Hey, Don here again. We’ve just done some pretty nifty social media strategy for one of the Further Education Colleges and I wanted to talk about our experiences and pass on some stuff we picked up along the way. Interested to know if you have any thoughts or ideas to what we came across.

Just quickly, it’s probably best to explain how and why a flat fee online recruitment business gets involved in social media strategy. Simple really, it’s all about engagement. We use all manner of the most relevant and innovative online tools to help our clients better engage with their potential and current employees.

In the case of the FE college we used our tricky little social media skills to help with their enrolment and employer engagement programmes.

This is, of course, not a definitive list, but if you are considering a social media strategy (and you most certainly should), this will give you some ideas to get you going…

1. Most Futher Education and Higher Education Colleges have banned use of social media in the colleges – don’t, you need to embrace them, they aren’t going away!

2. EVERY College is already represented somewhere on some of the social media sites – you are already “out there.”

3. There are fragmented strategies across the different departments and curriculum areas – they need to be co-ordinated and structured

4. You will already have some wonderful blogging activity with your lecturers and students – capitalise on it

5. All of the FEs have wonderful content and events that can be promoted through social media sites

6. You have a number of different stakeholders involved (different types of students, lecturers, staff, employer partners, etc) and you need effective campaigns for each.

7. These campaigns need to be “joined up”

8. There are many ways to get around the issue of “opt in” for people representation on video sites

9. Most of the FE Colleges' organic Swearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not enhanced to its best capabilities, which can be rectified and managed through an effective social media campaign

10. Every single FE College's Employer Engagement campaigns would be enormously improved by effective use of business social media tools such as LinkedIn

OK, so some quick things you need to do immediately

1. Work out where you are already represented through social media

2. Create a social media policy – work out what you need it for, who it will effect AND who will take responsibility

3. Get the most use out of Google as you possibly can (mapsimagestools etc.)

4. Engage all stakeholders, the students, the faculty members, alumni, businesses, everyone...

5. Represent yourself on the most popular mediums (and use them!)
a. Twitter
b. Facebook
c. Myspace
d. Bebo
e. LinkedIn
f. Flicr
g. YouTube

6. Link your social media sites with relevant content from your blogs and college content

7. Interchange the content on with each social media

8. Get yourself registered on the relevant social bookmarking sites

9. Create targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook for niche courses

10. Promote your social media activity across your off line marketing materials as well on email signatures, etc.

11. Measure and track activity using online social media tools such as howsociable

And a final couple of points here

1. Be comfortable with what you are doing and who you are online (some sites will “feel” better than others to use)

2. Don’t be intrusive but get involved

3. Be consistent and responsive (get involved, again)

4. Don’t forget it is for the long term, so make it part of your strategy

There was so much more to what we did and found out and I am going to expand on a few things that I think will be interesting (particularly about Facebook advertising and Twitter), but feel free to let me know what you think. Or get in touch if you want to find out more.

Article by

Charlie_Penrose

Charlie Penrose

Creative Director