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Social Media In Higher Education

This talk was delivered in October 2016 at the Social Media in Higher Education Summit (Boston).
In the not too distant past, institutes of higher education relied on tried and true channels for interacting with prospective and current students, alumni and donors. But recently, due to social technologies, the tables are turned and the very groups that higher education seeks to engage with, are coming in droves digitally with questions, requests and expectations. While the audience needs remain the same, the methods for engaging have changed dramatically. As Higher Education enters this new world of 24X7 interaction, they often struggle to identify the best practices that can shepherd success. This session will share the methods for building a cohesive social strategy and measuring the impact while enabling the unique needs of various departments, programs and campaigns

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Social Media In Higher Education

  1. 1. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights Beyond the tools: Best practices for engaging social media to accelerate awareness, intimacy and sustained affiliation in higher education Vanessa DiMauro CEO, Leader Networks 617 484 0778
  2. 2. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Fact Facts about Vanessa DiMauro, CEO • Over 20 years of experience in social business leadership positions & a pioneering researcher in the field of online communities. • Her work has appeared in leading publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Harvard Business Review and Forbes. • Industry recognition includes Top 40 Social Media Masters Worldwide (Forbes), Most Powerful Women in Social Media (CEOWorld), Society for New Communications Research: Research Fellow of the Year 2014. • Faculty at Columbia University in the Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) master’s program. Former Executive in Residence, Babson – Olin School of Management. 2 @vdimauro
  3. 3. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. About Leader Networks Leader Networks is a research and consulting firm that helps companies use digital and social technologies to gain competitive advantage. We work alongside our clients to develop digital business strategies, launch new digital products and business models, create and grow online communities, and craft social selling campaigns and operations. Our efforts pay off – by enabling organizations to better engage their customers, drive new product and service innovations, reduce costs, and boost shareholder value.
  4. 4. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. And Helped Many Organizations Around The World
  5. 5. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. The World Is Changing…. Fast!! 4 billion internet users around the world
  6. 6. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. FACT: US Losing its Dominance in Global Higher Education Market • Increased number of US students studying abroad • Growing competition for international students A globally competitive market is emerging
  7. 7. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Is this a Crisis or a Brilliant Opportunity? It all depends on your institution’s response…. @vdimauro
  8. 8. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Where We Are Headed In This Talk Examine the student journey from pre- enrollment to alumni Explore each stage of needs and how social media can help Understand how to develop a comprehensive strategy Think about success measures to track outcomes
  9. 9. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Shifting Digital Expectations: From pre-enrollment to lifetime givers Engaging Alumni and Donors Educating Students Attracting Students
  10. 10. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. The Competition is on 72% of students develop their shortlist prior to reaching out to a school and only three schools make a prospect’s shortlist, according to LinkedIn. cc: Capt Kodak -
  11. 11. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Community Community Community Community School Fair Direct Mail School visit Interview Exploration Consideration Decision The Higher Education Buyer’s Journey @vdimauro
  12. 12. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Common Higher Education Response Tools over process
  13. 13. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Result = Engagement Confusion
  14. 14. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. A Better Way: Human-focused, Ongoing, Consistent Support @vdimauro
  15. 15. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Invest in your branding and marketing programs • Invest in multi-channel communication and responsive design. Commit to personalization • Your audiences expect it. Use marketing automation tools • This is how you can reach scale and efficiency. Develop your analytics capabilities • The data are there to do predictive analysis. Use it well. Keys to Differentiate @vdimauro
  16. 16. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Meet Emma, Our High School Junior 16 I can’t wait for college! I wonder where I should go? Emma is 17 year old high school student who is a passionate learner and thinks she wants to study science in college. She starts visiting universities. She is excited about the schools, eager to learn more, and immerses herself in learning about the top candidates. Her engagement experience matters..a lot!
