Social Media is nowadays a key part of any successful marketing strategy and is proving to be a very effective marketing tool for the Education sector.
It presents a huge opportunity for schools, universities and other online or offline educational organisations to reach out and market to potential students since many of those potential students are spending their time on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.
Since education has always been about exposing people to new ideas, it’s not surprising that the impact of social media and the digital world in general is being felt in the education sector.
But how is really the education sector using social media to connect to their audience? Here are 3 great examples:
1. Stockholm University: Streaming Seminars
The University is actively engaged in dialogue with students, researchers and the media. You can find Stockholm University on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
With its own social media channels the University creates a dialogue with the community, whilst highlighting activities and events within the areas of research and education at Stockholm University.
But its really innovative approach to social media that matches their audience’s needs and really delivers value is about their streaming seminars.
Sometimes, students can’t make it to seminars and other events. Broadcasting these events is a good way to help them reach a wider student audience. Stockholm University provided a live streaming video of an environmental seminar that allowed students to watch remotely, or save and watch later. The university also used this technique for a seminar on file sharing.
It is easy to see that such a use has immense application in the classroom. It would be possible to watch presentations from other schools, and to “attend” lectures remotely. Additionally, it would be useful to students to be able to replay seminars and lectures to look for information they might have missed the first time around.
2. City University of New York: iTunes and Newsgathering
City University of New York (CUNY) has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and iTunes.
Besides delivering daily valuable content to their college students on their social media feeds, they also have a very innovative approach on using iTunes.
Basically many of their colleges offer something called iTunes U which is a part of Apple’s iTunes Store featuring College’s lectures, seminars, recorded events, and more that students can enjoy on their iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC free of charge.
Other interesting fact about the University use of social media is about newsgathering. The University’s presence on social media relies heavily on delivering relevant news to their students and their increase in followers is directly connect to that. They’ve had so much success that as a result, Jeff Jarvis, a professor at the City University of New York, is teaching a class on using social media for newsgathering.
This is a graduate level class in the Graduate School of Journalism that teaches students that they can use real-time searches to find breaking news — and to find comments on that breaking news.
3. Stanford University: Showcasing Faculty and Student Work on Facebook
Many universities are interested in sharing projects with the world — not to mention educating others in the school. To that end, Stanford University is providing access to faculty and student projects on its Facebook page.
With more than 900,000 users following their page, students looking for inspiration for projects can see videos, pictures and other previously done projects.
Also, gathering this information into one place makes it a little bit easier to search for news and research being done at Stanford. The university has multiple pages, making it easy to locate information on the Green Library, hospital and a number of the colleges and departments.
Stanford University also offers Facebook office hours, at which time faculty is available to answer questions on Facebook, providing an excellent customer service online in real time.
Stanford University also has a presence on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.