Schools have become major marketing operations. They attract students from all over the world, building a name and image for themselves as the perfect destination. Just like any global company, the goal is to create a recognizable brand.
But universities and other tertiary education providers do have their own challenges. They need to maintain a positive reputation, knowing that choosing a school is one of the biggest decisions in a person’s life. If students and their families aren’t sure about a school, they’re not going to attend.
That’s why smart modern schools use monitoring tools like Mention to protect their reputation and build brand visibility. These tools make tracking conversations a piece of cake, which lets schools find the best content to share with prospects, and defend themselves from negative publicity.
Here’s how two top education providers use Mention.
The University of Chester is one of the oldest tertiary education providers in the UK. It encourages diverse personalities, and values a wide range of approaches to learning.
It also boasts a small but talented marketing team, including Head of Digital Marketing Shai Vure. He explains that the University uses media monitoring for two key objectives:
- Content curation: To find new and interesting content related to the school to share on their blog and social media
- Crisis management: To identify bad news early and prevent things spiralling out of control.
Here’s how they do it.
We all know that the only way to bring people back to your blog time and time again is to share great content, and (preferably) lots of it. And while much of that needs to be original, it’s always good to source content from others. This is part of Shai’s approach.
Using Mention, he came across a nice little article that showed Chester in a lovely light:
“I was looking for content that we could share across our networks. A story was published in the local paper about a student who rescued some ducks. He stopped the traffic and helped them back into the river. We shared it on our Facebook page, and it’s been one of our most popular posts for the last few weeks.”
— Uni of Chester (@uochester) April 13, 2016
Having an easy-to-use monitoring tool makes finding content almost automatic. Mention looks for news articles and social media posts related to Chester and delivers them to Shai as soon as they appear.
“It’s that sort of stuff, happening in the local area with our students, that we wouldn’t necessarily know about unless we Mention. We’ve broken into the EduRank top 10 for our social media due to the content we’ve been able to get with Mention.”
Universities have a special need to protect their reputation. Parents send their children off to college with trust, and they need to know that they’ll be taken care of.
So bad news and social media stories can be particularly painful. And when the worst occurs, schools need to move quickly to inform key stakeholders.
Shai’s role includes monitoring these situations to keep relevant parties informed. “We had an unfortunate incident involving a student who was on placement as a student nurse. We were able to send information on to the people in the institution who need to have access to it.” Shai was able to find and distribute important updates, so that the situation could be handled efficiently and appropriately.
This ability to share information immediately with others is valuable, especially “for the managers at the University who aren’t so savvy with computers. We can quickly export the information topic in a PDF, then email it to them so they can access it in a form that’s easy for them.”
Sometimes, you can’t prevent the worst from happening. But with good monitoring tools like Mention, you can respond immediately and keep the harm from getting out of hand.
ILSC is a global educator with schools in Canada, the USA, Australia and India. They offer English and French classes, and vocational education programs to students from 100+ countries.
Having a worldwide audience makes monitoring their reputation tricky. They need to know who’s talking about them – and what they’re saying – to be able to market themselves effectively.
Digital Marketing Manager Maria Paula Murad uses Mention to listen to social and web conversations about their campuses. This helps in two ways:
- Brand monitoring: Understanding what’s said about ILSC helps them refine their marketing plan.
- Crisis management: To identify and prevent crises before they lose control.
Here’s how they approach this worldwide.
With campuses all over the world, ILSC needs to understand what’s said about it – in many different languages – to better attract future students. Mention lets Maria monitor conversations anywhere in the world from her own computer.
“We track mentions of ILSC’s language schools, and also our colleges in various languages, so we can find out what’s going on.”
They’re focused on monitoring the reputation of their school, “in order to be able to compare apples to apples when we are creating our reports and see which of our markets are talking about us more online.”
This information helps them plan their digital marketing strategy. “We create a monthly report with our alerts, so we can have an idea of how they have performed. Which market has more influencers, for example. The whole team has access to the tool so they can click and download a report.”
The internet allows anybody, anywhere, to share their thoughts about your school or brand. That can seem daunting, but smart social listening tools let you track all of this from wherever you are, whenever you need.
ILSC doesn’t encounter much negative feedback, and is keen to keep it that way. “Typically 99% of the mentions are positive, so that’s nice. A lot of brands would kill for that luxury. We’d all be glad if we had nearly unanimous good reviews.
But as Maria explains, “sometimes we see a complaint or something like that, so we make sure it’s taken care of and the situation doesn’t get bigger.”
Mention’s Pulse alerts tell her immediately when a potential issue is building. “We receive a Pulse alert, and we can get to work.” This helps ILSC ensure that it can react quickly and prevent it from spreading.
A crisis doesn’t always have to be life or death. A nasty review, a confused customer, or a misleading blog post can all lead to a lot of bad publicity. By keeping a close eye on conversations online, you can be sure that things remain under control, and stay out of crisis mode.
How to enhance your reputation with brand monitoring
To build and protect your brand’s reputation, you need to know what people think about you. And with so many conversations on such a wide range of platforms, that’s easier said than done.
Monitoring tools like Mention are designed to take the hard work out of this. Mention monitors billions of sources daily to make sure that you don’t miss a thing. And we’re just one such tool.
To learn how to get started with brand monitoring, click the link below:
Subscribe to Marketing + Monitoring Weekly
Get hot blog posts, insanely useful resources, and funny gifs every Friday.