Today’s students are used to communicate and share their experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which is why colleges and universities have embraced social media as an essential part of their online presence.
The social media networks have become a fantastic tool to convert applicants to newcomers, interact with the students, promote programs and courses, and stay connected with the alumni. The universities use them to market themselves, build online reputation and improve overall brand image.
Still, this requires a lot of work. Universities that want to build a successful social media strategy have to keep track of social media engagements and analyze social media data and analytics. Therefore, using social media monitoring tools is not just recommendable, but inevitable. Here are the top five benefits of social media monitoring for universities.
#1 Defining Strengths and Weaknesses
If the university decides to promote its programs, it’s necessary to know what current students think and say about them. The social media networks are the best place to find it out. By analyzing their posts and content shared with friends and colleagues, universities can easily spot their strengths and weaknesses. It is also beneficial for promoting extracurricular activities or to compare with competitors.
Social media monitoring can also help in targeting new international students. By analyzing social media content, universities can detect the level of brand awareness in a specific country, which makes targeting much more manageable.
In the end, keeping a close eye on how and where conversations about the university take place helps in building an overall online reputation, which is essential for attracting not only top students but top lecturers, as well.
#2 Building a Top-notch Reputation and Brand Image
Harvard University is one of the best examples of how social media reward good brand visualization and carefully managed reputation. As one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard University has more than 330.000 Twitter followers and a 3-million fan base on Facebook.
Each post their share with their vast social media fan base comes with a recognizable crimson Harvard shield. This symbol amplifies the brand message and encourages the school spirit. Sure, it is easy to shape the ideal form of the content University creates itself. But what about the potentially harmful comments other people create and share with their friends and followers?
The most prestigious colleges with a sterling reputation like Harvard University for example can use social media monitoring to keep track of everything said, written, and posted about their brand online. That way, they can recognize a potential lack or disadvantage before it becomes a problem, react instantly and keep their brand image intact. The social media monitoring tools can successfully analyze not only posts and comments but insulting or unflattering photos, as well.
#3 Creating Better Student Experience
Starting a student life comes with a lot of questions. Where to eat? What are the office hours of tutors? How many hours of classes per week to expect? What if I fail an exam? Which are the best extracurricular activities? Social media can quickly provide all the answers, which is why students prefer using it for their Q&A sessions.
Universities can easily take advantage of this communication trend to offer much-needed support and create a better student experience. Social media monitoring enables detecting the most common topics among the students and answering all their queries at the right place and at the right time. That way, students become more informed and involved in different aspects of college life. At the same time, by using social media monitoring tools, universities can easily spot up-to-date topics and use them to promote their clubs, researches, sports, or any other aspect of campus life.
#4 Attracting Top Students and Staying Connected with Alumni
Top students are a real value of a university brand. However, universities have to compete with each other to attract and reach potential candidates on time. Social media monitoring brings a huge help on the way, by detecting which social media channels prospective students use the most.
On the other hand, the university campus is not a place just for learning, but for building friendship, loyalty, and commitment of alumni, too. All of this can become a powerful tool for running a successful marketing campaign, raising brand awareness, or opening fundraising opportunities. However, to achieve that, universities have to stay connected with students even after they receive their degrees.
By using social media monitoring tools, they can detect which platforms are the best for targeting alums, which helps to connect with them more easily and quickly.
#5 Crises and Risk Management
A PR crisis can cause severe damage not only to brands and companies but to universities, as well. To avoid them, universities have to be one step ahead. One of the main rules of proper PR management is to foresee the potentially harmful situation before it becomes a problem. The social media monitoring is one of the best ways to achieve that.
A growing number of mentions with negative sentiment or an unusual amount of comments under a specific post are good indicators that something might go wrong. Social media monitoring tools can be of huge help in becoming aware of the emerging situation which might affect the university’s reputation. They are also very helpful in preventing potential incidents. By monitoring keywords such as “accident,” “abuse,” or “threat,” universities can detect any risk and react on time.
Use the Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA) for Effective Social Media Monitoring
By using social media monitoring tools, universities can get better insights and personalized advice on how to improve their social presence. One of the best examples of such technology is Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA). SIA is an AI-based powerful feature that enables smart monitoring of mentions, posts, comments, or any other social media content and protects the user’s social media image. Here is how to use SIA for effective social media monitoring, on the example of Harvard University.
Step 1. Adding the Keyword/Tracker
To get started, we need to log on Mentionlytics app profile and click on the “Add keyword / Tracker” tab. This will open the mentions tracker wizard in a new window.
Step 2. Setting the Mention Tracker category
The mention tracker wizard offers four different groups to monitor:
- Something about your brand (can be a university name, services, people, etc.)
- Your competitors (you can use the university name, services or people)
- Your industry (marketing leads, commonly used phrases or keywords, or anything else)
- Or you can add to an existing mention tracker.
In this case, our goal is to monitor mentions about Harvard University, so choosing “Something About my Brand” is the right option.
Step 3. Naming the Mention Tracker
Mention tracker name represents a group of keywords and social media profiles we want to monitor. These terms will be used when discussing the university, its programs, services, or even the people. We entered the name Harvard University on the dialog box, as shown on the screenshot below and click NEXT.
Step 4. Adding the main keyword
After naming the mention tracker, the next step is defining keywords or phrases we want to monitor. Here, we used the keyword “Harvard University.” Alternatively, we can choose programs, services, or people related to Harvard University as our preferred keywords.
Step 5: Defining the Language, Source or Regions to monitor
By using SIA, we can customize the places we want to monitor geographically, by language, or based on a particular source. However, the most of the social media users do not share their locations. So, to avoid limited results, it is recommendable to leave this to default.
For the data sources, you can choose between monitoring websites, specific social media profiles, or any other source on the web. Determine the particular areas of concern, and continue to the next step.
Step 6. Adding the Social Profiles to Monitor
In this dialog box, we entered all Harvard University social media profiles we want to monitor, by adding the media type, and the URL or the profile name. Now, all Harvard University profiles will be gathered as mentions no matter of the keywords that appear on those profiles. Adding the social profiles to monitor is optional.
Step 7. Creating an Email Alert
To make sure we don’t miss any important mentions, we created an e-mail alert for the Harvard University Tracker. Although it is optional, adding an e-mail address enables SIA to send notifications whenever someone mentions Harvard University. We can also define the emailing frequency, whether the email should contain an attachment or not, and the date we want to receive the first email.
Step 8. Completing the Setup
By clicking “confirm,” we created a new Mention Tracker under Brand Monitoring named Harvard University. Our Mention Tracker will collect all content, including keyword Harvard University, and cover all posts from Harvard University official website, and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube profiles.
Step 9. Checking the Results
As a powerful tool that uses Artificial Intelligence to point out social media mentions, SIA uses an innovative algorithm that is going to analyze Harvard University and its competitors giving us actionable insights. We can access this data by clicking the tab “Intelligent Advisor” on the left side of the screen. We can also use these actionable insights to improve Harvard University’s online presence.
Use the Power of Social Media Monitoring to Build a Strong University Brand
Today, social media is where everything happens. But with such a broad audience and so many possibilities, all the social media content, the stats, and the analytics can quickly become overwhelming.
With social media monitoring, universities can transform all this data into numeric proof of successful marketing activity and set a clear path to a powerful marketing campaign. Also, by using social monitoring tools, universities can prove the ROI of the social media campaigns, which is important to the departments in charge of planning marketing budgets.
So, set your marketing goals and let the social media monitoring unfold all the possibilities of social media platforms.