With so many different choices available to them, competition for young people, amongst FE providers and sixth forms, is intense. In order to get these young people through your college’s door, you have to get across the message that an individual can succeed, whatever their aspiration.
Social media has changed the way people make purchasing decisions. Selecting a college course is essentially a purchasing decision for a young person, as they have to weigh up their many options before deciding. “Push” marketing is all but ineffective in today’s online world. Marketers who win are those who provide helpful, contextual information to their target audience. Social media provides you, the marketer, with the opportunity to be helpful at scale.
In order to help a young person with their college course decision, you have to create context. If a person can relate to your college and the types of people who attend, they will be far more likely to apply for a place too. The best way to do this is to tell stories about the people who already attend your institute and how they are succeeding, because of their learning.
This can be achieved by using Kloodle with your other social media tools. Here are a few tips for you to try.
1. Find the best Kloodle profiles throughout your college
This can be done using the search tool on Kloodle, or by asking teaching staff who has the strongest profiles amongst their cohort. Ideally, you need a bank of profiles that represent as many areas of the college as possible.
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2. Conduct interviews with these individuals and make articles for your blog
Interview your students using this Google docs template. You can email each student and get them to write their responses. Depending on the time you have, from the interview responses, you should write an article for each student, framed within the context of the course that person studies. In each article, you should include: –
– A link to that person’s Kloodle profile
– Links to the department’s page on Kloodle
– Links to the college website
– Links to each of the other articles in this series
3. Post these articles on your social media channels
These articles now act as the central “hub”. You build “spokes” by posting links to these articles on the various social media channels your college has a presence on. Encourage discussion on these posts, and answer any queries people have as prompt and as helpful as possible.
Tag in relevant people on social media, including the people who are the subject of your articles.
4. Engage in conversations on Twitter
This point may require time and resource that is unavailable at your college. However, Twitter is a platform where you should be proactively soliciting conversations. You can search out conversations relevant to your college, enter the conversation, and be helpful to that individual.
– Search terms relevant to your college at https://search.twitter.com. This isn’t like Google – search for things people may tweet. “applying for apprenticeship”, “revising for GCSEs”, “what A Levels” etc are all things people may tweet, and are relevant to you as a college marketer.
– Find conversations that you can add value to. To a person revising for a GCSE exam, ask them if they need help with revision techniques.
– Ask questions. Questions are the best way to engage people on Twitter.
– Ask the person what they want to study or what career they want to pursue.
5. Redirect back to your Profile Blogs
After you have engaged in conversation with that person, redirect them back to the blogs you created in step 2. This should be contextual – i.e. if you are conversing with a person who wants to be a doctor, send them a link to a person at your college who is also an aspiring medic, but who is a little further along in their journey.
Using profiles of real students who have achieved great things with your college is a powerful message to relay to potential students. A person should feel excited about coming to your college, as they feel as though they will have opportunities to succeed in abundance. By seeing others who are slightly further on in this journey, the cognitive leap required to see themselves as a student at your college is a short one.
Kloodle enables them to make that leap.