‘Thumb jamming’ was one of the most popular phrases to come out of the recent Social Media in Tertiary Education Conference in Sydney, as coined by David Sams. Speaking on the topic of content marketing, he is currently Communications Manager at Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, UNSW and has previously held positions in communications and content marketing with both Macquarie University and University of Sydney.
Like Chris McWilliams’ presentation, David questioned the now long-running adage that ‘Content is King’ by adding that context is queen. He says that many universities fail to consider the full span of their audience’s context when interacting with them on social media.
You’re not just sitting side by side with other education institutions – who else is in your students’ news feeds? News outlets, celebrities, music, film… That’s who you’re competing with for their attention. Think about what the non-education brands do to prompt your audience to ‘thumb jam’: that elusive moment they actually pause to read something mid-scroll.
The Great Untapped Internal Audiences
Your internal audiences should be a key source of content through storytelling, as well as being your brand champions. Encourage this by providing the means to discover and share your content, and by making work and study easier for them to help increase the likelihood they will recommend you.
People like to read stories about other people. If they’re going to share your content, it has to be something that’s going to reflect positively on them. Your content should be a ‘window to the soul’, offering a glimpse of what it’s like to be a member of your community.
See and Be Seen
When you have your content, how do you get it seen on a budget? While there once was a time that Facebook lavished us with organic reach, they are now making it more and more difficult for your content to be seen – even by the people who follow you – without paying for it.
David’s answer is to aggregate and amplify. Identify brand advocates to amplify your brand for you and don’t be afraid of aggregator sites like Reddit. Just make sure you are authentic in your postings, an overtly sales-y approach won’t work.
Another option is to create ‘piggyback posts’, which work particularly well when dealing with multiple departments or faculties. David recommends posting about upcoming events on your main Facebook page once a week and inviting others to posts details of their events in the comments. This means that everyone’s content can be seen in one place, and that one post is more likely to have a greater reach because of the number of comments – particularly when compared to the reach each comment would have as an individual post on individual group pages.
Multiply, Unify, Amplify
When tapping into your internal communities for your content marketing, keep the following three points in mind:
- Multiply: discover your content repositories and find out who your gatekeepers are
- Unify: get out of your chair regularly to meet with people both in your team and outside of it. Create communities of practice and share your resources
- Amplify: leverage your brand advocates to get your message out there without a large budget
The Digital Marketing Strategies for Higher Education conference, taking place this July, will explore personalisation and automation in an evolving environment. Digital marketing gives providers the capability to automate personal connection with prospective students and create positive engagement and multichannel experiences. Book your place at the event by May 6th to save $400 on ticket prices.