More often than not content on a website – especially in higher ed – is rather dull and uninspiring. The closest we get to creating emotion is through news posts, stories about students, alumni, faculty and staff. We can do better. The meat & potatoes of a university website is where we introduce a prospect to our schools, our programs, and administration. Rather than present content like a brochure, why not tell a story? Our story.
Long ago I wondered about those global positioning satellites above us. I thought about how they can pinpoint where we are and how we might use that technology for more than just targeting systems. Then mobile phones came out and not long after Google Maps showed us how to get around. When Bluetooth came about, our phones suddenly became part of a hyper-local tool kit that didn’t need a satellite and is far more accurate. Bluetooth gave birth to wireless headsets so we could talk hands free. It allows our phones to talk with our computers or our car. And as soon as we were able to download apps for our phones we had advertising to go with them. Then someone realized advertising could take advantage of that hyper-local tool kit and proximity marketing was born.
Beacons and proximity marketing aren’t just for commercial business uses. Higher education will use them to enrich the on-campus experience in 2016 (okay – maybe 2017). Here are some ways beacons will be used along with examples from the commercial world. Beacon technology offers higher ed some key advantages like reduced costs and increased efficiency. Some campuses have already begun to deploy beacon networks. The need to compete will drive other universities and colleges to deploy their own and enrich the student’s, alumnae, and other visitor’s mobile experience in order to compete.
The story of Paikea is a Maori legend. Paikea escaped being killed by his brother on the back of a whale. Paikea made it to shore and the whale became an island.1 While the story is Maori, there is lesson that applies to all of us and especially to business.
Social media has an element of the unknown just like Ouija. It appears simple enough on the surface but when you get your hands on it, it’s not quite as easy as you may have first thought.
Truth in advertising is hard to come by, but the Ouija board was “interesting and mysterious”; it actually had been “proven” to work at the Patent Office before its patent was allowed to proceed; and today, even psychologists believe that it may offer a link between the known and the unknown. 1
The playing of Ouija is an interesting metaphor to explore and use for comparison with social media marketing.
Back when I was a senior in high school I attended a business leader summit. 8 business leaders from some of the well know companies in the area met with seniors from the area high schools for a panel discussion on the topic of college and careers. 3 hours of discussion on topics I don’t even remember (this was 30+ years ago). What I do remember and consider to be the most valuable piece of information I got was when the moderator turned to the panel and asked this question: “How many of you work in the field you studied for in college?” I was shocked when only 2 hands from the panel went up. 2 out of 8! My immediate thought was something along the lines of oh great! Why am I going to spend a lot of money I don’t have to get an education I’m not likely to use? I did go ahead with my plans, graduated and I no longer work in the field I studied for. I became what I feared and it was the best career move I could have made AND I still use what I learned.
Impress with Organization
The first impression is so very important. When your customer first receives a business document, an email, visits your website, reviews your social media profile, or views any other representation of you, the very first thing that registers with them is an initial reaction to what they see. They may not be conscious of what their reaction is but it’s there. Clean and organized wins. Be intentional, be consistent across all communications.