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Oslo and Akershus; Norway's largest state University College

How Oslo and Akershus University College expanded its social reach to attract the best staff and students

Posted by Ed Brown | October 10, 2017 | Facilities

Oslo and Akershus University College is Norway’s largest state university college. As a top-performing institution, Oslo and Akershus University College offers a unique range of professional programmes and top-level research.

What they did

To achieve its goal of drawing in quality students and job applicants, Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA) committed to establishing an online reputation to match the prestige of its offline one. Its social media channels needed to better tell the university’s story—like featuring the quality of academia, and highlighting student life and job opportunities on campus. HiOA turned to Hootsuite to better target and reach its audience. A combination of social listening and advocacy amongst students and employees was needed to discover what was being talked about, how to increase conversations, and how to use this dialogue to elevate its brand. 

How they did it

Using social listening to create high-performing content

By setting up specific keyword search streams on Hootsuite, Oslo and Akershus University College was able to zone in on what its target audience was talking about and which topics sparked the most engagement. After finding out what students and job candidates were most interested in, the institution could then tailor its social media content to better match these topics. Content on alumni stories, student life, lab work, and vacant positions was curated and shared by the university to further connect with students and prospective staff. 

Boosting social reach and engagement by empowering staff and students 

When it came to creating a buzz around its social media content, Oslo and Akershus University College took to Hootsuite Amplify. The institution encouraged staff and students to share its social media content on their personal networks via Amplify. Being able to share pre-approved on-brand content from one mobile app made it easy for HiOA’s social reach to spread into other areas across the institution and outside of the university.

Thanks to Amplify, HiOA’s social reach has been pushed far beyond the confounds of its campus. For example, scientists have been able to promote their research within their respective fields and have been invited to press outlets in Norway. Student stories have seen more traction, and these generate traffic to their study programmes. Amplify has even helped recruit highly qualified candidates by showcasing vacant positions at the university. This extension of social reach has generated more student and job candidate engagement, as well as increased visibility to one of the university’s biggest assets—its research. 

"We listen to young people talk about what they want to become when they grow up. We listen to what journalists are talking about on Twitter - when they’re looking for experts, we tell them about our scientists and researchers. We listen to our graduates. We go in, say thanks for staying with us and good luck."

Hallvard Lavoll Social Media Manager Oslo and Akershus University College

A great example of this increase in engagement is the success of the university’s Girls and Technology Conference. The event was organized with the goal of increasing engagement for women entering HiOA’s engineering programmes. Oslo and Akershus University College had only 30 Amplify users at the time—yet 40 percent of all traffic to the event’s main landing page was referred from Amplify. 

More engaged students and staff

Amplify enabled students, faculty, and staff to easily advocate on behalf of the university to increase its reach. HiOA noticed an increase in traffic to student stories, study programme pages, job applications, and more time spent on the university’s main site. 

Amplify also helped streamline social media processes throughout the institution, encouraged collaboration between teams, and was a major time-saver for managing social media content. 

Better quality traffic

HiOA also saw real improvements in the quality of the traffic received via Amplify—including lower bounce rates, higher conversion rates, and better average time spent on page compared to other channels that used organic search. 

To put it into perspective, an average of 15 shares by Amplify users has delivered the same social reach as sharing something organically on the university’s Facebook Page—which has a following of over 30,000 users. Even when compared to paid social ads on the university’s Facebook channel, Amplify drove better traffic to student stories and science stories. With Amplify, these pages were seeing a 25 percent lower bounce rate and had a two percent higher click-through rate to study programme pages compared to ads and other sources of referral traffic.

An important thing to note is that Amplify does more than just make sharing content easier. One of the biggest success factors of Amplify is that when someone you trust is sharing on social—chances are—you’re going to engage in their content. While Amplify is able to tap into exponential social reach, it also unlocks the credibility of the people that use it. 

Today, Oslo and Akershus University College continues to encourage the use of Amplify and listens to the key components of the institution—its faculty and students. 

 

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