Social media is a highly relatable communications medium. Communicating through social media is simple and natural and now as authentic as the old art of letter writing. Which makes it great for communicating with younger generations: like students. By displaying live social media feeds on your college digital signage displays, you can go beyond the traditional information hubs and connect with students in realtime.
Why information hubs are no longer informed
Historically, campus information hubs have been a physical place where students would turn to for… information. A majority are staffed, with screens and paper notices bombarding visitors with information – with not all of it being relevant. Or in date.
The problem with this is that it’s all very manual and one-dimensional and is often limited by opening hours.
Repetition of old and outdated information then starts to lose its power, and so the information hub is no longer seen as a useful source of truth.
The importance of communication – and engagement
A commonly quoted statistic is that engaged employees outperform those who are not by 202%. A founding stone of this engagement is a strategic and dynamic communications strategy; greater communication = greater engagement = greater productivity = greater success. This quasi-formula can also apply directly to students.
Universities are a business. They need to perform in order to retain funding and be profitable to survive. They also need to attract the right talent and retain it too.
That talent is their students.
As we explained above, social media is a relatable communications medium. When used correctly, it can build a community through the power of shared experience, and this is what enhances engagement with that content.
These shared experiences can be any form of information sharing, from what looks good on the cafeteria menu to the latest sports’ results. And because social media is peer-led – and user-generated – content, it is viewed as unbiased and therefore trustworthy; the more information shared, the more engaged the audience.
User-generated content is also a goldmine of free marketing materials. Its power lies in being utilized as a part of a wider communications strategy to enhance the student and staff experience by offering up relevant and real-time information in a dynamic way.
Build a community with a social wall!
If we continue to think of a University as a business, then as much as happy employees make great brand ambassadors, students can do the same thing. Enriching ‘on-the-ground user-generated content can empower your overall communications strategy – if shared in the right way.
Walls.io makes turning students into ambassadors – via harnessing the powers of user-generated content – easy.
Bringing together over 13 social media platforms – with the ability to curate and control this content (they are still students, after all) – gives campuses a never-ending supply of relevant, contemporary, and engaging content. Who better to keep students engaged and informed than the students themselves?
But, gathering this content isn’t enough. It has to be the right content, visible to the right people at the right time for it to be of any use.
A way to achieve this is by adding social media – via Walls.io – to a digital signage screen.
ScreenCloud college campus digital signage
ScreenCloud is a Cloud-based digital signage software that can get content, like social media, easily and securely onto screens – no matter their, or your, location. This makes it ideal in a Campus environment with multiple screens showing different content with different update requirements.
Digital signage software replaces the need for manually updating every screen-connected laptop or paper sign; everything can be edited in one content management system, and updates can be pushed live to every, or any, screen.
You can also direct content to the right audiences. With Walls.io, social media walls can be shown on specific screens and at specific times to keep information relevant.
For example, screens in the auditorium can show posts of past performances, departments can take advantage of their own screen content and show lecture posts or news of recent publications, and holiday content can be scheduled to show at the right time of year.
The mix of good content and strategically placed screens is a powerful one. As a glance medium, digital signage is a dynamic way to amplify the messages being shown on screen – so long as the rules of ‘dwell time’ are followed to achieve maximum content exposure.
Encourage engagement via competitions
One way to get more people looking at your screens is to involve them in the first place. For example, holding a student competition to show off their best shots around campus can help create a bank of user-generated – and free – marketing materials. Schedule these to show amongst other branded posters and signs to enhance your communications offering to current and prospective students.
Digital signage as part of the fresher’s experience
Introduce professors, promote upcoming events and live stream keynote speakers to help keep your new cohort informed. Have current students share their first-week survival tips and even film how to locate difficult-to-find classrooms; screens are also an excellent wayfinding tool, especially for last-minute room changes.
Build team spirit
On game days, show player highlights, introduce the team, have player social media takeovers, replay previous matches, and have a countdown to build excitement and make everyone part of the team.
Ask for feedback
One way to find out if your screens have the right effect on your communications strategy is to ask. Run a social media campaign asking for feedback (or even for content ideas) and have students’ responses shown on screen to incite conversation and positive change.
By teaming up social media with digital signage, you are offering both your students and staff the best opportunity to engage with timely and relevant information, leading to an overall better experience on campus.