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NTU NBS: student acquisition through social media

PMO Team,    11 Jun 2010

The Nanyang Business School (NBS), part of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is a leading business school committed to educating tomorrow’s strategic leaders through cutting-edge, rigorous curricula that are relevant to business practice. NBS provides an outstanding learning environment, with the full range of undergraduate and graduate programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and world-class research centers. The Nanyang MBA is ranked 25th in world and one of the best in Asia, offering a global perspective with an Asian focus.

NBS wanted to differentiate itself and connect with its web-savvy audience worldwide, leveraging the power of social media.

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In line with  NBS’s and NTU’s strategic directions to reach out and stay connected to its external community, a rich and an attractive social extranet could act as a common portal across the school for interaction, knowledge dissemination, and engagement with relevant external stakeholders.

The social extranet would support the NBS functions of marketing, careers, and alumni. The extranet was to be designed and built so it could be easily extended to the careers and alumni functions in subsequent phases. Effective marketing would also require that the design of the interface and context be attractive and appealing to the target audience. Also, it would require engaging this tech-savvy audience by moving to a more interactive mode of communicating via blogs, videos (e.g., showcasing a day in the life of student or graduates in a variety of industries), and having a presence in common social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, social bookmarking, RSS, Flickr, etc.

An integrated marketing campaign was required that could create a buzz around the social extranet in the target markets in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The primary goal of this campaign was to create awareness and generate leads for the undergraduate and MBA programs.

At the core of this project were two microsites, one each for the MBA and Undergraduate program. The microsites were designed around the “mash-up” concept to reflect the “feel” of the target audience and to cleverly integrate all the social media elements within the site. For example, the videos from NTU’s YouTube channel were streamed to the microsite and “Wall” posts on Facebook were updated on the site in real time.

From the technological perspective, an Admin and Reporting interface was developed that facilitated management of the various social media elements from a single dashboard. NTU administrators could, for example, manage user accounts, moderate forum posts, and generate analytics via this interface. All of these elements were interlinked to ensure that there was seamless integration across the multiple touch points.

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