facebook, ning, youtube, and more!

Beyond Blogging: Create an Integrated Online Student Ambassador Program

  1. 1. Beyond Blogging:Create an Integrated Online Student Ambassador ProgramMallory WoodSaint Michael’s CollegeMarch 22, 2011 .eduGuru Online Summit 1
  2. 2. Hi there, my name is Mallory 2
  3. 3. And these are my bloggers Well... some of them. 3
  4. 4. What will you learn about today?How to... ✤ Create/Expand ✤ Integrate ✤ Managean online student ambassador program. 4
  5. 5. What is an online ambassador?✤ More than just a blogger✤ Passionate about connecting with future students on behalf of SMC✤ Involved and connected on campus✤ Excited about new technology, social media, etc✤ Leader and forward-thinking “in real life” Integrate branded program across multiple platforms 5
  6. 6. But first, a history lesson 6
  7. 7. Age of Discovery 2001-2006 7
  8. 8. Age of Discovery 2001-2006✤ 2 - 4 Student Bloggers✤ Paid per semester✤ Contract✤ Posts required bi-weekly✤ Used typepad.com with a standard SMC Blogger template✤ Used professional photos for website✤ Mix of recruiting students and applications 8
  9. 9. Age of Enlightenment 2006-2009 9
  10. 10. Age of Enlightenment 2006-2009✤ 6 - 12 Student Bloggers, 1 Faculty✤ Paid per post✤ No contract✤ Posts encouraged weekly✤ Used blogger.com, threw out standard template✤ Creation of Blogger badge✤ Live Q&A online chats✤ Used professional photo for website 10
  11. 11. Age of Growth 2009-Present 11
  12. 12. Age of Growth 2009-Present✤ 43 Blogs✤ Paid per “post”✤ Reinstated contract✤ Required: blog, Twitter, Formspring, live chats, FaceBook, Ning✤ Encouraged: Flickr, YouTube, VYou, Location-based services✤ Use blogger.com and blogger badge✤ Let students choose a photo to use for website 12
  13. 13. Age of Growth 2009-PresentStudents: Faculty/Staff:Paid blogs = 12 Department blogs = 6Volunteer blogs = 16 Faculty blogs = 4 - Abroad = 8 - Alumni = 3 Staff = 2Vlog = 1Tweeters = 21Formspring = 17 13VYou = 6
  14. 14. Step 1 Create an ambassador program orExpand existing blogger program 14
  15. 15. Goals before tools ✤ Pay attention to admission seasons ✤ Use analytics tools ✤ Remember your audience ✤ Keep institutional marketing messages in mind 15
  16. 16. Content, content, content✤ Relevant✤ Authentic✤ Engaging✤ Original✤ Entertaining 16
  17. 17. Content, content, content "Authenticity, good writing, relevant content, stories that are in alignment with SMCs brand identity" @JohnTLawlor "Speak in your own voice about"be authentic... dont put on a your own experiences & beprofessional personality. just careful what you share aboutbe yourselves"@KarlynM your friends, esp if you name them." @mStonerblog 17
  18. 18. Content, content, content "Remember youre having a "Build long standing convo with real people, andrelationships with the there are hopes, dreams,prospects. " fears, frustrations on the@NickDenardis other side. Be human." @Robin2Go 18
  19. 19. Take advantage of what you’ve got ✤ Tour guides ✤ Student gov’t leaders ✤ Honors students ✤ Athletes ✤ Club/organization leaders ✤ Transfer/International students 19
  20. 20. Step 2Determine which tools to use and Integrate students online 20
  21. 21. 21
  22. 22. www.smcblogs.com10/10 - 03/11Unique Visits - 8407Filtered Visits - 7978 22
  23. 23. www.smcblogs.com10/10 - 03/11Average time on page = 20 minutes 28 seconds 23
  24. 24. Blogs 24
  25. 25. Blogs 25
  26. 26. Visits to Student Blogs Unique Visits Filtered Visits4,0003,0002,0001,000 0 Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. 26
  27. 27. Traffic SourcesWebsite = 46.5% Feed = 15.3%Direct = 13.5%Other = 40% incl. twitter, Facebook, blog to blog, search engines 27
  28. 28. Blogs 28
  29. 29. Twitter What role does it play? ✤ Micro-blog ✤ Quick daily update ✤ Topics differ from blog posts ✤ Builds community among ambassadors ✤ Educational 29
  30. 30. Twitter Facts: Approach to success:✤ 87% of americans are aware ✤ Feed tweets in blogs of twitter ✤ Twitter speech bubbles✤ 7% of americans use twitter average 50 clicks/month✤ 18% of twitter users are under 17✤ 97% of twitter users have less than 100 followershttp://www.edisonresearch.com/twitter_usage_2010.php 30 http://www.website-monitoring.com
  31. 31. TwitterIs it worth it? 31
  32. 32. TwitterIs it worth it? 32
  33. 33. Ask me anything! ✤ 57% of Formspring users are 13-24 ✤ Over 575 questions answered (by students) ✤ Ability to be anonymous ✤ Connect with favorite ambassador ✤ Answers are genuine and authentic 33http://about.formspring.me/PR/Formspring-Facts.pdf
  34. 34. Ask me anything! 34
  35. 35. Class of 2015 communities✤ Participate✤ Start conversations✤ Be a resource✤ Moderate 35
  36. 36. Step 3Manage your program 36
  37. 37. Manage 37
  38. 38. Selecting ambassadors✤ Attend information session (30 min.)✤ 1 month application process - create a blog, post 1x/wk minimum - first post = “About me” - create a twitter account - first tweet = “Why I want to be an ambassador”✤ Selection of Paid ambassadors✤ Attend fall training, sign contract 38
  39. 39. Contract3 reasons you should use a contract: Blog 1x/wk ✤ Responsibilities Tweet 1x/day Photos/Video bi-weekly Q&A Paid ✤ Benefits Leadership training Recommendation letter Networking opportunities Resume building ✤ Protection Set standards Authentic vs. Inappropriate 39
  40. 40. Trust + Education = Success 40
  41. 41. ROIProjected yearly cost 25% of applicants connectof program = $4185.14Monthly average cost 66% of enrolled students connectper ambassador = $40Yearly average cost Anecdotes are pricelessper ambassador = $318 41
  42. 42. Thank you!Mallory Wood@MalloryWoodmarketingwithmallory.comMarch 22, 2011 .eduGuru Online Summit 42

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