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How Boston University bolsters engagement through social channels to support the next generation of leaders

BostonUniversity Hero

1M+

new followers across social channels in FY21

24.7%

increase in engagement on targeted social initiatives in FY21

150K+

total Facebook engagements in FY21

Challenge

Boston University celebrates its core values of extraordinary teaching, groundbreaking research, and a commitment to diversity. Modern social channels give the university the chance to build upon that great tradition and share the successes of the students, faculty, and staff that make their community special.

“We’re proud of the great things our alumni have accomplished, and we want to let the next generation of students know what’s possible at BU,” says Dave McDonald, Associate Director of Social Media at Boston University.

In order to deliver these stories and bolster the sterling reputation of the university, McDonald and his teams needed to create streamlined processes for managing social feeds and publishing content, strong analytics to measure success and share reporting, and a way to monitor and mitigate potential reputational risks. They sought a solution that would:

  • Help them understand and connect with a core audience of prospective and current students, parents, alumni, and faculty

  • Allow them to manage the social media presence of dozens of stakeholders from the various schools within the university, each using social in their own way

  • Automatically alert the right teams when potential risks or crises arise

  • Engage student advocates and influencers to increase interest in BU, admissions, and enrollment

Solution

McDonald and his teams at BU use Social Listening through Sprinklr Modern Research to understand the topics and news stories that are most relevant to students and to track the achievements of prominent alumni. The team also uses Sprinklr to deliver information, resources, and services including student activities, academic, and health resources.

“Sprinklr allows us to track any potential reputational risks or safety threats to the student body. We have automated alerts set up, so we’re pinged every time one of our keyword queries reaches a certain threshold of retweets or reposts. This helps us stay on top of social channels, quickly identify red flags, and communicate with the right campus partner to address them quickly,” says McDonald.

BU leverages Social Publishing & Engagement to empower its social teams to engage directly with their various audiences through the digital channels they prefer. They’ve especially seen success with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Weibo. Every Tuesday, through Instagram, McDonald’s team holds #TerrierTuesdays, a weekly series inspired by the school’s mascot, to spotlight student life at BU.

“Using Instagram stories, a student will take over our Instagram for the day to highlight what their life is like at BU. We will also feature the student on our Instagram feed, and include a long caption describing their journey to BU and what they’re involved in on campus,” explains McDonald. “Each #TerrierTuesday post ends with the question: ‘If you could tell BU students one thing, what would it be?’ In this way, we can speak directly to potential students and give them an appreciation for the full spectrum of possibilities here.”

The social media teams have expanded this concept to groups at the university. They’ve implemented “Follow Fridays” to showcase campus organizations and offices so students can better understand available services and follow relevant accounts, like Student Government or the BU Student Health Office.

With 45 different user groups using the platform across university departments, Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform creates a shared, streamlined process for posting messages and tracking engagement. These various teams can access shared dashboards, exchange best practices seamlessly, and maintain a consistent brand voice across departments.

Outcome

An advantage that Boston University has seen with Sprinklr is the ability to measure the success of their programs so they can continually evolve. Sprinklr dashboards and reporting make important performance metrics easy to understand, track, and share. For fiscal year 2021, BU’s social metrics improved in critical categories:

  • 9.35% increase in total followers across social channels

  • 19.83% increase in replies to Instagram stories

  • 18.7% increase in Facebook engagements

Growth in these areas helps McDonald and his team take a deeper dive into the content that’s working and identify areas for improvement if messages aren’t landing as well. Sprinklr has helped to improve social media governance and consistency across all university colleges, departments, and programs. The Unified-CXM platform also helped BU achieve one of its main objectives in streamlining the process of listening and publishing in such a complex internal ecosystem. “Sprinklr definitely saves me a great deal of time and bouncing around,” says McDonald.

Most importantly, Sprinklr has helped Boston University live its values and share its stories with future generations of talented students and alumni.

Sprinklr allows us to track any potential reputational risks or safety threats to the student body. We have automated alerts set up so we’re pinged every time one of our keyword queries reaches a certain threshold of retweets or reposts. This helps us stay on top of social channels, quickly identify red flags, and communicate with the right campus partner to address them quickly.”

Dave McDonald
Associate Director, Social Media
Boston University

Customer:

Boston University

Industry:

Higher Education

Company Size:

32,551 enrolled students

Location:

Boston, MA

Products Featured:

Modern Research

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