Friday, 28 January 2011

Beyond Facebook – how will LinkedIn change education marketing in 2011?

LinkedIn’s IPO has helped us all get some interesting information about the phenomenal growth of this platform. 90 million users, as of December 2010 is a staggering figure. What’s more interesting too, is how the latest IPO information points to the majority of income on LinkedIn coming from recruitment advertising primarily.

I feel this demonstrates how much this platform has been missed by fellow education marketing professionals. LinkedIn contains an audience of people keen to develop themselves professionally generally. People who frequently update their professional information and network with others in their sector are likely to be interested in more than just a new job. These people are interested in career progression generally. Therefore, this makes LinkedIn the perfect platform for postgraduate marketing.

To be fair, some UK universities are getting in on the act now and Open University in particular has been a first mover in this area, using LinkedIn to engage with prospective students via polls for example. Also MBA providers are now appearing quite heavily on LinkedIn. What about more niche degrees though? In our tough market place at the moment, could LinkedIn also be used to research demand for new courses prior to launch?

I’m watching this space to see what new marketing trends on LinkedIn will originate from our sector this year. When it comes to postgraduate marketing I believe LinkedIn holds the key to postgraduate marketing innovation in 2011.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Getting the best out of Twitter for education marketing

Does your University automate all of it's Twitter activity, for example using RSS feeds to provide a steady flow of content? Do you alternatively, link up your Facebook account with Twitter so you only need to update one platform regularly?

If you do, you're missing the opportunity to engage in conversation via Twitter and create dialogue with prospective and current students. You are also limiting the visibility of your content, as information tends to be searched for via hashtags on Twitter and content provided by feeds often does not include hashtags.

Using RSS feeds and particularly scheduling tweets definitely provides time saving benefits. However, I suggest that it is worth reviewing twitter on a weekly or at least bi-weekly and searching for topics of interest to your institution. For example, you could search for #MBA if you offer MBA courses. People's twitter posts around #MBA could provide you with ideas for twitter postings that could be of interest to your key audiences.