Created by Undergraduate Business Student part of the Senior Experience program, Spring 2022
Table Of Contents
1. Executive Summary page 2
2. Introduction page 3
3. Industry & Market Analysis page 4
a. SWOT Analysis of Industry page 4
b. Direct Competitors page 5
4. Market and Segment Analysis page 5
a. Summary of Market Segments page 5
b. Key Trends page 6
5. Targeting Plan page 7
a. Consumer Profile page 7
6. Positioning Statement page 8
a. Goals page 8
b. Target Audience page 8
c. Key Message page 8
d. Communication Strategy page 8
7. Brand Audit page 9
a. Social Media Metrics page 9
8. Media Plan page 10
a. Websites page 10
b. Social Media page 11
c. Facebook page 12
d. Instagram page 13
e. Twitter page 14
f. TikTok page 15
g. LinkedIn page 16
h. Hootsuite / Alternatives page 16
i. Media Plan Schedule page 17
9. References page 18
The College of Education, Health & Human Services (CEHHS) needs a plan to help improve their company website and gain more traction on their social media. CEHHS also needs a plan on how to increase their renown with local students and collaborators/donors.
When comparing CEHHS to other institutions with similar programs, they had a few key differences in their websites and social media. Two differences to implement that could provide the biggest impact were that other institutions have an outreach page for people who are not in the program and they have constantly updating community-facing information on the front page. The differences in their social media were that other institutions have a TikTok, they also post more frequently about diverse topics, and their social media accounts are tied together with the main school’s brand.
Therefore we suggest the following to address CEHHS’ problem statement:
1) Increase social media presence by following a posting schedule on all their platforms in order to maximize engagement.
2) Increase social media engagement by sharing posts relevant to CEHHS and to CSUSM.
3) Create social media campaigns targeting specific groups. For example, campaigns geared towards local youth and stakeholders, and campaigns geared towards online communities.
4) Create a TikTok account and post regularly.
5) Tie in the CSUSM brand across all social media platforms (including LinkedIn) by using the school mascot and the CSUSM acronym uniformly.
6) Update the CEHHS website to include constantly updating important announcements and information front and center.
College of Education, Health & Human Services (CEHHS) is a department of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) that handles the planning, marketing, and execution of education that falls under the category of health and human services. The categories include: Human Development; Kinesiology; Public Health; Social Work; and Speech Language Pathology.
The College of Education, Health & Human Services (CEHHS) needs a plan to help improve their company website and gain more traction on their social media. CEHHS also needs a plan on how to increase their renown with local students and collaborators/donors.
Industry and Market Analysis
SWOT Analysis of the Industry
-CEHHS offers majors in education, nursing, health sciences, human services, human development, kinesiology, public health, social work, and speech-language pathology.
-Students are supported and encouraged by the college to be creative, collaborative in their learning environments, and encouraged to be agents of change.
– Student opportunities such as success grants, networking opportunities, and internship opportunities.
-CEHHS has many connections with the community, which provide opportunities for employment and networking.
-Growing industry relating to the majors offered at CEHHS.
-Online nursing program, makes education accessible to more potential students nationally.
– CEHHS has accessible and affordable tuition.
-There is a lack of teachers and administrative staff available for hire. Need more staff members for both teaching and administration.
-There is a lack of information on all of CEHHS’s media platforms (website and social media) regarding the college’s programs, opportunities, and resources.
-The messaging on social media for the college is inconsistent and lacking uniformity.
–The growing need for health and human services-related positions nationwide,which means more students searching for an educational institution both in-person and online.
– Improving and expanding online courses as well as information about these courses on the website
-Improving media presence, engagement, and interaction will reach more potential students, potential stakeholders, and potential staff members.
–Competing colleges that offer similar courses both in-person and online in nursing and human services, both online and in San Diego county.
– Colleges or online programs with affordable tuition and more resources.
Local Direct Competitors
California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has 38,800 full-and part-time students. CSUN offers a wide range of human health and human education-related undergraduate programs. CSUN’s tuition is slightly less expensive than CSUSM. CSUN is a competitor of CSUSM because it offers similar programs, has less expensive tuition, and is located in Southern California.
University of California San Diego(UCSD) has 39,576 students enrolled. UCSD offers a wide range of human health and human education-related undergraduate programs but is significantly more expensive than CSUSM. UCSD is a competitor of CSUSM because it offers similar programs, and both are in Southern California.
University of San Diego (USD) is a private university and has 8,861 total students enrolled. USD offers a wide range of human health and human education-related undergraduate programs but is private and more competitive to gain enrollment in. USD is a competitor of CSUSM because it offers similar programs, and both are in Southern California.
