One of Spain’s top technical universities, Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) jumped on the opportunity to boost enrolment by reaching and engaging more students in meaningful relationships on social media. In just two weeks, they increased the university’s social community by 215%.
- Increased followers by 215% in 2 weeks
- of students would choose to enrol again
- students, lecturers, and professionals improved communication
93% of our students would choose to study again at this university if given the choice of starting their degree over again.
What they did
Filtering through thousands of conversations to find your audience
Enrolment numbers are critical for the success of any university. With students increasingly researching universities online before choosing one, social media presents an invaluable opportunity for universities to build meaningful relationships during critical decision-making times.
Daniel Robles, UPV’s Digital Communication Specialist, and the communications team found that UPV students—and potential students—engage with them most often from May to June for pre-admissions and at the start of their first semester during admissions time. To meet the demand, they developed a multi-level social media strategy designed to make it easy for students to reach out with questions and to find information—every step along their student journey.
But UPV also has an academic community of nearly 41,000 students, lecturers, researchers, and service professionals across five campuses and 14 schools. Beyond connecting with new and potential students during peak times, the communications team needed to share engaging content and useful information, relevant to a widespread community with varying interests.
Helping them overcome these challenges, Hootsuite supports UPV achieve the following social media goals:
- Identify high-volume time for communications, prioritising and allocating resources where necessary
- Reach and connect with students and potential students who require information or assistance
- Commit to an ongoing social media strategy that continues to support and engage current students and alumni with news and relevant updates or invitations to events
How they did it
Capture conversations—no matter the volume—with social media listening
The university’s communications team monitors for Twitter mentions and messages that contain their official handles such as @UPV. That being said, there are many instances when students or the general public mention the university in a conversation without the @handle or misspell the name.
In order to capture all opportunities—even generic conversations meant for any university—Daniel creates multiple search streams in their Hootsuite dashboard. These streams are available to everyone on the communications team, and include mentions of the university name, names of campuses and departments, and other relevant keywords and hashtags to UPV.
Having all conversations laid out and shared among the communications team helps them oversee all communications, prioritise messages, and assign tasks to team members.
Takeaway Tip: Include common misspellings in your search streams to ensure you don’t miss any messages.
We see three times the mentions and activity at the start of a new term, so there are many questions from students that we can help answer, but only if we find them.
Increase team communication and improve collaboration
Timing is everything when it comes to success on social media. Daniel and his team rely on Hootsuite Teams and Assignments for a quick overview of all social media communications and to assign messages as soon as possible with the team member best equipped to respond. By streamlining the process of assigning and sharing tasks, UPV students—and potential students—get the information they require right away. This is often what sets UPV apart from other universities during pre-admissions inquiries.
Part of the university’s social media strategy is to provide accurate, timely information to students, especially during busy times like admissions week. If Robles is away from his desk, he takes advantage of the Hootsuite mobile app to track, organise, assign, and answer questions that same day.
Takeaway Tip: Avoid messages going unanswered—or worse, duplicating responses—by assigning messages to a specific team member and marking them answered right away.
We rely heavily on Hootsuite Assignments to not only make it easy for everyone on the team to answer quickly, but also to see what the most common questions are, or if there are any blockers.
Drive daily social media communications to keep fans engaged
The UPV’s social campaigns are not limited to prospective or new students. They use social media to share news about research opportunities, courses and curriculum changes, and general information, turning social channels into a hub for students and alumni. Analytics help them pay close attention to what type of content and information is being consumed, tailoring messaging accordingly.
Takeaway Tip: Review past campaigns and identify your baseline to optimise upcoming campaigns for best results.
By clearly defining goals and maintaining open lines of communication as a team, Robles and the communications team at UPV were successful in establishing meaningful, trusting relationships with their entire student community. During critical peak times, they were organised and worked together as a cohesive team to answer inquiries quickly and efficiently, getting potential and new student the information they needed for a brighter future.
This year, we had over 560 new followers in two weeks alone. That’s more than double what we normally see in that same timeframe, so with a community of 34,000 students, that’s a great boost for us.
Photos by Alina Nadolu