Schools get social with CRM

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FIU Business's Facebook Page
FIU Business's Facebook Page

Florida International University (FIU) College of Business Administration is one of the first schools to use the Intelliworks Social Marketing application as part of its student recruitment strategy.

Intelliworks' new tool connects the CRM systems of university admissions departments with the schools' social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. The goal is to help schools better manage their multiple online identities while logging data about prospective students and tracking their interactions with the school online. Intelliworks Social Marketing also allows schools to proactively contact prospects once they become Facebook fans and run personalized campaigns.

“The world has changed in the sense that all these social networking sites and tools have come of age, and we've found that more and more of our prospective students — which are young professionals aged 25-30 — have grown up not knowing a world without computers,” explained Luis Casas, director of marketing, communications and recruiting for FIU College of Business Administration. “Social networking has become very popular and just a natural place for us to communicate with them. We had been doing it on our own and had very successful campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn and have a Twitter account, but when Intelliworks told us they were coming out with a new tool whereby students could communicate with us directly through Facebook, we were interested.”

FIU has been using Intelliworks tools since late 2005 to manage its student CRM. Together with social networking, the university has also been using SEM strategies to reach prospective students online. The business school has about 1300 grad students currently.

“It's very clear there is value for us in looking at all touchpoints in a holistic way and seeing that this person who sent us an e-mail and came to an information session is interested in us,” Casas added. “Our business is to find the people that are right for this school and have them enroll here and go out and be successful, so having more qualified applicants and having as few people as possible come here and say, ‘I don't know if this is the right school for me,' is the goal. If we can target our audience better, it will be a plus because we will have happier students and be more effective and efficient at what we do.”

He said that the school has the capacity to grow its enrollment by 10% - 15% over the next few years.       

Other early adopters of Intelliworks Social Marketing include University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, Eastern University, Fresno Pacific University's Office of Continuing Education and New England College.

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