Higher educators have a difficult time building a consistent social media presence. One of the main challenges faced by tertiary education social media teams is effectively engaging with their audience to promote both educational learning experiences and social experiences in their institution.
As a past university student I can tell you now that a friendly, bubbly and community focused university was what I wanted. I also studied abroad for one year in the US and the first thing I did when I was assigned my study abroad university was check their Facebook, their website and any thing I could find out about them on the web. When I went to these platforms I saw faces of students, alumni and professors and a list of social events for all to attend. I won’t lie I was still terrified but the terror began changing to excitement- and that is an emotion that all institutions should want their prospective students to experience.
With this in mind it is important when choosing your tone and content to consider your underlying goal of inspiring, building trust and growing friendships.
Tertiary educators have begun to look at new ways to effectively engage and nurture friendships with their students through the humanisation of their institutional brand.
Brendon Walker Social and Digital Media Manager at TAFE NSW has stated that,
“Students want to deal with people. They don’t want to deal with bureaucrats. Humanising your brand is about avoiding this situation at all costs!”
Here are Brendon’s 4 top tips for humanising your institutions brand:
1. Lose the formalities! Natural language that is conversational is best. People know they’re not talking to robots, so don’t act like one.
2. Respond. Always. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the answer. Acknowledge the fact that someone has taken the time to chat with you. Then go get the answer they need.
3. Serve people in the same place they present. All too many times, people are bounced from one department to another. It’s giving them the run around, and gives you the “red tape/unhelpful” look.
4. A smiley face can say more than words in certain situations. Don’t ever be afraid to use it from time to time 🙂
Brendon will be running an interactive workshop at the next Social Media conference on using innovative social media to recruit and engage students.