From: Raka Creative
Tag Archives: twitter
There have been a number of statistics released in recent years showing the drastic decline of email usage among digital natives, aka current university students. With the popularity of texting, mobile apps and social media students want their information in bite-size pieces; little snippets they can read on the go. This means as we correspond on behalf of the institution we need to consider the amount of content included in our messages and focus on disseminating just the most essential information. Think of it as: “they probably won’t read beyond the third line, so get it out in two.”
Here’s a great quote on the decline of email communication from We Are Social comScore 2011: It’s a Social World:
Not surprisingly, the ”digital natives” are moving away from emails in favour of social networks: email usage among 15-24 year olds has dropped by 42% over the last year whereas usage of social network grew by 34% in the same time period. Social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s internet users, i.e. 1.2 billion people around the world.
Gone are the days of 5 paragraph emails where you can provide long introductions, program overviews, hyperlinks to multiple pages of your website and prose about how great your institution is for them. Instead of sending one long correspondence every few weeks think about sharing your information with students more frequently, in shorter, bite-size pieces.
Several suggestions on how to do this:
Facebook: Create pages and groups as necessary to support the communities you want to engage. Many institutions create a new page for each incoming class. This online space is a great way for students to engage with their future classmates and then keep the discussion going after they meet face-to-face at orientation, start classes, and to plan social events. You as the administrator can post important information and encourage a discussion via the comment and like features.
The chat feature is a great tool for quick interactions with individual students. I like to call the chat feature the new version of “open door policy.” If you have the chat feature enabled and Facebook open on your browser at the office students will see you online and may drop you a quick note or question via FB chat. I have advisers who tell me that sometimes these “quick questions” can turn into a 20 minute chat session. My suggestion is to have a rough time limit (which you don’t necessarily need to tell the student about). If you have been going back and forth for more than 5-7 minutes, ask them to make an appointment to come in so you can give them further, undivided attention.
Twitter: Create those winning taglines that have a hook. The 1-2 line text can then be followed up with a hyperlink to a website URL for more information. Here are few examples:
1. “Submitted that scholarship application? The deadline is just 5 days away!” [insert hyperlink here]
2. “Register for your classes early and receive a $10 bookstore gift card.” [insert hyperlink here]
3. “Signed up for the New York City trip? Only 5 spots left!” [insert hyperlink here]
For example 1 include the link to your institution’s online scholarship application.
For example 2 include the link to the online registration website.
For example 3 include the link to the activities page where students can sign up for the trip but also see what other events are coming up.
You could then encourage students to tweet back to you when they have followed the link or completed the call to action. If you see students signed up for the NYC trip after your tweet, tweet them to thank them for signing up and tell them how excited you are they are participating.
Text Message: In the US text messaging is usually an additional cost for students so receiving promotional content that bears a cost to the receiver the is not the best way to win over your audience. The good news is that many phone operating systems are moving to free text services within their own platform. For example, RIM implemented Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and recently Apple created iMessage for iPhone OS5 users. This allows free messages to be sent to phone owners on the same platform.
This doesn’t mean you need to roll out a blanket advertising campaign and text every prospective student in your contact list, rather receiving a short personal message from you about their application process or class registration might be a great way to prompt them to ask you that looming question about scholarships that has been on their mind.
On a fun, and partially related note, here is an interesting article from the New York Times, Everyone Speaks Text Message, on how Text Messaging is actually creating language development. Another positive outcome as a result of technology advancements.
I’m swooning over my new iPad (2) so there may be a few posts in the coming months that focus on the wonderful discovery of related apps.
Hitpad is an iPad app that offers a snapshot of trending news across the web. As we increasingly have more places to look for news and events happening in the world Hitpad simpifies this process by providing the top trending topics across the web in real time.
Rather than just a twitter feed, a Google search, or frequently viewed YouTube videos Hitpad’s beautiful interface offers a series of columns featuring a variety of sources & content trending on a topic: news, tweets, video, web, and photos.
On their site the developers/founders share a bit about what makes Hitpad successful and different:
Compared to the visual news or feeds readers, Hitpad has four main differences:
- Hitpad is a rich visual dashboard that tells you what are the most important things you should know today in your areas of interest
- Hitpad is instrumentation by measuring, analyzing and determining what is important to consume in order to minimize reverb and improve discovery
- Hitpad is agnostic to the publishers that are providing the data
- Hitpad is tuned and personalized based on your interests
On my recent visit to China I asked all the young study abroad counselors:
What’s the hottest service in the social networking sphere these days?
China’s version of Twitter.
Started by media portal giant, Sina, Weibo is a microblogging site, similar to Twitter, that has recently soared in popularity. According to Sina there are over 100 million users and millions of posts per day. Their growth rate is more than 10 million new users per month. Weibo accounts are mostly individual users posting content, much like users do on Facebook and Twitter, but the service also has more than 5,000 companies and 2,700 media organizations actively posting.
Since most US-based social networking sites are blocked in China (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, etc) you’ll want to open a Weibo account if you are interested in promoting your school to the China market. Over 100 million potential viewers is no small audience. While some users do update in English it’s recommended you have a Chinese speaker feeding local language content from the account.
You can sign up for an account here: http://t.sina.com.cn/