Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category


Social media planning – top tips

April 4, 2014
by eswift

Are you starting out with social media at work?

Or have you been asked to develop a strategic approach to social media, but don’t know where to start?

Well fear not! I have some top tips that Tess and I have brought back from the ‘Social Media – Marketing and Communications Strategy for Education’ workshop run by PickleJar Communications in Moorgate, London.

We met some great people from the Russell Group Universities who shared with us their knowledge and expertise around social media in education and how they are currently using a variety of platforms to reach audiences on a variety of campaigns.

Top Tip 1 – Look at emerging trends and toolsMobile data - social media

1. Mobile first

  • People now use mobiles and tablet screens to view content online therefore keep posts short and concise
  • Link to responsive websites only to avoid “pinching”
  • Videos should be no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds

2. Wearables

  • External products e.g. Google glass.   These are in the early stages of development
  • Internal products – Bio-wearables. The future
  • Start to think know about how this may impact content and the way we use social media

3. Personalisation of experience

  • A lot of personal information is now available online and companies use this to tailor pages to their audiences preferences e.g. Facebook or Amazon use what audiences engage with to filter data to fit profiles
  • Think about how you can tailor content to your audiences….but before you do so, you must know your audience!

Top tip 2 – Know your audience

Remember, people behave differently when engaging online with us, compared with how they behave with their friends. Find out who your audiences are and whether they are Collectors; Joiners; Spectators; Critics; or Creators when engaging with you? For a more in depth explanation about  Audience Social Technographics see my Top tip 2 – Know your audience blog post

Top Tip 3 – Tailor content to your audience

1. Local and Focused

  • Social media users have recently started to withdraw from large groups of unknown online friends and are starting to reduce head counts to more localised, smaller, known friend groups.

    Segment your audience

    Segment your audience

2. Segmented

  • Segmentation helps users to tailor posts to targeted audiences e.g. Google+ Circles can be created for specific groups
  • Bespoke lists can be created e.g. Facebook can update status to specified lists that the user can create

3. Integration

  • Websites are now working together to tailor content to audiences e.g. TripAdvisor and Facebook – Finds reviews from your friends and uses this to add value to their products by building your trust using your online friendships.
  • Websites use your personal information and social engagements to tailor the landing pages you see when you arrive at their sites e.g. Amazon

4. Gamification

  • Games platforms can connect with social media accounts where users can score points or get rewards, rewards can be cashable as an incentive to do something
  • Game mechanics have to be addictive to ensure longevity
  • Gamification is now advanced enough so that users do not know that they are taking part e.g. Progress bars to complete personal information on Linked In

Top Tip 4 – Devise your strategy based on audience needs

  1. Do not choose the platforms first
  2. Do some research into emerging trends
  3. Align it with your organisational strategy and plan
  4. Align it with your communications plan
  5. Define your audience specific engagement – what do you want them to Think/Feel/ Do?
  6. Make content about them, not you – What they want and need, not what you want to say!
  7. Think about the outcomes – the outputs are; Like/Shares, click through’s, re-tweets, views and sentiment, the outcomes are actions like; sign up or register for…
  8. Target your audience by using segmentation, you can do this by picking the right platforms for your needs
  9. Focus – only use a few platforms
  10. Put your audience first, but serve Imperial with clear objectives

Top Tip 5 - Get in touch if y0u need help

We will be using these 5 tips to shape our Communications social media content strategy going forward and we hope you can too.

If you have more questions regarding your social media strategy or platforms please get in touch me or with Tess or check out Pickle Jars Prezzie slide show

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Social media planning- know your audience

April 4, 2014
by eswift

Top Tip  2  - Know your audience

In the previous post – Social media planning - top tips we discussed how to get to know your audience before you choose platforms or create a plan.

We can use a social technographics profile to assign people into categories based upon their affinities for various social media and this will help us tailor content in our posts to reach the right audiences or choose a platform that fits the profiles.

