eduWeb Digital Summit 2016 Review

Amanda Kohn by on Aug 17, 2016

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This year’s eduWeb Digital Summit conference, held in Denver, proved to be an enjoyable and insightful experience. The integration and impact of mobile and social media on branding and communication will be profound. Whether offering best practices on content marketing or introductory materials for the recent Instagram Stories feature, the higher education industry is striving to provide its professionals with improved resources for integrating digital communications and marketing with programming, design and analytics. Corporate Insight’s Alumni Monitor team exhibited at eduWeb, showcasing best practices geared to the alumni experience. The following are highlights and key takeaways from the conference as well as three trends to watch.

Conference Takeaways and Highlights

  • Colleges and universities have an opportunity to better encourage faculty and staff members to post on their institute’s social channels to showcase their published content (e.g., research and projects) and expertise.
  • Visuals and multimedia add depth and dimension to an institution’s digital storytelling. Infographics are just one example of taking content to the next level with visuals.
  • Typically, college and university homepages are geared for prospective students and focus less on alumni-related events.
  • Schools should consider engaging students for user testing as well as publishing content on the institution’s social media accounts to further engagement among their future alumni.
  • Schools have to move beyond a set-it-and-forget-it mindset when it comes to digital channels. Schools should monitor hashtags relevant to their institutions, respond to posts in a timely fashion and incorporate additional social media handles (e.g., Syracuse Athletics’ Twitter handle is @Cuse) or profiles outside of the main university or college account.

alumni monitors table at eduweb
Alumni Monitor’s table at eduWeb

Trends to Watch

  • Colleges and universities are increasingly investing more resources in digital channels as they recognize the emerging influence social media has on communication in society. Some schools have embraced social media and have hosted “takeovers” to foster engagement among alumni, students and faculty. A takeover grants a user access to the school’s social media account—normally for 24 hours—to post videos and photos about a typical day of an alum, student, or faculty member. At eduWeb, Bentley University’s alumni snapchat takeover was a prime example of this digital engagement opportunity. For more information about social media takeovers, check out Corporate Insight’s Three Universities Feature Guest Takeovers blog post.
  • Infographics will continue to gain popularity to express key communications. These visual storytelling tools make statistics easily digestible, and we anticipate schools will include infographics in marketing content to convey campaign results and updates, event highlights and research findings.
  • Showcasing micro-moments, or quick information such as Giving Day promotions or clips of commencement speeches, helps create unique digital content on social media. Snapchat is the top social media channel for micro-moments as “snaps” capture fun and engaging events, programs and other noteworthy elements.

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at dpeterson@corporateinsight.com or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.

About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more