When you’re recruiting prospective students, you want to know what they’re saying about your university. One way you can learn what students are saying is through traditional audience research methods, social audience intelligence, or a combination of both. The research analysts at Brandwatch used social data to learn more about prospective student conversations surrounding applying to college.
Brain Waves Blog
With March Madness upon us, you might notice a higher prevalence of basketball mentions in your school’s online conversation, or just online in general. While athletics can bring helpful attention and money to your school, for staff members interested in other areas of the conversation, the focus on athletics can overshadow the academic conversation and targeted brand messages. Separating the athletics conversation from the rest of the conversation is possible and can be helpful in strengthening non-athletic conversations.
Sometimes when people hear social listening, they think that online analysis is limited to social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit. Luckily—for both analysts like myself and for our clients—that’s not the case! As many colleges and universities earn reviews from prospective and current students, alumni, and parents on sites like College Confidential and Cappex, it’s important to understand the picture these reviews paint of higher education institutions. Campus Sonar uses social listening to gather reviews from these sites and analyze both positive and negative comments. We capture the thoughts about a higher education institution from across the internet, which could include: the typical student, why others recommend (or don’t recommend) it, opinions on academic programs and resources, or other trending topics from the cost of tuition to the food in the cafeteria.
Social listening and word clouds are synonymous, for better or worse. They're quick and easy, and provide a visual representation of the terms that occur most often in any qualitative data set. For someone familiar with that data set (say, a collection of tweets from a conference) a word cloud can hold meaning by highlighting aspects of the conversation they were already familiar with. A good example of this is the word cloud of social media conversation during the 2017 HighEdWeb Annual Conference.
Quality data and insights are valuable to higher education marketers. In Are You a Modern Marketer? we maintain that these insights help higher education professionals create data-informed strategies to drive recruitment, growth, and enrollment. But how do higher education professionals find data and leverage the insights accordingly?