New European College is an international college based in Munich, Germany that provides a number of future-oriented educational services. The college is open to all students looking for favorable environment that will best prepare them for the future career challenges. Today, the institution aims to attract more students from abroad; this initiative is in line with the college’s mission of providing realistic and up-to-date educational services. However, there are very few foreign students in the institution at the moment. Due to a great number of students looking for a good institution for continuing their studies, the management of the institution has decided to develop and launch a detailed social media marketing plan. This social media plan intends to help New European College attract and welcome as many foreign students as possible.
The plan commences with an overview of the essence of marketing the institution, which is followed by a quick analysis of the current level and effectiveness of the college’s engagement. Then, the intentions and goals of the marketing plan are outlined, and the rationale behind these initiatives is explained. The target market is clearly defined and the tools needed for effective drawing of the attention of the set category are studied. Afterward, the plan specifies the channels to be utilized and overviews the level of engagement in each one. The last components are a detailed evaluation of the effectiveness of the marketing plan and helpful tips on its successful implementation.
New European College is a new educational institution founded in 2014. It specializes in the business centered education, which is offered to both local and international students. Being located in Munich, Germany, the institution aims at providing a unique learning experience that will empower students in the modern market realities. To meet this expectation, the college ensures that its services are reviewed on a regular basis and reflect the constant dynamics being experienced in the world’s economy. It is the idea behind the college’s mission of delivering realistic education. Consequently, the institution manages to achieve a perfect balance in terms of theory and practicality. According to New European College’s vision, if an educational institution manages to provide a well-balanced perspective on the theoretical aspects of business studies and combines it with comprehensive practices, its students will be able to appreciate its efforts in dealing with the demands and expectations of the real economics (www.new-european-college.com).
In the quest for studying in the best business school, a number of students’ groups eager to experience new cultures and opportunities was formed. Therefore, it is an intention of the New European College’s management to exploit this market in a detailed manner. The studies have also outlined that young people demonstrate a heavy involvement in different social media platform. Consequently, a good social media marketing plan can develop a strategy, with which New European College can reach out and attract students from far and wide. At the same time, the institution can study the market and adapt its operations in order to reflect and meet the desires of foreign students.
Social Media Presence
For today, the presence of New European College on the main social platforms, namely Facebook, Tweeter, and LinkedIn, the is fairly low. Its page on Facebook has gathered only 677 likes (www.facebook.com/NewEuropeanCollege); it has 49 followers on Tweeter (twitter.com/neweurcollege ) and 53 followers on LinkedIn. It is obvious that the performance is unsatisfactory, especially if having in mind a great number of users of these platforms. Therefore, there is an urgent need for thorough realignment of the college’s social media engagement if New European College wants to become a major player in the global education market. If the college is to attract more students, social media platforms are an affordable and effective tool of great reach in the case it is given the seriousness it deserves. It can ensure efficient communication between the college and its target market; however, above all, it provides the college with a unique option in terms of reach and time.
This competitive analysis considers the performance of New European College, Munich Business School, and European University on three social media platform, namely Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tweeter. The three platforms are common to all the named market players.
New European College
Primarily, New European College uses all three platforms for general informative purposes. For example, on Tweeter, the last post by the institution is on the importance of education. The same tendency can be traced on its Facebook page, as well as its LinkedIn account. There is no recent post on the experience of the college; therefore, it is failing in the social media marketing aspects.
Munich Business School
The last post on the Tweeter account of Munich Business School explains how one should start the own learning experience. However, there is some additional data. The institution boasts of a luring fact that it was founded by one of the alumni. In addition, there is also information on the experience a student can get at the college. The same perspective is maintained on other social platforms.
The last post on Tweeter by European University describes the experience of students in the university; it is supported by YouTube video. The increased alumni membership and the benefits that the members get from being active in the group are described. This strategy of data presentation is also followed on other social platforms.
One can note that there is a lot of inconsistency in terms of updating the three social accounts by New European College. In addition, the college prioritizes the informative perspective among other marketing techniques to be implemented via these platforms. It is a clear indication of the fact that New European College underestimates the core benefits offered by social media. The key conclusion from the above illustrations is that the institution experiences either lack of research on how its competitors are utilizing this tool or lack of creativity. Because the college is the new kid on the block, a lot is required from its management in terms of the social market marketing approach. Below, a brief competitive analysis of the New European College social media undertaking is presented
Ambitious management team
Inconsistency in updates and follow-ups
One-sided approach (informative approach)
Underexploited multi-perspective approach
Ever expanding reach of the platforms
The competitors’ accounts are more popular
The competitors’ pages are more aggressive in terms of marketing techniques
Goals and Strengths
Success is attainable if the goals reflect the needs of a venture in question. To ensure full completion and follow-up, the goals set should be SMART (Blythe, 2006). They must be specific, measurable, and attainable, as well as relevant to the problem at hand. Lastly, the goals should be time-bound.
