Social Strategies for Successful Student Engagement


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Engage in a discussion about how leading institutions are applying social technologies to attract new students, engage and retain their existing student population, and inspire and re-connect with alumni.

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Social Strategies for Successful Student Engagement

  1. 1. Social Strategies for Successful Student Engagement James Davidson VP Digital and Community Strategy 7Summits @jdavidson | #hesummit
  2. 2. “A new class of company is emerging – one that uses collaborative technologies intensively to connect the internal efforts of employees and to extend the organization’s reach to customers, partners and suppliers....” Social Media is Disrupting Business McKinsey Global Institute “The Social Economy: Unlocking value and productivity through Social Technologies” July 2012
  3. 3. Where Value is being Created
  4. 4. Today’s agenda • Introduction • Social Business and Community Concepts • Group Brainstorming • Wrap Up First Last Name Title
  5. 5. Introduction
  7. 7. Select Education Clients
  8. 8. Social Business and Community Concepts
  9. 9. From:   •  Hoarding  Informa-on   •  Web  Sites/Portals   •  Management   •  Email  /  Newsle;ers   •  CRM   •  Baby  Boomers   •  User  Interfaces   •  Noise   •  Desktop   To:   •  Informa-on  Sharing   •  Integrated  Social  Sites   •  Engagement   •  Collabora-on   •  Social  CRM  +  Communi-es   •  Gen  X  /  Millennials   •  User  Experience   •  Insights   •  Mobile  /  Access  Anywhere   The biggest from to shift in a generation Re-shaping the way you engage students, faculty, staff and partners
  10. 10. • Social media is the default state 1 • Rely on user-generated content to make life decisions 1 • They absorb and manage information differently than other generations1 • Universities that create their own open communities have a much greater degree of credibility 2 Millennials / GenX Insights Sources: 1Bazaarvoice. 2
  11. 11. Higher Education Trends Recruitment / Admissions • A typical prospective student now receives 12-18 emails from 2-4 year public/ private institutions. 1 • CRM is a top priority for 4-year public/private schools1 • 75-90% of 2-4 year institutions spend less than 25k annually on their institutions website1 Student Success / Faculty • 4-year universities are experiencing very high attrition — up to 50% in some cases. 2 • Higher Ed IT is seeking to consolidate platforms (Intranet, websites, portals, etc). 2 • Classroom delivery models are shifting to incorporate more online/digital Alumni / Advancement Mgt • Use of accurate data to drive alumni outreach strategies is one of the biggest needs to improving Alumni Relations 3 • Alumni Relations frequently find themselves without the support, resources or staff needed to perform effectively 4 Sources: Noel Levitz 1 ACT 2 Hartford 3 Council for Aid to Education 4
  12. 12. Communications Misaligned Prospects  /  Students  /  Alumni   E-­‐mail  Print   Phone   Social  Media   Mobile   Communica=on  Channels   Academic  Ins=tu=on   Decrease  in  effec-veness  
  13. 13. The Gap and Opportunity Online Community Opportunity? Facebook LinkedIn Student lifecycle continuum Prospective Student Qualified Prospect Accepted Student Enrolled Student Graduate Alumni Personally Social Professionally SocialAcademically Social
  14. 14. Online Communities 101 Social Networks vs. Online Communities The  primary  purpose  of  social  networks  &  online  communi-es  is  different   Social  Network    Online  Community Business Objectives Primary Purpose Relationships E.g.  Facebook   E.g.  Rate  My  Professor  
  15. 15. Key Community Elements Philosophy: “Bottom Up” vs. “Top Down” Profiles: managing identities (organizational and individual) Relationships: following/ connecting with others Presence: knowing when others are available Reputation: identifying experts and advocates Curated: administratively controlled content libraries, reference materials User-Generated: organically created content; appropriate for more dynamic behaviors Collaborative: collaboration around specific cases / initiatives •  Content types: •  Discussions, Documents, Polls, Ideas, Cases, Files •  Web 2.0/3.0 Effects: •  Comments, Sharing, Thanking, Liking, Tagging, Rating, etc. X People Places Content
  16. 16. To Drive Student Loyalty •  Call deflection and reduce call center costs •  Students support each other •  Help students / staff find answers •  Create a feedback loop To Drive Productivity and Performance • Increase transparency • Streamline communication • Improve collaboration • Find talent and expertise • Enable knowledge sharing • Reduce emails / unnecessary meetings To Amplify Brand Message •  Enhance advocacy •  Enhance marketing channels •  Targeted campaigns •  Launch new degree programs To Deepen Relationships •  Nurture competitive intelligence •  Admissions enablement •  Engage customers in curriculum development •  Enable institutional programs Institutions are adopting online communities across the institution to achieve measureable business results…
  17. 17. Common Use Cases for Online Communities Collaborate on documents/initiatives Stay informed – relevant campus news and updates Make connections with content and peers Share and discuss Tap into collective experience of the students and faculty (Q&A) Generate and exchange ideas ENGAGE CONNECT SHARE Find and connect with faculty and student - perspectives and content
  18. 18. Online Community Case Studies 18 Student lifecycle continuum Admission Community Student Support Community Learning Enablement Community Alumni Community
  19. 19. Admissions Community Demo Video  URL:  h;ps://    
