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Carol DuanCarol Duan, International Social Media Specialist at Boston University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2018 Higher Ed Content Conference.

In this 3-question interview, Carol tells us about the best content advice ever, content performance measurement and a favorite content tool.

1) What is the best advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to content?

The best advice I’ve ever been given would be “Always keep your audience in mind.” As we learn from our own experiences, this is the key to successful storytelling. At Boston University, we talk to a broad range of audiences and have no shortage of content related to our students, faculty, research and University as a whole. Knowing our audience’s needs, wants, concerns and limitations helps us effectively identify content opportunities, pick the best distribution platforms and create engaging messages that speak to each segment of our audience. For example, on our Chinese social channels, we’d highlight international student stories, and create pre-arrival materials to help Chinese students adjust to the learning culture and campus life at Boston University.

2) How is the performance of your content measured/evaluated at your school?

Our social team uses a four-step framework for identifying meaningful metrics to social performance:
1) Identify overarching goals
2) Determine the communication activities that support these goals
3) Identify the metrics that determine success
4) Measure the performance.
Using the Chinese social channels I’m managing as an example, we use Sina Weibo as the main Chinese distribution channel to promote the content produced by our editorial team, so traffic generation would still be an important metric to evaluate the post performance. But when we look at the social stats on WeChat, we’d use engagement rate and open rate to evaluate the content performance, given that we use WeChat to feature student stories and promote an inclusive campus life.

3) What is your favorite content tool?

Based on my experience on Chinese social, I found that when talking to an audience with varying proficiency in English, creating infographics can be an effective way to get the information out. It is a great solution to address confusing topics or highlight data-heavy content without overwhelming your audience. Thus, I’d highly recommend the online design tools Canva and Piktochart, both provide many engaging templates and are very easy to use. We’ve been creating dozens of graphics using these two tools. The most popular infographics we’ve created are graphics highlighting rankings and admissions stats.

A conference focusing on higher ed content?

The Higher Ed Content Conference is a must-attend event for higher ed content professionals and teams looking for new ideas and best practices.

Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Content Conference say about the experience.

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