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New Research Reveals Huge Opportunity for Australian Higher Education Institutions on Social Media

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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SYDNEY:  Hootsuite releases a report benchmarking the social media behaviours of 128 Australian universities and higher education institutions, against the top 100 global universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings.

The research, conducted in collaboration with regional data research agency RTL (Research and Tech Labs Inc.), identifies the opportunity for Australian educational institutions to improve student engagement on social media and regain their rankings in the competitive higher education space.

Only 30 percent of Australian institutions are engaging their social audience each week

The report identifies that Australian institutions have fallen behind the leading global institution’s use of social media activity to engage students.

While the top global institutions universities are publishing social content up to five times each day, Australian university are just managing to communicate with their online communities once a day. More concerning is the forty percent of Australian non-university higher education institutions who have not published on social for over two months.

Social media has enabled higher education institutions around the world to engage with students both on and off campus. Eight out of ten leading global institutions now participate in regular public conversations with students, yet this compares with only three in ten Australian universities or institutions.

“Digital has changed the campus experience for students, and universities need to able to meet their new expectations. Social media plays a crucial role in uniting the campus, improving student experience and moving the offline campus online,” says Roger Graham, Director of Growth and Marketing at Hootsuite. “Most Australian universities have started to engage with students on social, but now is the time to take social to the next level and help institutions’ revolutionise the student learning experience.”

Australian institutions must engage students where they are - on social

The report also identified several leading Australian institutions already undergoing digital transformation, leveraging social media to engage with students and unite geographically dispersed campuses under a singular online presence.

"Streamlining our communications whilst empowering social media moderators across the institution has enabled us to harness the power of social as a way to connect, not just communicate, with our on-campus and online communities,” says Jo Rees, acting director marketing, CQUniversity Australia . “By working to centralise our social media presence, we are creating diversity within our audiences, conversations and content. We minimise content fatigue and provide variety for users to experience the whole brand story of CQUni."

To enable Australian institutions to build and unite their social media presence, Hootsuite has created a guide highlighting actionable steps to transition to a digital campus, enroll and retain students and improve global reputation.

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