The Direct Network

Building Connections for Your School [Series]

Posted by Andrew on Sep 21, 2015 9:17:00 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, K-12

Three members of the MBS marketing team spent last week in Boston, attending one of the biggest marketing conventions in the country, which was hosted by HubSpot (the marketing software platform that we use). They’ll each be sharing their experiences from Inbound 2015, and talking about what they learned as well as how they plan to teach us how to apply that knowledge to help our partner schools grow. We’ll pick up the third installment of our three-part series with Marketing Analyst Andrew Hesse.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a morning person. I need a little bit of a slow warm up before getting into my heavier workload, which can be tough when most of my daily activities involve opening up HubSpot and scrutinizing numbers. INBOUND15 seemed to understand my dilemma, starting mornings off with speakers such as Aziz Ansari. Finally, something that works for morning haters like me!Aziz_Ansari

As our daily HubSpot user and analytics reporter, many of the sessions I attended at Inbound were specifically related to better understanding how to take advantage of the many tools in HubSpot and other tracking software such as Google Analytics. However, there were a few strategic marketing sessions that stood out to me as informative and worthwhile for anyone who considers themselves a marketer (or even those who don’t, as Erica detailed on Wednesday).

LinkedIn – Is it really social media?

To bring the focus in on extending your school's relationship with your community, I wanted to touch on the use of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is considered by many to be a professional social media site, but Viveka von Rosen believes we shouldn’t think of, or treat, LinkedIn as social media at all. Unlike social media where likes and shares are often the goal to maximize our reach, LinkedIn’s potential is in generating discussion between you and your community via groups.

Here are some of the top tips from Viveka’s presentation:

  • Stalk the Influencers – Frequently check what those marked as Influencers are doing, and comment!
  • Don’t be afraid to share – Share trending, controversial, valuable information, advice or recommendations… anything your segmented audience finds interesting.
  • The 80/20 rule – 80% content, 20% promotion. And no outright sales pitches!
  • Be wary of SWAM (Site Wide Auto Moderation) – If you’re marked as spam enough in one group, you’ll be automatically moderated in ALL groups. Again, the 80/20 rule and quality content are key.

The goal here is to harbor discussion to increase loyalty and perception of your brand, with the upside of gathering honest feedback and opinions. And once you’re comfortable taking part in other groups, maybe it’s time to start your own!

Experience INBOUND15 the next best way

As you have probably gathered, my coworkers and I had a great time at Inbound. The amount of speakers and information were almost overwhelming at times! For everyone who couldn’t make the conference, many of the keynotes have been added to HubSpot’s Youtube page, with more to come. Numerous presentations have also been added to Inbound’s SlideShare already as well! I highly recommend checking them out, there’s a lot to learn whether you’re looking to draw in new customers or increase loyalty and retention.

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