  17. 17. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. I just tweeted the school. I hope the answer! 17 Emma the Prospective Student Reaches Out She expects a dialogue.
  18. 18. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. How Did You Engage With Emma? In a recent study of Higher Education Institutions • 83% of home pages and 42% of program home pages lacked ‘Request Information’ access. • 42% did not have a ‘Thank you’ page. • 17% failed to follow up with the inquiry and 33% made only 1 attempt in 2 weeks • 67% used only 1 communication channel in their recruitment process, and • 58% failed to mention the program of interest submitted on the web form. Source:
  19. 19. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Ways to Engage with Pre-enrollment Students Upon first contact, Emma is entered into the Marketing Automation System. Develop a workflow that prescribes engagement touchpoints during her decision process. Consider the following: • Does she continue to show interest over time? • Does engage offline – does she do a campus visit? • What content might she need at various points in her consideration journey? • What can you send or say to Emma over the course of the year?
  20. 20. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. But Wait! I Am A Small Department…. The answer: Marketing Automation + Human-Run Personalization
  21. 21. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Simple Lessons From Best Practices • Take a lesson from the best social customer care companies in the world – when customers speak, they answer and engage as humans! • Have a centralized social media department that can interact with consistency and align with the brand and reputation of the school. Consistency means Same voice/tone Standardized experience Even response rates @vdimauro
  22. 22. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Example 1: Cisco Notice… A single source of social accounts Consistent and clear information Active and current streams
  23. 23. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Example 2: Boston College Notice: Professional branding Directory to teach best engagement approaches Blended images – people, campus & logo
  24. 24. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. The Human Factor – The Little Things Matter Imagine…. … A school you aspire to, acknowledges a prospective student. … A professor you admire, talks back to you. … A university leader celebrates staff achievements. … You are thanked for your recent donation, online. @vdimauro
  25. 25. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Staff Wisely For Brand And Reputation Social Media is a valid, skilled PROFESSION! Students should not be in charge of higher ed accounts. • Risk & Liability • Lack of understanding of strategic vision • Uneven results @vdimauro
  26. 26. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Leadership Matters: Go-to’s for Press & Parents Developing social competencies for President / Chancellor Establish programs to help your star professors get online, and start sharing! • YouTube videos of your top professors in action • Partner with free online learning systems • Enable AMA with experts • Encourage professors to create slide share accounts with key lectures
  27. 27. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Do your homework well! A research opportunity to understand core values and refine marketing /engagement messages… When was the last time your department or institute surveyed current students and faculty about their perceptions of the school? The outcome: Priceless data to inform marketing strategy and programs.
  28. 28. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Alumni Are Social Too!
  29. 29. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. The Power of An Engaged Alumni Community
  30. 30. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Social Business Benchmark 30 Stage 1: Familiar Stage 2: Present Stage 3: Enabled Stage 4: Integrated Strategic Intentions No strategic goals Reach and awareness Social goals support business goals Social transforms the value chain Operations Detached projects Marketing participates & monitors social channel Social business COE Executive support Social media pervades all lines of business Staffing No dedicated staff Informal part of staff role Built into many job descriptions Integrated into key roles & executive sponsorship Policy No social media policy Guidance is offered Policy in place Policy, education & training Organizational readiness Org. tolerates experiments Results are shared and reviewed at a leadership level Impact, outcomes, ROI are tracked Cultural transparency, responsive organization Tool Use Mainly “unofficial” social media accounts Tool adoption grows & proliferates Departmental use of tools (e.g. sales uses LinkedIn) Tool standards established Source: Leader Networks: The Social Business Benchmark Study 2014 @vdimauro
  31. 31. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. What Do I Do Next? • Know where you are organizationally • Crawl, walk, run • Plan wisely and execute precisely • Always keep the human at the center @vdimauro
  32. 32. ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. Social Business Research, Strategy & Operations Vanessa DiMauro CEO 92 Richmond Road Belmont, MA 02478 617.484.0778 ©2016 Leader Networks. All rights reserved. THANK YOU!  QUESTIONS?