  20. 20. Business  Value  &  Results   SOURCE:  Jive  customer  survey,   (November  2012)   30%   Admissions  team   produc=vity   Admission  counselors  spent  less  =me  chasing  the  student  and  more   =me  interac=ng  with  them  increasing  produc=vity  30%.   Deposit  Melt   Overall  accepted  student  summer  melt  decreased  by  5%    5%   Electrical  engineering  saw  almost  double  enrollment  2X   Enrollment   Numbers   Outbound   Call  volume   Admission  counselors  reduced  outbound  calls  by  66%    freeing  up  =me   to  interact  with  prospec=ve  students  in  community.   66%   Reached  ‘13  applica=on  goal  nine  months  early  and  acceptance  goal  five   months  early.  7000+  registered  members  and  growing!   Applica=on  and   acceptance  goal   Applica=on   turnaround  =me   Admission  counselors  spent  less  =me  chasing  documents  down.  We   went  from  months  to  weeks!   Reten=on  rate  from  accepted  to  deposit  jumped  from  30%  to  38%  in   one  year     Accepted  to  Deposit    8%  
  21. 21. Representative Business Value for Online Communities Online Community Opportunity? Facebook LinkedIn Student lifecycle continuum Prospective Student Qualified Prospect Accepted Student Enrolled Student Graduate Alumni Personally Social Professionally SocialAcademically Social Admissions • Increase qualified students • Reduce traditional media spend • Enhance referrals / WOM • Streamline enrollment processes • Enhance reputation / perception • Increase enrollment (fill seats) • Reduce application processing time • Increase students starts Students and Faculty •  Improve student retention •  Improve grades and satisfaction •  Streamlined student onboarding •  Improved graduation rates •  Reduced support costs (self-serve) •  Facilitate student / faculty collaboration •  Enable virtual study groups / peer support •  Crowdsource research and ideas Alumni •  Improved alumni engagement •  Increased donations •  Drive event participation •  Drive student referrals •  Facilitate student mentoring •  Capture student success stories •  Support professional networking
  22. 22. Group Brainstorming
  23. 23. Online Communities - Group Exercise Scenario Scenario: Your institution is looking to launch an initiative to leverage an online community to improve engagement and collaboration with 1) Admissions 2) Students 3) Faculty / Staff and 4) Alumni audience(s) Top goals for your online community initiative are to: 1.  Streamline communication / facilitate sharing of information 2.  Enable self-service and peer support 3.  Streamline institutional processes and operations As the project team, it is your job to begin the planning process and ensure your institution has thought through the strategy and plan to implement your online community
  24. 24. Today’s group breakout will focus on defining “who” we are targeting, and then prioritizing “what” the critical objectives are. Once defined, these objectives will provide the basis to identify “how” those objectives can be met (via online communities). Strategies: HOW can social technologies engage your audience(s) while meeting your objectives? Business Objectives: WHAT are the goals of your business? Audience: WHO is the audience being targeted? StakeholderValue:Myneeds andinterestsare Technology: WHICH use cases, features and capabilities will enable you to accomplish your strategies, while meeting your goals, and engaging your target audience? Focus on “What” first, “Who” and then “How” 12 3
  25. 25. Group Exercise #1 – Objectives / Opportunities 1.  Identify WHAT specific "improvement opportunities" exist for your assigned area 2.  Based on the initial list, prioritize them based on potential business impact –  Target 3 to 5 “overarching” themes Examples: • Increase number of applications • Decrease marketing costs • Grow number of referrals • Increase school preference (#1 choice) • Improve faculty / staff productivity • Reduce student support costs • Grow revenue • Retain students • Decrease operation costs • Improve operation efficiency 10 Min
  26. 26. Group Exercise #2 - Audience Value 1.  Based on the improvement opportunities/challenges, identify WHO are the key "audiences" that are impacted by that area, e.g.: •  Group 1# - Admissions: Prospective Students, Applicants, Parents, Influencers etc. •  Group #2 - Students: Undergraduate, Graduate Students, Adult Learners etc. •  Group #3 - Faculty / Staff: Professors, Advisors, Operational Staff •  Group #4 - Alumni: Undergraduate, MBA’s 2.  Brainstorm specific value statements for each targeted participant. E.g.: •  “As a prospective student I can … Ask current students a question about my preferred degree program” 10 Min
  27. 27. 3. Group Exercise #3 Strategies 1.  Review Objectives and Audience(s) & value statements 2.  Identify specific strategies and ways that "social technologies" could be leveraged to drive value. Examples: •  Get questions answered quickly •  Network with students easily •  Connect with faculty and staff •  Engage two-way communications between peers 10 Min
  28. 28. Group Exercise #4 Tactics / Technology •  Review Objectives, Audiences and Strategies •  Brainstorm ways you as a program owner can help implement your proposed strategies using an online community •  Brainstorm technology and community features that might address their needs –  High-level use cases –  Feature sets •  Prioritize key features / requirements – what is most important? 10 Min
  29. 29. Wrap Up
  30. 30. Groundswell Book Giveaway Mention @7summitsagency with hashtag #hesummit to win a copy of Groundswell. And Need more help or a copy of the deck? @jdavidson
  31. 31. ü Full-service implementation partner strategy, user experience design, build ü Experienced across the academic lifecycle – admissions, student and faculty engagement, and alumni relations ü Deep community experience ü Over 100+ communities delivered ü Salesforce community experience ü Award-winning work ü Forrester Groundswell award winner for our work Higher Education ü Design awards in Higher Education ü Measurable business impact: • MSOE Case Study • Penn Foster Case Study 7Summits Highlights