Market and Segment Analysis
Summary of Market
Being a college, CEHHS is in the higher education market, with a somewhat hybrid education. The higher education market has sprouted rapidly in the past 20 years and today, it is covering both online, offline and hybrid systems (Cover, 2020). There are various players in the market, from private and public institutions, government agencies and ministries of education, plus education and testing companies (Cover, 2020). Higher education institutions like CEHHS are progressively turning more receptive towards the use of new technologies for education delivery and its various components. Technology is playing a significant role by allowing the interactions between educators and students that are needed for learning opportunities. Furthermore, increasing competition between public and private higher educational institutions has emerged, and the emphasis is on students and faculty coming together and collaborating from all over the world (Cover, 2020). This goes hand in hand with the participation of international colleges and business partners to deal in research and development, associations and funds. It should equally be noted that the higher education market is projected to reach 1.9 billion dollars by 2025. As such, the education market in the United States (CEHHS) is projected to grow at a compound yearly growth rate of 4.7 percent towards 2025.
The ever-rising connectivity and hardware, the privacy of the diverse cloud based resources and systems, the sprouting of online and collaborative learning and the technological personalization are some of the fundamental driving forces that are contributing to the growth of the higher education market (Cover, 2020).
But challenges are equally arising; with increasing costs, hardships with regards to the adoption of server based computing, coupled with decreased funding from the government, these pose critical problems in the market. This leads to an increasing dependency on donors or the face decreased spending on much needed technology owing to budgetary limitations.
Summary of Market Segments
The entire market is indeed divided or segmented on the basis of hardware, software, services, users and of course, geography. Simply put, the market segment is online, offline and hybrid. With this hybrid system, there is an urgent need for colleges like CEHHS to grab the vast social media opportunities and develop its website to the global standards to encourage online learning experiences (Cover, 2020). With a scarce presence on social media and underdeveloped websites, it will be a painstaking task to market the college and grab the online market which is indeed considered a necessity moving forward.
Then we have the issues surrounding hardware and software. The various hardware devices applied in the higher education market in institutions like CEHHS are things like tablets, personal computers, interactive white boards, projectors, printers and diverse others. These carry their own security and accessibility issues. In addition, software solutions have their own set of data security and compliance issues, the adoption of technologies within campuses, utilization and performance management, as well as many other issues (Cover, 2020).
Higher education encompasses private colleges, state universities and even community colleges. All of these players are in direct competition for students, staff, and benefactors. To survive, thse schools must look not only to cover the North American market and look beyond local outreach, but they must also look to extend globally into other markets.
The emergence of the COVID-19 global pandemic taught the world one thing: that technology plays a critical role in everything in our day to day. This has led to post-COVID-19 adaptations in the education markets with colleges adopting hybrid learning systems, online classroom learning, online presentations, online graduations and even online testing.(Cover, 2020).
Hybrid and remote learning along with online classrooms have unpacked both new possibilities and new challenges. For instance, despite the need for interactive lectures, some students are now comfortable with learning using video cameras (Cover, 2020). These are the trends and new opportunities that modern colleges have to grapple with moving into the future (Cover, 2020).
Furthermore, we’ve been seeing a constrained funding trend to public higher education, which further limits innovations and adoption of new technologies. Technologies that are rapidly evolving in the higher education market.
Online learning, and hybrid education has opened up the higher education markets for global exchanges and collaboration in a multitude of ways. For instance, global collaboration programs could potentially enable students to work integrally with peers all around the world (Cover, 2020). These are projects giving students unparalleled opportunities to establish and develop the requisite skills and knowledge necessary for global citizenship through enabling them to authentically engage in communicating and collaborating with peers in various countries.
There are a number of trends which have sprouted recently with the sprouting of this market to provide a prospect for institutions like CEHH to be able to communicate education in a more interactive and effective manner (Cover, 2020). This is an optimization system that higher education is conscious about and in conjunction with the rapid developments in the global markets, via the structuring efficient strategies for strategic associations and for the determination of a superior level of global student market. Colleges like CEHH and Universities all over the world are grappling to come up with unique strategies and programs, through the promotion of various programmers to a wider market and through provision of services in regard to foreign students collaborations.
In the coming years, the higher education market is anticipated to exhibit a single-digit CAGR. With this, the suppliers are not only concerned with the provision of software and hardware solutions, but the emphasis is also on the increasing technological deployments within the already established parameters together with the embracing of the new user account. With that said, it is estimated that more than 70 percent of learning platforms would be software based as a service or cloud based.
Our target market consists of current and future students as well as alumni located in the southern California area, additionally any community partners and donors interested either in the services provided by CEHHS or as potential donors to the college.