Audience Social Technographics can help us understand what type of audience we have. There are seven categories:Blog_speech_bubble_84781669

  1. Creators – create larger volumes of original content online (blogs, videos etc.)
  2. Conversationalists – Starts conversations online (tweets, forums, Facebook posts)
  3. Critics – Respond to others conversations online (comment on blogs, review sites)
  4. Collectors – Curate content online that reflects their identity (Pinterest, Storify)
  5. Joiners – Subscribers that become a member of a community online (social networks)
  6. Spectators – do not join, they read content online but do not participate (watch videos, read blogs etc.)
  7. Inactives  – Does not use any type of social media

The cultural relationship between educational institutions and its students normally reflects a ‘we teach, you listen’ model and therefore prospective undergraduate students behave differently online when engaging with us, than how they would behave with their friends. They tend to behave more like Collectors, Joiners or Spectators when engaging with educational institutions. Therefore the types of current platforms available that might best fit a UG student could be Pinterest, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo. (Not exhaustive)

Jakob Nielsen’s Bystander effect demonstrates how people participate online. In short, “In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action”.

Further help

I hope you found this useful, if you would like to find out more about social media planning see Social media planning – Top tips 1,3,4 and 5.

If you have more questions regarding your social media strategy or platforms please get in touch me or with Tess or check out Pickle Jars Prezzie slide show




New news article creation forms are now live

July 6, 2012
by Emma Chesterman

I’m pleased to announce that the first of two major phases of the new News project is now complete.

This morning we launched the newly developed news article creation forms. This means that when you create a new article in the College news system, the input screens will look very different. There are now distinct input screens and new fields which you can choose to use to really improve the impact of your news stories with enhanced material and data.

Whilst the new article creation forms are live, the new News channel design will not be rolled out yet. So there will be no impact to the visual display of News articles until Phase two is implemented.

Phase two is the roll out of the new News website design. This will be launched in early 2013.

The launch of the article creation forms in the first phase of the project is necessary to ensure that there is enough News content containing the enhanced material and data to launch the new News design.

The new article creation functionality




Integrating social media

January 23, 2012
by Pamela Agar

I gave a short presentation at this week’s UCISA “Using social media to communicate” conference in Birmingham. I was asked to talk about how we get more out of our social media activities by integrating it in our wider communications outputs.

You can download my slides if you’d like to see the complete presentation – but I showed the group:
Twitter Homepage

I wanted to share with you all that I received some really positive feedback about our activities from the UCISA delegates.  I quote some of the twitter comments I received during and after the presentation below:

  • Loving the Interactive Screensaver at @imperialcollege which pulls in their social media content!
  • Twitter feed on managed desktop screensaver at imperial – love this idea!!
  • Impressed by how Imperial College utilise various social media channels across website, including a wide range of twitter feeds.
  • is an interesting page to check out
  • Integrating social media with other communications channels at Imperial, i.e. print, bridges the gap between online & offline
  • Wish all HEs would use social media like that
  • Imperial Mobile looking good, using campusM

I can’t capture all the comments and questions I had in person, but I was really proud to present Imperial’s work – huge thanks to my team for creating some fabulous social media integration tools and to all of you for contributing some great content!

The event was excellent, with a really engaged audience made up of individuals from university IT services, marketing, library and alumni teams.  If you’re interested in learning more, check out the full conference programme – you can see most of the presentations given this week.  They covered everything from blogging to Google+ – it’s well worth a look!  And I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on future events planned – anyone fancy coming with me?




PWPs – project update and survey

November 24, 2011
by Pamela Agar

A review is underway of Professional Web Pages (PWPs), which are used on the College website to offer contact details and information about the activities of staff such as publications and awards.  This will result in an initial refresh of design and functionality by Summer 2012 and an agreement on future projects to further enhance online academic profiles.

Tell us what you think!

To guide a redesign of PWPs, staff are invited to participate in a survey to help identify the content and features which are particularly important for current and future users of these online profiles. The survey should take about five minutes to complete, and all those who complete the survey will be entered into a draw to win a £100 Amazon voucher.  Please complete the survey if you own a PWP – and encourage your colleagues to do so!

This survey is part of a three month consultation exercise which will:

  1. Confirm requirements for refresh of PWPs to ensure they meet user and audience needs
  2. Identify changes that could increase the usefulness of PWPs for both internal and external audiences
  3. Understand the drivers for maintaining a PWP

As well as the survey, a series of indepth interviews are taking place with key users and audiences –including academics, students, Research Councils, journalists, REF panelists and collaborators.  If you have detailed feedback or suggestions, please contact Caroline Rouault, ICT who is leading the consultation exercise.

What next?

We’ll report on the results of the consultation at a Web Forum and on this blog in early 2012.