Most New European College’s undertakings focus on the provision of realistic education. This vision entails a thought-out education system that is well-balanced in terms of theory and practice. In line with this objective, it is appropriate enough to ensure that the social media platforms are realigned in a way that encourages a healthy communication between the institution and its stakeholders. The feedback will be useful for appreciating different economic challenges thereby helping the college in making the necessary changes in order to provide the most relevant and timely solutions.
After conducting a competitive analysis of the social media engagement by New European College, it becomes evident that online popularity is desired; therefore, strategy rethinking is crucial. In order to ensure that the college attains a better position in terms of attracting more foreign student, this social media marketing plan aims to meet the following goals:
· Increase the popularity of the college;
· Provide the college with more information by receiving unlimited feedback from the followers from far and wide.
· Create a friendly image of the college by employing an interactive approach in its social media engagement.
· Improving the college’s competitiveness in terms of students’ attracting capacity.
· Change the college into a more student-focused institution.
The justification of the above goals is that social media platform offers convenient marketing tools that are affordable and even more effective than extremely expensive adverts on TV, for example (Tuten & Solomon, 2013). These goals are going to ensure that the college exploits this online marketing platform in the most comprehensive manner. The social media marketing plan is crucial due to the fact that the institution is a new player in the industry and has neither experience nor strong image. Therefore, it is important for the management to employ tools that are both affordable and effective. It is my opinion that if well exploited, a good social media engagement can bring the same popularity as the other expensive undertakings.
New European College markets itself as an international business school. However, the reality is the fact that it has not yet attracted a considerable number of foreign students. With the ever increasing capability and demand for attending foreign-based schools, it is reasonable to exploit this tendency and improve the college’s geographical reach. This social media marketing plan aims at making New European College a prestigious international school both in terms of name and coverage.
Taking into account the idea that New European College is an international business school, this social media marketing plan aims at attracting foreign students. Utilizing various social media platforms will help the college communicate, provide required answers for the questions that the foreign students might have, and receive feedback. In addition, this plan encourages a more exchange-driven interaction that will give all the stakeholders a chance to air their expectations. The information availed will be helpful to New European College and will allow it to become more appealing to foreign students.
Recent research shows that Facebook remains the most popular social platform and has the greatest reach (Pew Research Center, 2014; Lenhart, 2015). On the other hand, Tweeter demonstrates a more rapid growth than Facebook (Duggan et al., 2015). Therefore, the primary focus of this social media marketing plans is the utilization of these two platforms. By following the offered strategy, New Europe College will realign its operations in line with the modern market reality.
Presence, Approach, and Successfulness
New European College is currently present on the analyzed sites: Facebook and Tweeter. However, as it was mentioned (Social media presence), its current engagement is bearing no fruit. This result is caused by the low number of users’ responses in terms of likes and follow-ups of the college’s web pages and online accounts. There is also very minimal marketing engagement as the institution utilizes an informative perspective only. Consequently, the college has not made any promising gains from its current social media engagement. The aim of this marketing plan is to employ the most popular tool (Facebook) and the one that has reported the highest growth rates (Tweeter).
Taking into consideration a huge number of Facebook users, this marketing plan encourages getting as much feedback from the target market as possible. In order to achieve this goal, the following functionality will be enacted on the college’s page;
· Daily posts of both informative and interactive content
· Keen follow-up of the happenings; the changes and responses are to be prompt
· Reflection of all aspects of college life in the posts
· Provision of relevant and up-to-date information in a friendly manner
· Sensitivity to the social diversity of the target market.
Argument for the Chosen Line of Engagement
Making daily posts will be helpful in maintaining the relevance of the Facebook page. It will also increase the chances of posts to be appealing to more diverse sections of the society and target marker. It will also be important to make the page managed by relevant individuals from the college administration in order to provide a timely response. The keen follow-up will assist the institution make any required changes in terms of content and at the same time provide the requested information. The clarification of different issues will also help in building a strong brand image and share identity. A detailed presentation of all aspects on social accounts will help in popularizing different options and opportunities one can be interested in once becoming a member. Having in mind that a majority of the target market has never been to Germany, it is good to showcase the college in a multi-perspective manner. Being friendly will encourage foreign students to ask all the questions that they deem relevant in a genuine manner. In turn, availability of this information will be vital if New European College wants to have a global face. Lastly, being sensitive to various issues will help the college attract students from all over the world. This aspect is very helpful in making the institution go global.
