Tag Archives: social networks

Inspiration for Facebook tabs from outside .edu (Part 4 of 4)

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this series of blog posts on Facebook tabs for mStoner’s blog. It has been fun to explore how other industries are engaging their customers, viewers, and supporters in social spaces. Sadly enough, all good things must come to an end.

The Book of Mormon on Broadway

book of mormon Facebook

You probably know that Facebook users no longer need to “like” your Page before they interact with wall content. But, did you know that Facebook tabs have a nifty feature where you can limit tab content to those who have not “liked” your Page? Encourage the “like” by telling potential-fans the value that exists under the hood, the value they can only get by clicking the “like” button.

The Book of Mormon, NYC’s hottest show on Broadway, gets your “like” by allowing you to stream the cast recording for free. And there are few things better than free, especially when it comes to streaming music.

book of mormon Facebook tab

See how the tab changed after I “liked” the Page?

The ability to listen to the soundtrack for free is a great way to introduce the show to the un-initiated or give super fans a reason to keep coming back to the Page. Book of Mormon identified the number one value-add they could provide their Facebook community and they were smart enough to require you to “like” their Page first. Kudos!

How do we make this apply to .edu?
I rarely see .edu Pages taking advantage of this feature. The tough part is figuring out what value you can offer to your audience.

If you have a Page just for your institution’s alumni you could place videos from reunion or information about upcoming events under the hood. Or draw inspiration from Indiana State’s approach and offer a roommate finder to your incoming class.

indiana state university Facebook tab

What are your favorite Facebook tabs from outside .edu? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your examples.


Inspiration for Facebook tabs from outside .edu (Part 3 of 4)

The third post is a series of blogs I wrote for mStoner’s blog. This one is my favorite!

rue lala facebook tab

Discount shopping sites have revolutionized how American consumers are accessing designer brands. Rue La La isn’t the only one in the marketplace, but they are by far the most interesting when it comes to their social presence. I’m often tweeting about how innovative and engaging they are and recently I featured their blog in a guest lecture to a business class at a Vermont college.

second rue la la screen shot

 

A month ago Rue La La did it again, showing their social media prowess with a brand new “Inside Rue” Facebook tab. The goal is clearly to introduce you to the fabulous team at Rue. I think they nailed it.

The tab is clean and full of interactive and sharable content. It incorporates video, quizzes, and calls out to various twitter accounts. There are at least five ways within the tab where you can share content you find interesting with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

 

 

rue lala facebook tab 3

How do we make this apply to .edu?
I hope you can imagine the endless ways this example could be translated to .edu Pages! Feature admission counselors on twitter and their territories. Incorporate your institution’s branding and messaging into fun wall post sayings. Highlight the videos your marketing team spent long hours creating in an easy to view and easy to share format.

My favorite idea to pull from Rue is the interactive quiz. How easy would it be to put together a five-question quiz for prospective students to take so they can figure out what “type of student” they would be?

What ideas are you inspired to try after seeing Rue La La’s tab? Share your thoughts with us!

Next up: Broadway, of course.


Inspiration for Facebook tabs from outside .edu (Part 2 of 4)

Note: I am a regular contributor to mStoner’s blog.  This is a cross-post from my recent entry there.

simpsons Facebook tab for nedna

To gear up for the fall season premiere, the Simpsons asked viewers to vote on whether or not Ned and Edna (Nedna) should stay together. Who doesn’t enjoy sharing their opinion? Fun and interactive, this is something that will engage a casual viewer to the most passionate fans of the show.

The Nedna tab keeps it simple. Watch two 50 second videos to determine whether you are pro or no Nedna and then cast your vote. (My only complaint is that the voting redirects you to the Simpson’s website versus voting within the tab.)

 

How could this apply to .edu?

Research continues to show that your constituents enjoy viewing web video. The 2011 E-Expectations Report from Noel-Levitz highlights that the majority of prospective students and their parents will watch videos about your institution if they are considering you. Comscore reports that in August Facebook was the third most popular site for unique video views.

Is your campus holding a contest? Maybe you are searching for a new mascot or elections for student body president are coming up. Taking the Nedna-approach you can showcase the options with video and then let the students vote.

Many institutions host video contests, asking students to submit videos highlighting their favorite place on campus. Have you thought about letting students vote on the winner? Put the top three videos on a Facebook tab and let the students decide.

Have you experimented with video in a Facebook tab? Leave a comment and share your example.

Next up: Online shopping goes social.


Rethinking a presentation

Next week I am presenting “Beyond Blogging: Create an integrated online student ambassador program” at HighEdWeb in Austin, TX.   I presented “Beyond Blogging” at two other conferences, therefore it should be a cakewalk, right?