In order to appeal to future and current students, posting should be done mainly on TikTok and Instagram due to the age range of users of these platforms matching the age range of current and future students. A great way to appeal to alums is through Facebook because it’s a great place to reconnect with communities. Alums are a good source for donations and as brand ambassadors. As for the community partners and donors, updating the website will help appeal to them by giving them much needed information about the programs we offer. Twitter is a great place to point people into other areas of interest so it could have links to the website or updates on events and will appeal to all of our targeted groups.
Goals: The goal is to increase awareness for the College of Education, Health, and Human Services in California State University San Marcos through online communications. By improving the company’s website and social media with a more engaging community and consumer facing approach, the goal is to build their student base internally and their community partners externally, simultaneously. The goal is also to introduce new social media that will help contribute to reaching more community members, both inside and outside of CSUSM.
Target Audience : Current students, future students, alumni, community partners and donors.
Key Message: CEHHS is a public institution program at California State University San Marcos that offers majors in education, nursing, health sciences, human services degrees. The school of human services is composed of programs in Human Development, Kinesiology, Social Work, and Speech-Language Pathology. CEHHS focuses on understanding the needs of their partners and working with them to improve their schools, student learning, and the quality of healthcare, while also contributing to human wellness and development.
Communication Strategy : By revamping the current CEHHS website and social media, as well as creating new avenues to boost the companies’ online presence, we feel that the CEHHS college will receive a broader awareness of the programs they have to offer and connect with more of the community.
Looking at CEHHS’ current social media platforms gives us a good idea of what type of viewers the college reaches, which are mostly current students. The existing accounts have a strong follower base, but having a more consistent posting schedule will help increase the colleges’ awareness and boost the average reaction to each post, making current and prospective students more involved and well-versed in what is currently happening within the college. There is also a strong opportunity in utilizing TikTok, a fast-growing, video-based social media platform to promote CEHHS and what is offered within the college in a fun and inviting way! With their unique algorithm, TikTok will allow CEHHS to reach a much larger audience outside of the school, which can improve the connections among local community partners and donors, and drive engagement to existing online educational offerings.
We also noticed that typing in “CEHHS” in each platform’s search bar did not always show the results for the University. We suggest making a uniform handle for each social media account, so they are consistent with each other. Taking advantage of the already-established CSUSM brand in the handle along with the college name will help boost their program and make it easier to find among the many accounts on each platform. A consistent profile picture across all platforms can also help identify the connection between the accounts.
Figure 1: Social Media Metrics:
The website for a college is a very dynamic tool and is the most influential resource when attracting potential students, partners, and reaching the community. It should, like a business, inform visitors and give information about what the college has to offer. The website should have a link to CEHHS social media channels in order to increase eyes on the social pages.
The main aspect that was touched on for the CEHHS website was that it seemed to be more of a source for the staff and students internally, but not externally for the website’s visitors and community. While it is still important for the website to meet the needs of current staff and students, meeting the needs of the outside community is vital.
There are a number of ways to improve a college website that we have found through comparing websites of nationally recognized universities, as well as looking at data for what people look for when visiting college sites. First, the website needs to be kept up to date with news, events, announcements, and information about classes and majors. This is extremely important in providing a good experience for new and returning users. The content that is put on the main page of the website should be engaging and designed to attract the outside community while allowing them to feel connected to the college. The information/announcements that are of the most up-to-date importance should be emphasized at the forefront of the main page of the website. It would help to have any information that can be a key resource for external stakeholders such as program and degree information, events and opportunities at the school, or how the college is working with the community be the first thing site visitors see.
Colorado State University is a good example for giving community facing information that is constantly changing. Here we have created an example of what that could look like:
Social Media is a major point of emphasis that CEHHS would like to focus on moving forward. The target audience uses social media channels as a way to receive information about many industries and institutions including our college. We are going to plan a refresh to the college’s social media platforms that gives the community a look at what is going on inside the college through community facing images, videos, and informative content. Posts will encourage the community to engage with CEHHS. Social media campaigns can be used to focus on the specific goal that is trying to be achieved, whether that is awareness of the college programs, showing partners how the college works with the community, etc. For example, if the goal is to highlight the success CEHHS has had with their graduates, TikTok can be used to post a series of short stories showing what members of the college’s alumni are working on now and how they are positively affecting the community. There should be a unified voice across all social media channels. These platforms can be utilized to gain student involvement through special offers such as surprise events or giveaways, and gain consideration through displaying college awards and national recognition. We will show the type of content that should be posted on each platform as well as how and when content should be posted for optimal conversion.