Research done by Pew Review Center showed a significant growth of Tweeter (Duggan et al., 2015). Thereby, it is necessary to exploit this platform effectively. In order to attract more international students, this social marketing plan aims to achieve the following goal:
· Keen follow-up of what is trending in the education in order to ensure relevant and appealing posts on the college’s website and social accounts
· Subject-specific search in order to make helpful connections
· Quick responses and updates
Rationale for the Chosen Line of Engagement
Tweeter brings forth trending issues daily, and it is important to take note of them in order to maintain relevance. Therefore, it is important for New European College to familiarize itself with the modern trends, to be able to take part in the discussion. Through this level of engagement, it will be possible to attract the much-needed attention. Doing specific searches will be helpful in ensuring that the college continually makes relevant connections that will be helpful in increasing its reach. One connection can lead to two more connections; eventually, the ripple effect will help in spreading the information about the existence and operations of the college in a much faster way. Quick responses will be helpful in delivering the much-needed information in time. It will be paramount to building a strong brand via online platforms thereby encouraging more people to search for the college.
Monitoring of Social Media
To ensure New European College utilizes the benefits offered by the social media engagement in the most comprehensive manner, this social media marketing plan demands both the use of quantitative and qualitative monitoring measures. Moreover, in0020line with keeping the engagement up-to-date, the offered strategy also requires setting up a docket that will be purely responsible for managing the level, quality, and quantity of the undertakings. Above all, having a team in charge of this initiative will ensure that the plan is implemented in a detailed and professional manner.
The team will monitor the number of responses received and take note of the sequence, at which they will be received. The feedback from this analysis will be helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the initiatives being taken by the college on both platforms. The information will also be vital for identifying the trigger engagement. It will define the posts that attract heavy attention and also those that need to be altered or deleted. This measure will be helpful in terms of improving the following of the institution’s social media accounts.
This measure forms a backbone of the evaluation process. Through this analysis, the depth, relevance, and effectiveness of the college’s undertakings will be verified. The level of users’ engagement will be indicated by the nature of received response. When the target group airs its viewpoint, it will be clear whether the nature and manner of the information presentation are relevant and effective. Positive feedback will mean that the content communicated via the college’s accounts is appealing and meaningful to the target group. The effectiveness of the initiatives implemented via the online platforms will be measured in terms of the actual number of admission request and inquiries.
General SWOT Evaluation of the Marketing Plan
The main aim of this social media marketing plan is to ensure there is a thorough marketing engagement by New European College. Therefore, it is beneficial to appreciate that, for any marketing initiative taken, results should be visible in terms of attainment of the set goals (Blythe, 2006). In the context of the analyzed college, the objective is to attract more foreign students into the institution. In addition, for the planned marketing engagement to be effective, all relevant variables must be observed in order for the marketing plan to work as intended. However, at all times, the parties involved should never forget the goal at hand. Consequently, additional innovations are required to go in line with the plan; the needed corrections and additions should be made. The SWOT analysis of the plan should be done in order to ensure that the relevance and goal-directed strategy is followed. There is the need to identify the strength of the social media platforms that are to be utilized. In this case, (Strength) both Facebook and Tweeter offer benefits that the college is looking for and can help in attracting more foreign admission. On the other hand (Weaknesses), there is also the need to protect the platforms from irrelevance, which will make the undertaking fruitless since it will not be appealing to any audience. (Opportunities) The identification of helpful functionality of the platforms will be helpful in formulating the right content to be posted under this plan. (Threats) The primary threat of this marketing plan is the level and nature of engagement on similar social media platforms by the competitors, namely Munich Business School and European University. Therefore, it is important to keep a keen look on their engagement in order to make key realignments that will ensure that the New European College marketing engagement bring desired results within the set time.
If all the variables and demands of this marketing plan are keenly followed, it will be helpful in ensuring that New European College is in a better position both in terms of the reach and enrollment capacity. However, a point to appreciate is the fact that a marketing plan will work effectively if its demands are in line with the rules, spirit, and vision of the educational institution (Blythe, 2006). Therefore, this plan is open to any changes that will improve it.
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