You have made a website and social media sites… so now what? For many people this is the problem; figuring out how to get people to connect with your website and social media sites. Simply creating them is not enough. Here are some tips that will help you get your students to start interacting.
- Hire content marking researchers. This does not necessarily have to be a full-time employee, but can be an intern, or someone who attends the school who has a thorough understanding of social media and education in brand integration. The best people for this type of job are young adults because they live in the age of intense Internet and social media.
- Start a contest. People love to be involved in contests. Even when the prizes are something small, it is something that catches people’s attention. Using a Facebook or Twitter contest is a way to increase your “Likes” or “Followers” and will get more people involved in your social media sites.
- Require Postings. In classrooms, professors can require students to mark attendance by “tweeting” at your twitter account or to make Facebook or Twitter postings about particular topics discussed in class.
- Add entertaining materials. If your Facebook and Twitter are composed of only campus information or news articles, students will not be as interested. Having information of that sort is important, but you need to mix that with videos and pictures that students can relate to, and will find entertaining.
- Start discussions. Posting discussion questions will get people to engage. Whether this is about a possible campus event or current events news, having questions posted will evoke answers from students.
Social media is highly important to gain engagement from students, as well as helping to create integration across numerous platforms your institution has and building brand identity.
Websites play an important role in all businesses, organizations, higher education institutions, and pure entertainment. The Internet is full of millions upon millions of pages of information. Because of this, cutting through the clutter is necessary when designing and updating your website. Higher education institutions need to make themselves stand out in order to attract prospective students. College and university websites need the same general information, but the format in which it is presented makes all the difference. You want to make sure your website it beneficial, not a place where people feel frustrated, unconnected, and angry.
Another key component is making the students feel connected to the college or university, despite the fact that they aren’t physically there, or may not know anyone there. You can create this feeling by incorporating student quotes or testimonials, many photos and videos. Photos and videos do not need to be solely based on the campus, or student organizations, but can be photos submitted by students of activities the town of your college or university has, festivals or entertaining videos students submit. They do not need to be completely based on campus, classes or school organizations. This way, the prospective student has a better understanding of what going to your college or university truly entails. Engaging the prospective student is the most important thing that can be done. Although content and information is crucial, the website needs to be visually appealing, engaging and interactive in order to gain the attention of the user, keep the attention, and ultimately gain a new student.
Facebook and Twitter are the most highly used social media sites used by higher education institutions, as well as most businesses and organizations, but it is important to remember other social media platforms that can be utilized. YouTube is an interactive way to get students involved and can also provide clear demonstrations for computer problem questions, where things are located on campus, different videos from clubs and much more. It also gives students the capability to create videos for the higher education institute’s YouTube site. Getting students to interact with the college or university is important. It also allows prospective students to get a better idea of what campus life may consist of; different activities that occur on campus, and can visualize themselves attending the college or university. YouTube should not be underestimated, because it can truly help give your institute a personality and emphasize its identity.
Integration can play an important role in higher education websites. It allows various media components to be connected cohesively. This helps not only your website, but your college or university portray a unified message that allows you to create your own identity, brand, and personality.
Media components that may be integrated into your higher education website include the obvious, social media, but span further than this as well. Student newspapers, magazines, published works by students or professors or articles published about students or professors. These media components allow website users to obtain a wide variety of information, and also connect to other students and faculty of the college or university. This creates a more personal interaction that is enjoyed by users. Integration also allows a “one-stop-shop” idea where users can simply go to the higher education website and connect to various media outlets rather than searching online to find the outlet they may want.
Integration is crucial is creating a unified brand and message and also allows for simplified searching for users. Integration can give your website a strong personality and allow you to have a connection with users.
Money. It can be what drives our schools, our motivation, our desires and our economy. So, what if I told you that your higher education institution could save itself 2.5 million dollars a year? Would you be interested? I know I would.
Single Sign-On is a system, which allows multiple independent software systems to be accessed from one single account. A user can sign into the SSO and access all of his or her software systems. So, you may be wondering… why is this important? Well, it helps to create safety precautions. Often times, people experience “password fatigue,” where individuals provide weak passwords and reduce their security. Everyone can relate to this. Almost everything we do on the Internet requires a password, and it is easy to tire out and recycle weak passwords, and then leave them in your computer where they can be easily hacked. SSO eliminates this issue and helps protect all privacy.
You may be asking yourself… “So why is this important to me?” Well, SSO is also extremely vital for higher education institutions. First and foremost, it helps to protect security and eliminate hacking into systems that may destroy content and invade private information. No one wants to have their computer hacked, and have all-important personal information stolen, and SSO helps to protect against that. Another benefit to SSO is the cost that corresponds with forgotten passwords. According to research done by Enterprise Management Associates, password management costs up to $250 per year, per computer used in an organization. If your higher education institute has 10,000 employees, this can cost you up to $2.5 million to provide staff that forgot their passwords. This is a massive expense that can be spared with SSO and can be spent in other areas of the university/college, and benefit students, alumni, the campus, or any other necessary areas.
SSO also reduces phishing, which is a fraudulent process where users are tricked into providing sensitive information, including passwords, to hackers, who then create fraudulent tasks on their accounts. This can include sending false emails, or using credit card information that may be stored in accounts. Having protection against these terrifying issues can help give you peace of mind.
Aside from password protection, SSO is helpful for website development. Anyone who works in higher education and deals with website content understands first hand just how much information and time goes into creating the website. Higher Education sites can have hundreds, to thousands of pages and a large amount of content. SSO reduces or removes a great deal of the work that goes into the development process. Anyone in the higher education field knows how much time and effort it takes to create a website due to the vast amount of content. Authentication systems take a lot of time to develop as well as to maintain. By using SSO, this time can be cut down, or eliminated, leaving more time to work on other areas.
In today’s fast-paced society, people want everything to happen quickly, without waiting. Because of this expectation, the amount of time spent on websites is diminished. When someone is going to a website for a particular purpose, the last thing he or she wants to do is search around for the information needed. This will create frustration, and ultimately, that person will leave the website. This means you need to ensure your website is organized and easy to navigate. If users do not feel frustrated looking through the website, the time spent on the site will increase, and the likelihood of that person leaving the site decreases.
Some ways to make sure your site is easy to navigate is by having a search tab directly on the site. This way people can immediately search for what they came to the website to find. Labeled and organized tabs are necessary, not only on the homepage, but on the sub-pages as well. This helps keep information organized, which is especially important for higher education websites because of the vast amount of information on the sites. Another important aspect is having a phone number or email address to allow the user to contact you with any questions. If the user cannot find information anywhere, allowing he or she to contact someone is reassuring that you care, and you are willing to help them find what they are looking for on the website. Lastly, make it interactive and visually appealing. This will increase time spent on the website as well. Include photos, areas to leave comments, videos, and the ability to connect to Facebook and Twitter.
There is no getting around the fact that people have a much shorter attention span due to the improvements in technology, but there are ways to combat negative connotations that go along with the fast-paced society in which we live.