Building a Digital Brand for a Network of College Campuses
Client: Virginia College
Virginia College tasked SA with three assignments: launch the brand’s first-ever social media program, develop a strategy that would create overall brand awareness for the college and create local, online experiences for students who were dispersed among 26 campuses throughout the southern part of U.S.
The program design and content had to engage current students and activate them as brand ambassadors so they would share their experiences through social media that would encourage potential students to consider inquiring about Virginia College programs.
SA created a content strategy that not only promoted themes that matched the college’s degree and certificate programs, but also promoted localized content specific to each campus. To capture local content, we recruited campus ambassadors who provided us with weekly posts that included events, photos, videos, application deadlines and other campus specific activities. SA developed Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and creative assets such as avatars, cover photos and page backgrounds for each of the 26 Virginia College campuses. We then created monthly publishing calendars, and drove content development and deployment across channels.
Over the course of nearly two years, our program resulted in a 300% growth in the brand’s online community and brand reach, with a quarterly growth rate of nearly 35%; over 30 customer service-related interactions with current students per quarter and 15 interactions with potential students per month; nine (9) million social media impressions for the brand per month, reaching over 125,000 unique social media users per month; and, became the second highest source of unique referral traffic to the college’s website.
- Launch a digital brand through a strategic social media and content marketing campaign to create and accelerate online awareness and motivate current students to refer their peers.
- Create an extensive community management playbook to develop and strengthen online relationships between current and potential Virginia College students.
- Expand the use of social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, to strengthen online communities and drive engagement with current students.
- Initiate lead generation through driving social media traffic back to Virginia College program landing pages to generate enrollment.
Strategy and Execution:
- Developed social media channels for each of the Virginia College campuses and online program with support from the College special events and public relations team.
- Developed monthly Facebook and Twitter publishing calendars for the brand and each campus.
- Created a balance between informational content relating to Virginia College programs as well as content specific to lead-capture in the monthly publishing calendar.
- Worked with Virginia College to activate faculty, staff and students at each campus to increase the volume of local content, from specific campus events to classroom news.
- Acted as administrators and community managers on all social media channels, fielding student questions, comments, concerns and reporting issues as needed.
- Followed local brands and companies near each individual campus to build follower base and drive local engagement.
- Identified landing pages for each program and drove traffic to the Virginia College website through daily social media content.
- Tracked the volume of traffic that was driven towards enrollment and program landing pages from content SA developed and shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Measurement and Results:
- Over the course of 18 months, SA built a digital brand and online communities for each of the 26 Virginia College campuses and Virginia College Online, their online degree program.
- We were able to grow the brand’s online community and brand reach by 300%, with a quarterly growth rate of nearly 35%.
- SA’s approach resulted in over 30 customer service-related interactions with current students per quarter and 15 interactions with potential students per month.
- We secured nine (9) million social media impressions for the brand per month, reaching over 125,000 unique social media users per month.
- The effort was the second highest source of unique referral traffic to the college’s website.
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