Higher Ed Needs to Bridge the ‘App Gap’ to Reach Students
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) or Gen Z (born after 1996)
Today’s youth culture lives in apps—not for the sake of the technology itself, but for the rich social, psychological identity-driven mash-up that define a person, group, interactions and opinions.
When a Millennial or Gen Z-er accesses a new consumer app, it is as simple as opening the morning newspaper is for their parents or grandparents. However, when the same people look at a college schedule, fill out paperwork or an online form, access or save records that they may need later, and, eventually, try to conjure it all at the end of this process, they are stopped in their tracks.
Building a Brand, User Testing Apps, Social Media Marketing
By contrast, when brands and memes compete on social media, young people pay attention.
Without those social signals as well as continual feedback from their friends and influencers— what the younger generations rely on for context—they are likely on very different wavelengths from the colleges who want them to attend and stay, training and outreach opportunities vying for their attention, and employers who need reliable entry hires.
Each generational shift suffers a cultural communication schism, noticeable at home and in school, that in the past was navigable by the time young people focused on college or career training, or entered the workforce. Today, this is not happening.
The gap between the traditional practices and the social and consumer app world is serious. Simply creating app-like technology to mimic older processes is not the answer.
Equity is more than creating more organizational programs or developing more ineffective websites without adequate measures for engaging and empowering young people who need support.
LinkedIn launches its own Snapchat Stories. Here’s why it shouldn’t have
No app is safe from the Stories plague
LinkedIn confirms to TechCrunch that it plans to build Stories for more sets of users, but first it’s launching “Student Voices” just for university students in the U.S. The feature appears atop the LinkedIn home screen and lets students post short videos to their Campus Playlist.
My note: Since 2012, I unsuccessfully tried to convince two library directors to approve similar video “channel” on the SCSU library web page with students’ testimonies and ability for students to comment / provide feedback regarding the issues raised in the videos. Can you guess the outcome of such proposal?
A LinkedIn spokesperson tells us the motive behind the feature is to get students sharing their academic experiences like internships, career fairs and class projects that they’d want to show off to recruiters as part of their personal brand.
more on LinkedIn in this IMS blog
Rise and Shine! How to Boost Your Teacher Brand and Digital Reputation
Five tips to help you create a personal brand and a positive digital reputation
1. What will they find when they Google you?
2. What is branding?
Your brand is what you represent, the content that you share, your audience, your Personal Learning Network (PLN), and your teaching philosophy. You want your brand to demonstrate that you are trustworthy, and offer quality content, insightful comments, and experience. Your brand tells your audience that what you offer is of value. Together, the elements that create your brand should communicate a distinct, cohesive story. For instance, when you visit any of my social media profiles, you will see a consistent message. The avatar and logo for my website Shake Up Learning are more recognizable than my face, and that’s intentional. That isn’t to say that every brand needs an avatar. But do find a creative way to tell your personal story.
3. Choose the right platforms
There is no right or wrong platform. Choosing where you want to build your online presence depends on the audience that you want to engage. If you want to reach parents and school community stakeholders, Facebook is a strong bet. If you want to reach other educators, Twitter and Pinterest are big winners. The bottom line is that you don’t have to use them all. Find and connect with your audience where your audience resides.
4. Claim your social media real estate
Before you settle on a username, check that it’s available on all of the social media platforms that you want to use—and then keep it consistent. You will lose your audience if you make it hard to find you. Also keep your handle simple and short, and try to avoid special characters. When a new platform arrives, claim your username early even if you aren’t sure that you will maintain a presence there.
5. Optimize your social media profiles
Guy Kawasaki, co-author of The Art of Social Media, khas nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter alone, and he offers effective social media tips in his book. Here are the basics:
- Add a picture of your face or logo. Your picture validates who you are. No more eggheads! Using the default egg avatar on Twitter says you don’t have a brand, and doesn’t tell your audience that you are trustworthy.
- Use your real name. Sure, you can lie, but that isn’t going to help you build a brand and online presence. Many platforms allow you to show your name as well as your handle.
- Link to your website, blog or About.me page. Don’t have one? Get one! You may not be ready to start a blog, but anyone can easily set up an About.me page—which is like an online resume.
- Compose a meaningful bio, which will help others find and follow you. It should describe your experience in the field of education and highlight topics that you follow like Maker Ed, Google Apps, or edtech.
- Add a cover image. Choose an image that tells your story. Who are you? What do you do that sets you apart? Canva is a graphic design tool that makes creating a cover image easy. It offers ready-made templates in the right size for all of the major social media platforms.
- Be consistent across all mediums. You want your followers to see the same brand on all of your social media profiles. This also means you shouldn’t change your profile picture every five minutes. Be recognizable.
Tools to build your brand and online presence
- About.me: A quick and easy personal homepage that shows your audience who you are and how to connect with you.
- Canva: An easy-to-use design tool for creating images, with templates for social media.
- Fiverr: A marketplace for services that you can use to commission a logo, avatar, or web design.
- Wix: A free website builder.
- Weebly: A free website builder.
- Buffer: A free web tool for sharing and scheduling content across multiple social media platforms.
- Nuzzel: A free web tool that lets you see the content trending among the people you follow.
- The Art of Social Media: A guide to creating a compelling social media presence, by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.
- What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube: Tips for preserving your digital reputation, by Erik Qualman.
- What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube: Advice for students on protective their digital reputations, by Erik Qualman.
more on digital citizenship in this IMS blog
How Monopoly Man Won The Internet
My note: Branding in social media times is a very specific act. Ingenuity is the keyword; even when repeating someone else. Copying someone else is copying someone’s brand and not contributing to your own.
more on social media branding in this IMS blog
In this Business Insider video:
‘Shark Tank‘ investor Robert Herjavec reveals the biggest mistakes small businesses make:
- know your numbers. If you don’t know your accounting, problem
- branding and marketing. Most people think branding is your logo. Branding is your whole package. Everything that your customer sees, feels, touches and interacts with.
- success is in failure. if you cannot absorb failure, you will die
the difference between small business and academic institution, being that the library or the entire university, is that small business is reliant on itself; if it does not well, it perishes. The library and the university are reliant on external funds and can fester for a long time. But eventually it dies. In that sense, learning from the lessons for small business can help:
- Branding is not mimicking someone else (another library[s)). It is not a superficial activity. It is not slapping pictures on social media. “Interact” is the key word. “Likes” in FB does not reflect complete interaction
- know your numbers. Analytics is not about “likes” and “visits.” it deeper datamining, which can explain behavior and predict behavior
- if success is failure, why safeguarding the social media in particular and the entire behavior of the library from “failure.” Isolating students or staff from acting with the excuse to safeguard from failure is practically isolating innovation.