Social Media Strategy – UK University Success

With over 17,000 students and 2000 staff, Staffordshire University are a bustling and vibrant organisation with their hands (and Facebook pages) full. Thankfully, by using Social Media monitoring and analysis company Meltwater for the last 2 years, the ability to listen and engage with thousands of online student and staff queries has become simple. The University uses Meltwater to track all Social Media conversations both sent directly them and those that talk about them.

How Can 1 Person Manage All the University’s Social Media?

With nearly 26,000 fans on Facebook and over 15,000 followers on Twitter, keeping track of all the engagement would be impossible. That is why Amy Winter, Solo Social Media Manager, thinks Meltwater is so important to the presence of the University online.
“Meltwater gives the ability to monitor conversations both to and about the University, and to schedule posts in advance. It also helps us analyse successful campaigns and see how much exposure each post has received and the key issues that are grabbing the audience’s attention.”

Attracting Potential Students – University Social Media

Social Media has been key in capturing the attention of potential students. By posting engaging content on both Twitter and Facebook, the university has been able to amplify successful events which has led to an increase in applications. One example is #staffsopenday, which was a roaring success with [Insert stat] students attending the day.

One element central to success has been the use of tabs on the University Facebook page. By having various tabs set up, students and potential students can keep up to date on forthcoming events. By encouraging followers and fans to share the content across their networks, potential students are more likely to see the shares and therefore engage.

Topics important to Current Students

Not only is Social Media important in attracting future students, it also allows the University to learn about trends and interests of their existing student population. “Being able to understand exactly what our community; our ambassadors are saying about the organisation is a real advantage. With the help of Meltwater we’ve monitoredall the conversations across campus, helping us to develop a set of Social Media Guidelines – this aims to protect both the individual and the brand – people aren’t always aware how far their comments can reach.”
Meltwater enables the user to discover influencers. Amy explains, “By building up this picture and using the Social CRM function in Meltwater we get a holistic view of all interactions with these influencers – this means when prospective students come along the University has a pool of engaged advocates ready to share their experience.”

Overcoming Crisis– Introducing Policy

With online communities as large as 40,000, there is always the potential for a crisis, and often Social Media is the first indicator.
“Meltwater alerts us of any potential challenges and allows us the opportunity to respond quickly and effectively – often setting the record straight.” Winter continues, “being a busy university there’s always something happening across campus, so by monitoring the conversation we can quickly understand what’s going on, trace the source and spread the message to a wider audience”

Social Media Impacts Reputation

Staffordshire University has made a significant impact on Social Media, with both Twitter followers and Facebook likes increasing by 20% in 2013. With such a vibrant online community and inclusion in relevant conversations, Staffordshire University have also recently be named in the Top 50 of Social Media in Higher Education, which in turn has increased their profile among potential students and current students alike.