Facebook is one of the most important social media platforms for audience outreach. The platform creates a community through finding friends, photo/video sharing as well as audience interaction by businesses and institutions. The achievements, milestones, and news about the college should be shared through Facebook. Facebook allows for paid promotion to reach larger audiences outside of our followers, which can be crucial when trying to reach people outside of our college community and drive them to our website.
With Facebook you have the ability to create ad campaigns with features like custom audience or lookalike audience, which allow you to reach an audience that is similar to those who already follow you through customisable demographics.
Instagram is a highly used photo and video sharing platform, especially by young people ages 18-34. The platform is very important for higher education institutions to use in order to reach a larger audience as well as connect with their university community. Many young people receive information about colleges through Instagram and their paid Instagram ad feature can make it easy for the college to reach a broader audience. As of now, CEHHS does not have a regular posting schedule for Instagram and doesn’t receive a lot of engagement on their posts. CEHHS would benefit from an increase in Instagram posting through a regular and frequent posting schedule. Along with this, the college could use some paid advertising to reach parts of the community that don’t already follow them such as partners, current students, and prospective staff and students.
We believe CEHHS should plan to post to their Instagram feed once a day Monday through Friday, with a minimum of 3 times a week in order to increase reach as well as strengthen their connection to the community. Story posts should be mixed in throughout the week to give a personal quality to the college.
CEHHS can benefit from posting more regularly to Twitter as well. Posting 1-2 times a day, whether that is retweeting from CSUSM or community partners, or posting original content. It is recommended that a college post a minimum of 1-3 times a day in order to increase engagement and drive our audience to our website. Twitter is a great space to follow what is trending in the media, engage with current followers, and use hashtags to get our content seen by a targeted audience. Using hashtags can give Twitter’s algorithm a chance to make our successful content discoverable by anyone searching for those keywords. The best use of Twitter is to engage with the audience and strengthen the relationship with our followers, who can get to the college website through our Twitter bio.
TikTok is the newest and fastest growing social media platform available. CEHHS can massively benefit from getting familiar with the TikTok platform, as it is a major way young people see media and take in information. People of all ages are using Tik Tok, 43% are between 18-24 and 32% are between 25-34, but in Q1 of 2022, TikTok saw 36% of its users between 36-54. The rapid growth of the platform and its advanced algorithm can give CEHHS the opportunity to reach a larger audience outside those who already know about the college. CEHHS can utilize TikTok to share notable alumni stories as well as features and events for alumni to be a part of, post informative videos highlighting specific courses and majors within the college, share news about events happening on campus, and even share creative videos showing the inner workings of the college.
TikTok is the easiest platform to post videos with high regularity and create a personal connection to the audience. CEHHS, being tightly connected to the community through their programs and the jobs that their majors prepare for, makes them perfect for TikTok. Here are a few ways universities are utilizing TikTok currently.
· Notable alumni features and overall alumni stories
· Informative videos highlighting specific majors and courses
· Campus news updates featuring events and announcements
· Student ambassadors sharing a day in a life of a student
· Challenges and contests around university initiatives or campaigns
· Tours of campus, buildings, and classrooms
· Curated college acceptance and graduation videos
LinkedIn is an important platform for colleges to connect with people in the community such as current and prospective students, local organizations, and partners. CEHHS’s LinkedIn profile is not taking advantage of the large follower base of CSUSM by being easily found through the CSUSM LinkedIn page and having shared branding. LinkedIn is a great platform for the college to post events and updates on the college, as well as reply to queries and request feedback from the community. Connecting with Alumni to show the success stories of the college can be done well through LinkedIn, which will increase interest in the college.
Social media scheduling and management platforms like Hootsuite are a great tool for managing multiple social media accounts across platforms. Hootsuite allows you to track current and future posts, while also coordinating and pre-scheduling posts. The platform acts as a central location for engaging with accounts and followers across all social platforms. This will allow the college to engage with prospective and current students, and manage alumni relations all in one place.
Hootsuite plans do come at a cost. Plans range from 50$/mo for an account that can be managed by a single person to 130$/mo for an account that can be managed by up to 3 different people to allow for collaborative scheduling and posting, which can be extremely beneficial to the college.
These plans allow for post scheduling, message management, post analytics monitoring, management of paid advertisements, post result analysis, and many other valuable features. Although there is this monthly fee associated with this type of platform, the time that can be saved and the improvements that can be made to the college’s social platforms through the use of a platform like Hootsuite is immense.
Media Plan Schedule
From comparing data across many different websites, these days and times are considered to be the best posting times across each social media platform. Maintaining a regular and preferably daily posting schedule to each of the platforms is encouraged to increase awareness, remain connected, and improve traffic to the college and its website. The same or similar posts can be posted to multiple social channels and links to the others can create a cycle of traffic between each page.
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