Why Colleges Need to Embrace Social Listening

Why Colleges Need to Embrace Social Listening

For those of us who don’t know, social listening is the process by which someone is searching online sources, be it blogs, websites, the news, and, of course, social media, for any mentions or conversations that would be of any interest for that person.

In other words, social listening is not only about looking at what people are saying to you, but also about what people are saying about you. Simply put, social listening is a form of gathering feedback without having to ask for it. And to put it out there, social media monitoring only deals with what people say to you, whereas social listening does both.

Anyway, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that college campuses, as well as the auxiliary services that make up that campus, should put a figurative ear to the internet and listen to what people have to say about them.

By using intelligent software, you can identify the exact types of conversations you are looking for such as mentions about the campus, dining area, parking, etc. The information gathered can either be used individually to reach out to anyone that may have grievances or misconceptions about your services. It can also be a means of understanding the general feeling people have about your institution, as a whole.

What Can You Do With Social Listening on Campus?

Evaluating Your Campus’ Reputation – You can use social listening to understand the implications generated by how people look at your campus. It is particularly important because you can keep track of a situation – be it positive or negative – before it festers into something that can spiral out of control and turns into a crisis.

Since social listening is always active, you will also be able to immediately detect general mood shifts, allowing you to dig deeper and get ahead of the situation. Last but not least, you can see both how others view your campus in comparison to others and, more importantly, why.

Improving Student Experience – As student feedback helps you increase the level and quality of your student experience, so does social listening. As mentioned before, social listening is akin to customer feedback and can give you a clear insight into what and where your students are encountering difficulty or dissatisfaction. Keep an eye out for trends concerning complaints and come up with ways to resolve them.

Drive Better Decisions – Every decision we make needs to be directed by the information we have at our disposal. Knowledge is power, after all. When using social listening, you should also focus your attention on the not-so-obvious trends or issues that may exist. By taking a more comprehensive approach to social listening, you may be able to uncover various problems or opportunities that you may not have thought about until then.

As for keywords, go beyond just your college’s name and incorporate others such as crucial administrators, professors, alumni, and anything that may be related to your campus. When you notice a particular trend in the making, take the necessary steps by putting that data to good use and devise a plan of action.

Conclusion

In short, social listening on the college campus will give you the opportunity to listen to what your current students, prospective students, and their parents are saying about your services. The data will allow you to make informed decisions and increase your user experience, making sure that you are in touch with your customers’ wants and needs.

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About the author

Johann Leitner is the founder and president of Touchwork, a marketing management software company.