Matt Payne

5 years ago

Staffordshire University Business School know how to deliver when it comes to social media. The Institution can always be found in the top five and how can we forget their success at the Edurank Awards?

The Business School secured the top spot for the first time this year, with excellent performances on Twitter and Instagram. We caught up with Jon Fairburn, from Staffordshire University Business School, to learn a little more about how the Institution tackles their social media.

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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?

Our most successful channel partly depends on the audience we are engaging with. The Business School’s Twitter account @BusinessStaffs gets the most engagement, this keeps us in touch with key stakeholders in the region. However, not as many students use Twitter (except when they are working with us); I think this is because many young people still see social media as something to connect with family and friends, as opposed to a tool which helps them promote themselves, network and get a job. Our Instagram is popular for students and young people.

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?

Obviously, it is nice to have plenty of followers on any channel however, engagement is more important. On Twitter, we will look at retweets, profile visits and mentions. We use our social media channels to drive traffic to the Business School blog, where we measure visits and CTRs. On Facebook and Instagram you can see the range of interactions and think about which posts are popular (at the moment videos are doing well for us).

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 actually give current students access to the channels when we are working with external companies or organisations. For example, attending industry fairs or other events. On our Digital Marketing Management courses, credited work experience is built into the awards, so the students can actually assist organisations with social media.

Twitter is useful for Open Days and also for keeping in touch with alumni and was effective in the EU project we carried out to engage with SMEs in the region. At the Business School we have at least one blog per week and one article in the local newspaper, so these are then pushed through the channels too. The blogs are written by both staff and students. The ones by students are often popular and provide good role models for other students as to what they can do. Many of these blogs will feature an external partner, so those organisations will also promote it across their channels too.

What are your favourite marketing resources and why do you find them useful?

Good photos should never be underestimated on any channel. For some events we have used students who have got photography interests and given them a camera. They often get great photos and some of these become stock images for us. The real secret is to get as many people involved as possible; a lot of staff have access to the main accounts and can just post when they want to – which gives us diversity. Getting the students involved as much as possible is really good.

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 have recently started a Linkedin group for the Business School and we are also looking to start a YouTube channel and to make more films.

Why is Edurank important to your digital marketing efforts and what features do you use on a monthly basis to help monitor your efforts?

We usually pull a screen grab of the monthly rankings and tweet that out. The Edurank Award we won is pinned to the top of the account. We have used the awards in our marketing, across all channels. Edurank provides an easy and useful way of looking to see what other Universities are doing, which inspires us to get new ideas.