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

The changing nature of brand power

Once upon a time, life was easy: You developed products, placed them in a well-located retail shop, wrapped them under an attractive brand and hired the best creative in town to promote them. Many business and brands were successfully built on this approach, even if it wasn’t always that easy.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Putting the ‘human element’ back in marketing

During the recent CMO Momentum conference, Paul Mitchell shared how marketing leaders can create cultures that deliver

Paul Mitchell

Managing director, The Human Enterprise

The rise and rise of voice search

In 1982, an AT&T employee by the name of Plotzke predicted the rise of voice: “In fact, it has been predicted that, by 1990, well over half the communications dollars spent by businesses will be for products and services that include voice technologies.

Michael Jenkins

Founder and director, Shout agency

Have you be denied of a loan from your bank or any Financial Firm? *Do you need a loan to pay off your bills or buy a home?* Do you need ...

Mercy William

Facebook unveils 'Here Together' campaign in Australia

Read more

Bullshit

John Winkler

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Read more

End your financial worriesAre you a business man or woman? And you are in need of an urgent loan as to start up your own business? Or do ...

lance

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Read more

https://uploads.disquscdn.c... [magic school bus] KID: where are we going today MS. FRIZZLE: the zoo KID: but last week we went to SPACE ...

Germain3161

Sephora Asia details its journey to data-driven decision making

Read more

DP Apparel bietet große Auswahl Audi Rennbekleidung in Deutschland zu den besten Angeboten. Das Geschäft bietet auch qualitativ hochwerti...

DP apparel

Audi Australia gets a new CMO

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in