Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Distance education provider says Facebook is one of the primary platforms today for supporting students

The benefits of Facebook as a platform for communication between organisations and their fans or followers is well established. But Australia’s largest private distance education provider is taking that one step further by using Facebook as a primary platform for supporting students.

Open Colleges’ Facebook page has received more than 115,000 likes, and is a popular digital hangout for its 40,000 students. While the numbers are impressive, Open Colleges’ general manager for marketing and communications, Kevin Lynch, says more important is the level of interaction that students have on the page.

“We’ve seen huge growth in how many questions and queries we are getting from prospective students on Facebook, but in addition to that we’ve seen a huge growth in current students engaging with other fellow students,” he says.

For this reason Open Colleges has added a number of staff to its community management team to help handle the workload. Responding through social media makes sense for Open Colleges as its demographics means much of student’s study takes place in the evening.

“From the hours of 7.30pm to midnight we get a lot of questions from students either through Facebook or our own social tool through our learning platform,” Lynch says. Questions are on everything from course work to support issues.

“The important thing is how timely and responsive we are to the questions that students or prospective students might be having,” Lynch says. “We pride ourselves on quick turnaround time and try to resolve issues straight away. We have dedicated resources that focus on social day in, day out, because it is a great way to engage with prospective students and customers as a whole.”

He adds that the feedback Open Colleges receives through Facebook is usually more honest and at times blunt than what it receives through its Web page.

“There’s always more we can do,” Lynch says. “There are more people using it, and the people who using it are using it a lot more, because people are starting to feel more comfortable with social as a medium.

“Our students are getting huge value from Facebook to communicate with other students, to communicate with their trainers and assessors, and to communicate back to us. They might have great suggestions on how we can improve a course or a service. So for us then it is really a great market research tool.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

7 ways to champion a human centred design culture

Human Centred Design (HCD) has come a long way in the last decade with many forward-thinking organisations now asking for HCD teams on their projects. It’s increasingly seen as essential to unlocking innovation, driving superior customer experiences and reducing delivery risk.

Shane Burford

Head of research and design, RXP Group

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

Hey Vanessa, thanks for providing us the things marketers should know about data privacy. This was really an informative post.

astha sharma

5 things marketers should know about data privacy in 2020

Read more

Well, that's good to know that. Any other news you want to share here? I can't wait to see more.

Phil Godfrey

Queensland appoints first chief customer and digital officer

Read more

It's a pretty interesting article to read. I will learn more about this company later.

Dan Bullock

40 staff and 1000 contracts affected as foodora closes its Australian operations

Read more

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in