Higher Ed K12 SXSWedu

SXSWedu: Can You Hear Me Now? Campus Sonar Can

campussonar-sxswedu-top SXSWedu: Can You Hear Me Now? Campus Sonar CanDr. Liz Gross and NC State’s Nick Love To Present: The Case For Strategic Social Listening On Campus, At SXSWedu

Never before in history has it been so easy to listen to the pulse of your campus and student body, as it is today. Currently though, many colleges and universities are leaving this ability on the table. They aren’t quite familiar with the benefits of social listening on campus.

The easiest way to define or describe social listening is monitoring talk and chatter about your campus and student body on social networks. True social listening goes well beyond searches or notifications for your known hash tags and official user names. Often times there is talk involving your student body, your campus, your sports teams or your alumni without hashtags and @ mentions. These mentions are just as valuable.

The greatest thing about social listening is that in many cases, those doing the listening, and taking action often times find more positive mentions than negative ones.

When you think social listening, naturally you want to listen for negativity. Is someone saying inappropriate things on social media, are they disparaging the school or others in any way. Are they saying things that are hurtful or dangerous. But  you’ll also find students, faculty and alumni saying great things about your school.

Take the University of Alabama for example. On January 16th the world watched as Harley Barber’s racist social media posts spread across the internet like wild fire. The university was able to act swiftly and decisively even though the original posts never mentioned the university. At the same time, students and alumni came out of the woodwork to support their school during this social media crisis. Also at the same time, there was a big snow storm heading for Tuscaloosa. Classes were cancelled and students, faculty and campus officials were using social media to warn students of any dangers and let them know where they could find some warmth.

Just last week Grammy award winning artist Drake made an unannounced trip to the University of Miami to pay for a student’s tuition via their scholarship fund. The University of Miami was able to use social listening to drive attention to this kind deed.

Social listening can also be used for very important everyday things like recruitment, admissions and marketing. By using a monitoring service or monitoring keywords outside of hashtags, schools can see when students are tweeting or sharing on Facebook that they are considering a certain school or planning to make a visit. Schools can then proactively reach out to those students and families and help assist them with their trips.

With a good social listening strategy in place, campus officials can respond to everything. Over the past few years, at the beginning of the school year we’ve seen plenty of colleges utilizing Twitter to respond to students that are just looking for their next class, a dining hall or a bathroom. These little responses take just seconds, and have a real positive impact on campus life.

Nicholas Love, NC State’s Director or Social Media Hub and Dr. Liz Gross, Campus Sonar Director will make The Case For Strategic Social Listening On Campus at SXSWedu on March 8th from 9:30-10:00am at the Hilton Austin Downtown, Suite G. For more information check out campussonar.com

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