Andrew Cassel, Social Strategist and Content Producer at Middlebury College , is one of the 12 presenters of the 2020 Higher Ed Content Conference .
In this 4-question interview, Andrew tells us about best and worst content trends in higher ed, content measurement, great content ideas and a favorite tool.
1) What are the worst and best content trends in higher ed?
Creating a Facebook Event for events without a strategy to update the Event after it’s created. All too often a Facebook Event is created for the next job fair, visiting speaker, or even a commencement ceremony and then left to sit empty and alone. Facebook Events can be powerful tools – if you share them regularly across platforms and create or curate content that you post to the Event. An Event with no content is like a party with no people. I don’t want to go to that party. And there’s no need for me to join that Event.
Facebook Groups are an often-neglected but very powerful tool for building community around a department, school, student organization or meme group. Creating and administering a Group takes time and commitment. It is difficult to find that time with all the other things we’re doing. Set the simple goal of a number of people to join a group like Campus Events. Promote that Group with a paid strategy. Provide exclusive content for the Group. Prospective students will get a better idea about the cool things happening on your campus, current students will know more about the opportunities they have to attend an interesting lecture, alumni will see the kind of content they’re supporting with their money, and your campus communities will see how you benefit the local economy. You have to commit to the Group. You have to support the Group. You will come to love the Group.
2) Why is it still so difficult to measure the performance of higher ed content?
We all have the same goal: get a person to donate their millions of dollars accumulated wealth to our school in their will. That starts with a beautiful sense of place photo of our campus to attract a prospective. Then the visit leads to being admitted. Then enrollment gets them into the classroom. Then they complete their degree at a school that has changed their life. Where they built connections that define them. We can be a part of that journey. But we can never really measure how a tweet helped achieve that goal. We don’t know if they fell in love with the school because we shared a photo of them on Instagram. Or shared their Instagram post.
We can’t measure true feelings or connections. We can only measure responses. The thing that will make it easier to choose which metrics are truly important to us on a campaign-by-campaign basis. There are measurements for all our goals. Choose the right metric for the right goal and let all the other numbers drop away.
3) Share 3 pieces of higher ed content that made you envious or proud.
Loved this view of some of the buildings on the Brown University campus:
I love the seeming simplicity of this post. Using the Hyperlapse app to create a dynamic video of landmark buildings is something I wish I had thought of. A great way to share a sense of place as well as connect with alums.
I discovered Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab on Twitter. Her thoughts about higher ed have become a big influence on my strategy. As an example I now push back any time I hear a fellow higher ed staff member refer to a student as a “kid”.
Robert Morris University in Illinois has an enviable eSports program. Sponsors, athlete rosters, all the things you’d expect from a traditional athletic program. But for eSports. It’s awesome and I wish I had an organized eSports team at my college.
4) What’s your favorite new tool for content work?
Enlight Videoleap has been a great tool for editing videos to upload to TikTok, FB, Instagram Stories, etc.
There’s a subscription fee ($36 per year) to access the best tools, of course. For me it’s been the simplest way to turn horizontal videos into vertical videos. I love it when I’m working with videos I pull from the archive. I share those older videos to my mobile, pinch, zoom, edit, save and share. Super fast! Also Enlight Videoleap provides tools for filters, text, effects all of that fun stuff that I’ve only barely explored.