Congratulations to Basingstoke College of Technology who topped the Edurank charts in June. The College have demonstrated their knowledge of social media; with excellent performances across the key social media channels – particularly on Twitter and Instagram.
I caught up with Laura Boundy, Marketing Manager at Basingstoke College of Technology, to find out how the College achieved this success, and how Edurank plays a significant role in their social media marketing.
Tell us a little more about your social media marketing activity; where do you take inspiration from? What is your most successful channel? How does it contribute to your overall digital marketing strategy?
Dan, our Marketing Apprentice, has been an absolute superstar and has brilliant ideas for our social media accounts. We have weekly catch ups and discuss the themes of the posts for the next week and review the posts from the week before. Dan then takes this and interprets it into the content we have on the accounts. I think the great thing is that we’re not afraid of trying new things, seeing what works and what doesn’t. We have great engagement and have seen the biggest growth in Instagram, that’s also our favourite. The College is very digitally focused with regard to teaching and learning and so our digital marketing strategy is really important. Social media is a huge part of our digital strategy and we’re growing and changing our strategy to suit the changing environment of social media and digital marketing.
What does social media marketing success look like to you? What sort of metrics do you set yourself in order to measure how successful your activity is?
We have moved away from chasing likes to actually tracking the engagement with our posts, so what do people do next, are they clicking on links, chatting with us and engaging with the college as a personality. We also view social as much more than just a platform to ‘sell’ the college and our courses, it’s a platform to be social and build an engaged community of advocates.
Which groups of students tend to engage the most with your social media activity; current students, prospective students, alumni or a mixture? What type of content do you find is consistently the most engaging?
We find a real mixture of current students, potential students and alumni. It also depends on the time of year, as we head into the Summer and results time we’re seeing more engagement with excited applicants and people making later choices for college. We find video works really well. Initially we worried about making sure videos were of a really high quality, but actually, a video of an open evening taken on a decent phone posted at the right time gets just as much engagement as a professionally finished video.
What are your favourite marketing resources and why do you find them useful?
We have a calendar which we use to schedule activity each week (and then have ad hoc postings on top of that) and that’s been really valuable as a tool to make sure the messaging is right, images are correct and as a time efficiency tool for Dan. We also read a lot of content online about social media, and marketing in general…the Buffer podcast is a firm favourite in our office!
The world of social media and the seemingly limitless engagement options it presents are ever evolving, what’s next for you? Are there any platforms you are keen to start using which perhaps you aren’t already?
We already have a snapchat account, but we use it to engage with current students at the moment. We’d like to move to using that more as a tool for engaging with prospective students. We’re really proud to be number 1, mostly because it’s down to the success and hard work of an apprentice; it shows just how much Dan’s developed in the time he’s been at BCoT both as a student and member of staff. Being number 1 was ideal as he leaves at the end of July to go to university to start a Digital Marketing degree so will be leaving on a high! We have a new Apprentice starting in August so we’ll be starting the journey again with them.
When did you start using Edurank?
We have been reviewing the Edurank stats since last year, but have been more active with our digital marketing since January 2017 and have seen our position get higher and higher each month since then. I had also used it at a different college and knew the value it gives to an organisation.
Why is Edurank important to your digital marketing efforts and what features do you use on a monthly basis to help monitor your efforts?
The day the Edurank rankings are released is a big day in the office! We are always keen to see where we are and what other colleges have been doing. We use all the analytics both for our own knowledge but also to share with the Executive Management Team to show how we are performing against sector benchmarks (and our competitors!). The top posts sometimes give us ideas for content and how we can try different things, and we can also see where we’re up and down, what’s been working well on a platform and what we can change for next month.
Get in touch to let us know how you and your institution use Edurank. Are you getting the most from the platform?