Wrong.

This presentation was built from the perspective of someone who worked in a marketing office at a college specializing in social media.  In the past “Beyond Blogging” was essentially a case study of my former employer and the expansion of a blogging program into an online ambassador program.

I no longer work for a college, or in a marketing office, and I enjoy social media but my job doesn’t revolve around it.

Plus, HighEdWeb is a killer conference and you have to bring your “A” game.

Enter the need to rethink, revise, and expand the scope of “Beyond Blogging.”

Luckily, the knowledge I can draw on from managing the ambassador program is still very relevant and useful.  Insert examples and experiences from other institutions, and voila!  A new presentation is created.  A better presentation is created.  

And in the process the entire point of the presentation changed.  It’s no longer just about showing why ambassador programs are important.  It’s about showing ambassador programs can be created and will work anywhere.

To prepare for the presentation I spoke with higher education professionals at Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Oswego, College of William & Mary, and the Glendon campus of York University.  Combine these interviews with my knowledge from Saint Michael’s College and you have mixture of public and private; small, medium, and large; liberal arts, technical, and research institutions; and even an international campus.  These five schools are a great cross-section of the higher education industry.  (I only wish I could have added a community college to the mix!)  And guess what?  Online ambassador programs work for all of them.

The key is identifying what your goals are and finding the right mix of tools to support those goals.  This is what my presentation will focus on.

“Beyond Blogging” is in the social media track, Monday morning at 9:30am CDT.  This presentation is relevant for anyone who engages in admission-focused marketing.  If you are attending #heweb11 I hope to see you there.  If not, I hope to hear you in the backchannel and I promise to post my slides Monday morning so you can follow along.

Here’s a teaser:

Adam Lambert = Saint Michael's College

I was also inspired to recreate this presentation from a couple posts on Seth Godin’s blog.  Maybe they’ll inspire you too.
Really bad Powerpoint
The atomic method of creating a Powerpoint presentation


Facebook and Enrollment – What do future students want?

Recently All Facebook has been all about higher education.

In my previous post “Admission Counselors on Facebook?” I attempted to clear up some miscontrued Kaplan survey results that All Facebook reported on.

Today’s headline?

Students Get To Tour College Campuses On Facebook

My first reaction = It’s cool… it’s really cool…but who will actually do it?

My opinion on Facebook and Enrollment:

When Suzie HighSchool gets home from softball practice she might log into Facebook.  But, I’ll put $10 on the fact that she is not going there to conduct her college search.  She is going to Facebook to connect with her peers and future classmates.  Suzie hits up your website or sites like Zinch (which are geared towards the college search process) to start her college search.

I believe that future students search for your institution on Facebook typically after they have applied to your school or have been admitted.  They want to join groups related to the college, their class year, and/or clubs and programs your institution offers that are of interest to them.   In short, they go to Facebook to connect and engage with other humans.

I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on this story and on using Facebook in the enrollment marketing strategy.  Do you agree or disagree with me?  Let’s get this conversation started…


Formspring vs. Quora

Today Formspring announced that it received $11.5M in funding from Redpoint Ventures.

This announcement comes at a time when Quora, another Q&A site, has been making waves in the social networking world.

Formspring also made a few changes on their site.  They changed the language from “Ask Anonymously” to “Hide My Name.”  They also added a “Respond” button which is available for any Formspring user to place directly on their website.  You can use this to increase comments on news articles, videos, photos, and more and then have those responses shared within the Formpsring community.  Like Quora, you can push your answers to other social networking sites.

New screen shot of formspring

Many people know that I am a big fan of Formspring, having been one of the first to use the service in higher education to connect with prospective students.  My interview on Higher Ed Live regarding Formspring has over 1000 hits, making it the most viewed episode to date.

Yesterday Patrick Powers wrote a great blog post on Quora which highlighted how your institution’s faculty could use the tool. 

Who is going to win the Q&A site battle?

I think the tool that you ultimately decide to use should be based largely on your goals.  Quora appears to be a great Q&A site for one to use personally, you can show how you are an expert on different subjects or get expert opinions on questions that you have.  I have never used Formspring as a personal account and do not have plans to do so in the future.  For me, Formspring is a better tool to use as a business or for a higher ed insitution.  Formspring, much like Twitter, allows you to customize the look and feel to your profile.  It allows you to provide your customers with a safe place to ask their questions.

So what do you think?  Formspring vs. Quora?


Follow up: Engage your audience by being interactive

Last month I wrote a blog post about engaging your audience with an interactive video quiz.  I promised to follow up with statistics, so here they are.

If you missed that post, in short, I created a 10 question video quiz that was advertised to our prospective seniors and applicants.  If a student made it to the end, they were instructed to visit our Admission’s Blog and leave their name and email address, this entered them into a contest to win some SMC gear.  The contest ran for the month of December.

