Earlier this year, just in time for the spring semester 2015, the University of Basel launched its redesigned website. But that was not all: With it came a complete rebranding. We talked to Matthias Geering, Head of Communications & Marketing, to get the inside scoop on their new corporate design. Continue Reading →
Branding for higher education institutions is quite unique, and Deborah Maue, a senior strategist at mStoner, recently covered this challenging topic in a webinar for Digital Campus members. Along with an introduction to branding for higher education, she gave us some pointers on how to tackle a rebranding.
Long Neglected, But Important
Higher education institutions didn’t always pay a lot of attention to their brand. It was only about ten years ago that brand strategy became a hot topic at universities, even though most of them have had a brand for a long time. So what exactly is a brand? Deb Maue from mStoner defines a brand like this:
You are trying to influence what your audience thinks about your brand, but you also need to make them do something based on that perception. Otherwise you are wasting a lot of time. Continue Reading →
“Once upon a time, college and university presidents distrusted social media. But no more”, this is what I read on the back of the book that just arrived in our office.
A shout of to the University of Lausanne for the most creative and fun holiday card—crowdsourced from their instagram fans!
The Soccer World Cup is a big deal. For a few weeks, most of the world revolves around this mega event and it is hard to escape any conversation about it, especially on social media.
During our recent Twitter chat, which took place the day of the kick-off on June 12, the conversation inadvertently geared towards the World Cup and how you could leverage the topic on social media. Continue Reading →
We knew that the communications team at the University of St.Gallen was planning to focus more on creating videos, but we had no idea what was in the works. Over the last months, the team has been working hard on an image film that sent the crew as far as Singapore.
The result is “Love, Loss, and Other Lessons Learned“, a love story told over four minutes and essentially a silent movie (no translation necessary, how genious!). The big premiere of their new image video was on April 28, just in time for their annual mega event, the St. Gallen Symposium.
An image movie for a relatively small university (7,666 students in case you wonder), which is not just secretly published on their YouTube channel, but is revealed with a bang and a red carpet, has to part of something bigger. What, you ask? Well, let us tell you what else they set up for this image campaign.
I recently wrote a short version of this blog post for swissnex San Francisco’s blog nextrends. If you are interested in reading more about each example with more details than you can think of, than just keep reading. And if you only have five minutes, feel free to move right over to nextrends and read the short cap with a slideshow!
If you hold a university degree, chances are your alma mater didn’t have a Facebook page or Twitter account when you were enrolled. They do now. But before you start to feel old, let me remind you that the Facebook “Like” button just turned four and that Facebook only launched pages for universities in late 2007. Continue Reading →
Just when you thought that you were getting a handle on social media, something else starts creeping in: the rising use of mobile. There is more than enough data out there to support the fact that mobile is on the up and it will not stop anytime soon. As Michael Stoner emphasized during our two study tours, “everything is connected to everything.” A mobile site is just another aspect of a good overall web presence and an important gateway to a university’s content (including social media.)
- Mobile devices count for 8.9% of global web visits
- The U.S. alone has 98 million mobile subscribers and is 3rd behind China and India
- 40% of those 98M own smartphones
- And 54% of smartphone users are 18-24 yrs old
Mobile in Higher Ed
Note: Even though the data that follows is U.S. based, I think it’s still relevant.
The 2012 State of the Mobile Wed in #highered Survey Report shows that while many universities offer a mobile option, many still don’t have a budget for it. Dave Molsen in his Higher Ed Mobile Website Survey paints a bleaker picture, with only 9% of universities out of a total surveyed of 178 offering a mobile site.
For the most part, universities are building these mobile solutions with students (and prospective students) in mind first, and then faculty & staff. In addition, these solutions are oriented towards supporting campus life, calendar of events, bus schedules, maps, etc.
As far as devices supported, Dave Molsen’s exhaustive research shows that only 31% of schools surveyed supported more than one device. And perhaps it’s not very surprising that 71% of schools created their mobile solution in-house without the help of consultants of specialized developers.
But what do students want to see?
Noel-Levitz released an E-Expectations Trend Report on the Mobile Browsing Behaviors and Expectations of College-Bound High School Students. Produced with research partners OmniUpdate,CollegeWeek Live and NRCUA, the study surveyed nearly 2,300 college-bound students and found a whopping 52% have viewed a school’s website on a mobile device before.
List of wants by those surveyed:
- Academic program listing
- Cost/scholarship calculators
- A calendar of important dates and deadlines
- Specific details about academic programs
- An application process summary
- Online application forms
There are some great examples and cases to draw and learn from. Beware that very few address the six points above.
- West Virginia University’s Dave Molsen has written and researched extensively about his experience building a mobile site. Check out the mobile site for West Virginia University: http://m.wvu.edu/about/
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s (MIT) mobile site uses open code allowing others to take it and adapt it.
- And here’s a glossary of a higher ed mobile sites: http://www.edustyle.net/gallery_mobile.php
Google offers a pretty good set of resources to make the move to mobile in GOMO. You can test your site and see how it is viewed by mobile users and even build your mobile site if you wish to take the plunge.
Finally, Seth Odell also shares some great insights in this video:
Many of you have inquired how to deal with “unofficial” Facebook pages and groups or inappropriate use of your logo. This becomes especially stressful when your boss asks you to “deal with them.” Before you jump to action, please consider the following:
- Social media is a “democratic” environment providing anybody with the ability to become an author. You won’t always like or agree with comments posted on Facebook.
- You cannot shut down groups and pages that center around your brand unless they are impersonating you and infringing on trademark/copyright law.
- Facebook’s Community Pages automatically add your organization’s logo from your wikipedia entry.
Things you can do:
- Report the page as a duplicate page (look for the link on the left margin) but there is no guarantee when Facebook will take it down.
- Authenticate your official page: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=authenticate_page
- In the case of inappropriate use of logo, you can submit a copyright infringement claim using this form: http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php?copyright_notice=1
- Better yet is to friend the administrator of the group or page. They could become powerful allies and sometimes even be relieved not to have to maintain the page any longer.
- Take a look at your wikipedia entry.
In general, you should be aware of “other pages” related to your organization (we will provide you with such list on May 24’s kick-off event). Keep an eye on them and try to identify frequent users (you might be able to contact them directly). You might find out that these pages or groups do not pose a threat to your organization after all.
Also, keep in mind that community pages do not generate a news feed (unlike your page) and have less features that a regular page. Groups also have limited functionality compared to a regular Facebook page. This means that they do not have the power to reach as many users as you can with a Facebook page.
To conclude, do your due diligence by reporting the issue with Facebook and by posting appropriate community and use of logo guidelines. However, it is best to focus more energy on building a good page for your organization and ramp up its “likes” instead of trying to shut down every related page and/or group that pop up on Facebook. Nonetheless, since this is an issue of concern to many brands, I will let you know of any new developments that can help you deal with these issues more efficiently.
Branding and unofficial pages read here: http://owni.eu/2010/07/09/unofficial-facebook-pages-brands-vs-fans/
Four ways to protect your brand on Facebook: http://patrickpowers.net/2011/01/four-ways-to-protect-your-brand-on-facebook/
Why Facebook Community Pages are not a big deal for brands…eventually by John Bell from Ogilvy 360: http://johnbell.typepad.com/weblog/2010/05/why-facebook-community-pages-are-no-big-deal-for-brandseventually.html