Last week, we looked at ways that college students can benefit from a number of excellent loyalty programs as they make their way back to hallowed university halls for the start of the school year. Furthermore, we highlighted why college students are an ideal demographic for brand marketers.
This week, we’re turning our back-to-school thinking around, on the universities themselves. While there’s plenty to be learned at these fine institutions, we believe that colleges could take a lesson from loyalty programs when it comes to engaging their students.
The thing is, higher education has been making attempts to better connect with their students over Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. But according to a recent article from Inside Higher Ed, schools aren’t making progress when it comes to measuring success. What’s more, they don’t seem sure of what they’re looking for.
We think that we have some answers for them. Imagine if universities were not only to increase student followers, but also actively increased their participation in on-campus activities, bettered their study habits, and made them an even more loyal, active, and dedicated members of the university community?
Mobile is clearly at the forefront of effective loyalty practices these days, something that Loyalty Lab has embraced wholeheartedly as of late. And no one is more attached to their mobile phones than students. Universities should take advantage of location-based technology by offering students deals when they are near on-campus dining locations, campus bookstores, and even the library.
By encouraging check-ins in class, at extracurricular clubs and activities, and again, at that often avoided library, students could earn points to receive free cups of coffee, discounts on textbooks, or University-branded swag.
When you start talking about encouraging ‘loyalty’ among students, it begins to sound a whole lot like encouraging school spirit. Getting students excited about and involved in school events, performances, and athletics will not only enrich their college experience, it increases the likelihood that they’ll be loyal alums post-graduation.
Tweeting at dedicated hashtags, checking in at games, and showing serious spirit could allow universities to reward students for their involvement. Imagine discounts on season tickets for basketball, great perks at on-campus restaurants and coffee shops — real, tangible rewards for students who show that they are dedicated members of the community.
Ask for Feedback
Sure, kids may head to college to learn a thing or two, but often, they’re savvier than we are. Especially when it comes to the kinds of rewards they want, and the kind of engagement they’re willing to participate in. So, ask them! Similar to our great loyalty programs that request customer feedback, universities should find out from their students just what it is they’re looking to gain. And make these inquiries worth their time, too — allow them to benefit from promotions or be entered into contests for answering your questions and bettering your understanding of how to best engage.
You Might Like:
- Webinar On-Demand: What You Need to Know About Gamification
- Whitepaper: A Simple Framework for Successful Loyalty Program Design