Stats

Over 1000 people viewed the intro video to the Holiday Quiz.
– 26.9% of participants made it through all 10 videos.
– 12.4% of participants entered their name into the contest.

45.9% of participants who made it to the final video entered their name into the contest.

The average number of views per question = 285.6 (with the intro video removed from the calculation)

Analysis

The question was raised, “Are 10 videos too many?”  I was pleasantly surprised to see that a quarter of our participants finished the quiz, but should I assume that only 12.4% of our viewers were in the target market?  It would be naive to not realize that some prospect students only made it part way.

Using YouTube Insights I can see further into the demographics.  Looking at the intro video, 40% of the viewers were in the 13-17 age range.  This is excellent, but also indicates to me that for the majority of prospective students 10 questions was too many.

Our decision to go with 10 was based on the staff and questions we wanted featured.  I think next year I will cut it down to 5, see what the stats say, and compare to this year’s results.

Either way, this project was well worth my time.  124 students entered the contest in hopes to win swag.  In the process, they were educated about the college, introduced to our Admission team, and it was fun.  In fact, some of Saint Michael’s Admission Counselors heard from students (in person, on the phone, or even in their college application) that they thought the quiz was “cool.”

I think it would be interesting to cross check those 124 submissions with the future Class of 2015 to determine what percentage of participants actually enrolled.  Look for another follow up in May…

(Video view counts were recorded at 3:30pm on 1/11/11)

What you missed

Finally emerging from your cookie-coma?  Recovered from New Year’s Eve antics?

Here’s what you missed over the holidays:

Facebook beat Google as the top visited website in America in 2010.

700 billion YouTube videos were watched in 2010.

Seth Godin writes on why your web forms shouldn’t be annoying.

Admins on Facebook can now unmerge Pages and Places.

Bates uses “swing deans” to help minority students enroll and transition into college life.

Dean at Pomona College gives his take on the Common App in response to previous article on the Common App’s technical glitch.

Patrick Powers compiles his “favorite things” for social media and higher ed.


Free professional development, a click away

I’m hooked on TED

“Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.”  I can’t argue with that!  These videos of interesting and often jaw-dropping presentations are truly “ideas worth spreading.”

I’d like to share with you some of the TEDs that I have recently found inspiring.  I hope that you will share links to your favorites with me.

Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media

Julian Treasure: The 4 ways sound affects us

Jonathan Harris: The Web’s secret stories

Chris Anderson: How YouTube is driving innovation

Bobby McFerrin hacks your brain with music


Should your bloggers be tweeters too?

Got Student Bloggers?

What else are you using them for?  Not to brag, but my SMC Bloggers are an impressive bunch and they’re doing a lot more than just blogging.  They are the face of St. Mike’s online recruitment efforts.  They manage Formspring accounts, participate in live chats with prospective students, film campus events, create videos, connect with prospects on Facebook and NING, and they tweet. I feel like a proud mom.

The hope is that you’ll meet them in one space and then recognize them in another.  When high-schooler Suzie is chillin in the Class of 2015 Facebook group, I want her to feel comfortable.  Hopefully she’ll be more apt to engage because she’s been reading Gabbi and Dan’s blogs and now she sees them answering questions and starting conversations on Facebook.

With that thinking in mind, this academic year I made it a requirement of the SMC Bloggers to use twitter.  (It was “highly encouraged” in years prior.)   Now I know there’s plenty of talk out there that says students under 18 aren’t tweeting.  Yes, I read  The Chronicle article and I saw the results of Noel-Levitz E-Expectations survey.   So am I wasting their time?

Nope.

During the 2009-2010 school year on SMCBlogs the 9 bloggers who were tweeting were by far the most “popular” bloggers.  During the year their blogs received about 550 visits/month.  The non-tweeters?  Only about 230 visits/month.

The most active tweeters continue to see the highest traffic to their blogs.
Over the past month the 5 most active students on twitter received an average of 347.2 blog visits.

We can compare this to:
5 students who do not use twitter* received an average of 167.5 blog visits.
5 “less-active” twitter users received an average of 114.2 blog visits.

Of course, there are many more factors going into why these students are (or are not) seeing traffic to their blogs and I know that twitter usage is not the only one.  Yet, I don’t think you can fight these numbers.  The active tweeters have more traffic to their blogs.  Plain and simple.

I want to hear from you.  I think there is a lot to talk about here.

Should your student bloggers be tweeters too?

*The 5 students not using twitter are volunteer blogging and are not paid, thus are not required to use twitter.  The SMC Bloggers that are contracted and paid are required to tweet.


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