Education marketers find new success turning students into brand ambassadors

Education marketers find new success turning students into brand ambassadors

Strengthening student pride. Driving higher recruitment. Encouraging greater alumni engagement. These are the key business challenges for every university.

There are thousands of opportunities on your campus right now that can help you achieve all three. They’re your current students – and if you can tap even a fraction of their social media reach and influence, it could be a game-changer in terms of boosting your university’s brand impact and appeal.

Those posts and tweets are shaping buying decisions
According to a 2012 Forbes article, survey research revealed that 81% of U.S. respondents were directly influenced to make a purchase decision, based upon posts from their friends.

Successful brand marketers know that the best time to generate enthusiastic buzz is in the moment…while customers are experiencing the product or service.

It’s All About the Timing
Successful marketers know the best time to generate enthusiastic buzz about their brand is in the moment…while customers are experiencing the product or service. That’s why theme parks like SeaWorld engage guests with fun promotions during their visit to encourage posting and tweeting inside the park, just as one example.

Encouraging students to share their experiences.
As your students experience new ideas, meet new people; explore campus life and school spirit, it’s the opportune time for them to share those moments, so their friends and fans learn more about you too.

Of course, the downside to social media is its unpredictability. As marketers, we can steer the conversation. We can try to manage the reaction. But we couldn’t control the message. Until now.

Watch this 90 second case study video to see the dramatic impact of FanWise at Nova Southeastern University, the nation’s ninth largest private university. FanWise was developed by Fort Lauderdale, FL- based integrated advertising agency, Starmark International. Starmark combined its core strengths: advertising and marketing; mobile and social media, to solve a challenge for the brands they service.

Changing the social marketing paradigm
Starmark International, a Fort Lauderdale-based integrated marketing agency, has developed an emerging social rewards technology called FanWise. The FanWise system brings new control to the social marketing formula. FanWise rewards those who post desired messages; generates social buzz for brands, builds likes and followers, and most importantly lets brands “control” what’s said about them on social media.

It’s a pretty simple process:

  1. Universities work with Starmark’s social media specialists to craft their desired messages. As examples, they could promote an upcoming open house; new research; a sports triumph; maybe something about an event.
  2. The messages are loaded into the FanWise network, which then displays it on a game or vending machine located right on campus.
  3. Once students post the message, they are rewarded with a free game play, vending machine credit, branded university merchandise, a service or discount coupon…whatever the university chooses.

That message the university created is seen by hundreds of thousands of their friends – often as an implied endorsement – and even liked, retweeted and passed along many more times, multiplying its impact.

Taking the concept on the road
Portable FanWise machines can also boost off-campus promotional efforts, including collegiate sporting events, high school recruitment fairs or alumni functions. It tucks right into a suitcase and dispenses tickets, coupons, game cards, or discounts in exchange for social posts.

Fully scalable: single campaigns to multiple programs
Starmark collaborates directly with university leaders, to help determine the optimal FanWise strategy for their specific needs. FanWise capabilities can be as small or as large in scope as desired…from a single messaging campaign to segmented communications targeting different schools of study or student levels. The business and ROI opportunities are wide open.

Only Starmark International provides the patent-pending FanWise technology: empowering university leadership to tap the enormous reach, speed and positive brand buzz of social media channels – while retaining far greater control.