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

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

The blogs are really appreciable and one can trust the knowledge and information provided in the writing.The article you do produce on a ...

Prince Arora

5 brand strategy lessons from Gelato Messina

Read more

Thanks for sharing! Meet the Softcrylic team at Adobe Summit 2019. This team works with a broad range of clients helping solve complex bu...

Anderw Hagel

What Richard Branson has to say about experience delivery, leadership and disruption

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in