IN CONVERSATION: The ROI of Social Media in Academia Has Gone Up Significantly
May 19, 2017
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ASMA: Do you think social media is changing the way of academia operated earlier?
Srinivas Patil: Yes, social media is absolutely changing because most of the youngsters are using social media. It is having an impact on the youngsters, even most of the educational institute are also coming towards this kind of marketing so that it is easy and even fast moving and through which we can say easily and immediately reach the millennials.

ASMA: What is the level of impact social media has created on the academia?
Srinivas Patil: Many institutes are also using social media for various reasons, like, in case we want to send some information to our students by using social media it can be immediately reach our millennials because now a days you know that students are using internet ,phones, smart phones and what not! there are some other network providers out there who are providing cheaper internet and that too free of cost, most the students are using this and through this we have come down to the conclusion that in order to reach our students we are using social media and thus we expect this step of ours to create the desired impact!

ASMA: What are the different passages or social media platforms where organizations use social media?
Srinivas Patil: We are using all kind of social media platforms, we use them for marketing purposes, passing messages to the millennials and to anyone amongst the staff members, along with these we also use Instagram, WhatsApp, which are equally popular.

ASMA: What kind of pedagogical improvement social media has caused in your organization?
Srinivas Patil: We have certain subjects which are directly linked with marketing like we have one subject called marketing on internet because of which we directly use this kind of thing in our classrooms also and we tell them about such kind of examples also which are available online while using social media platforms,also there are some advertisements like“how can we market our product using social media?” So instead of giving out theoretical knowledge we use this method. So, these are the methods we normally use along with using ppts and videos as a teaching method. It is turning out to be very useful for millennials, we have also conducted video conferencing for our students with our friends working in other companies our alumni working in Bangalore and other places wherein they address the students by using this social media, thus we are taking active measures towards it.

ASMA: What are the different modes and the teaching learning process uses social media in your institute means how social media is included in your teaching matter like you were saying about this e-learning and internet and marketing of internet what is the basic criteria and how do you go through this kind of process?
Srinivas Patil: Normally in some of the institutes they don’t allow the students to use the mobile phones but in many of the MBA colleges they don’t restrict the students from using mobile phones because information are sent to the students through this media, also sometimes the subjects are also like that like marketing is one of the important subject student must know about I thus, in marketing strategy, the student has to know all the important concepts hence using social media marketing strategy have to be used and that’s why we use social media as a marketing strategy, which easily & immediately can be made to reach out to the students, because they themselves are active on many groups themselves like the students, faculties & alumni groups , where these information are shared. Now a days we have different groups so that one can contact to each one of them in separately, which actually an open minded approach I must say, you know the way you’re using the social media is an open minded approach, Sometimes you can take it as a pedagogical tool also. Not only the subjects related to the course are addressed to, we even discuss with the millennials on competitive & English related tests , the ability & reasoning all these things, sometimes students also are allowed to ask or set some questions in which some of the students give in their comments or give answers &, at times the faculty also gets involved in this process&they also give in their solutions, so that immediately it can be discussed & reaches out to all the millennials in those groups. Instead of asking students that who are unable to understand they give in the details in that group so that it will be known to all the students and faculty also. Thus, we are using this method of quantitative techniques which is compulsory and helps in improving the aptitude or reasoning this is something which is very rare and what we are doing is like creating a live classroom.

ASMA: Are there qualified and dedicated team for managing the social media accounts in your organization?
Srinivas Patil: Yeah! we have dedicated and even qualified people from our faculty itself, one of our faculty is Mr. Kulkarni, who we have for training also apart from being a professional trainer, he has also attended some workshops, he is managing all the social media related accounts for, he is the person who takes classes on marketing as well and he worked in a company also as a manager.

ASMA: What are the important aspects of calculating ROI on social media investment in academic organization?
Srinivas Patil: Normally we spend money on advertisements, spending money for advertisement in social media is a lot lesser or cheaper than other platforms because in case we publish something on newspaper it will be there for only one day or two and would be of a huge amount in terms of cost and in case we go for publishing some news in Facebook or in some other media , the cost will be very less here and even it will be like a auction kind of thing, the report is for Rs 40/- or Rs. 100/- or Rs.200/-. Based on that it will be reached and we have some target customer also, in case we want to reach only the people from age 20 to 25/35 we can target these people also, in case you want to target only large prospects you can target for bigger options, in every case each age group should be targeted, so such kind of activities on social media should take place as this is the best method to target customers, because spending will be less here and return will be obviously a lot more.

ASMA: Which are the domains where social media is playing crucial role in the success of the organization such as admission, placement, alumni, teaching, learning, etc.?
Srinivas Patil: Last year we have used social media for academic admission purposes like sharing informationwith the students and immediately it was also sent to some alumni’s, since they have other people to float it to amongst their junior as well and then later we hadto go ahead with advertisements, and when you have to give advertisement, you have to create a page also, so obviously it is a chain reaction and different course of action has to be taken! Due to this the number of followers at our page are increasing day by day and is also liked by many people, thus we are trying to approach to a lakh of other people, who are our target customers.

ASMA: What is your view on traditional marketing initiatives versus social media marketing initiatives of an academic organization? How the balancing between the two is done in your institute? Does it help in managing your financial resource optimally?
Srinivas Patil: Traditional marketing, we can say would be advertisement in newspaper, tv and all and radios also. So, we have not neglected this part. Though social media is one of the best method to approach the people but we are not neglecting this traditional approach also because it is also required and there are certain people who are regularly reading newspaper and magazines, radio even tv ,because this is the only one area where the youth today is focusing more on and on the other hand we too can reach out to them through these social forums only. Traditional and social media marketing both are important, one should be flexible to such changes.

ASMA: What would be your suggestion for academic institutes for adopting social media tools?

Srinivas Patil: Social media like has both pros and cons so it is up to us how do we make it. This should be used for only specific goal or specific purpose or say if we are using it even for discussing some difficult thing also, sometimes students study particularly in their rooms and in case they don’t know something about a particular subject so they work it out in a group instead of directly asking the faculty to solve the question, so for this kind of situation it will be helpful and students may use it for some other reasons also which should be avoided. But for this specific purpose definitely we can have a good impact on our discussing subject matter for information related to the placement cell, so many times we have information for students who also recently we have elected a placement rep so in a way we have reached majority of people who are using social media and whoever is using it, our placement cell is working towards it and as a result we have placed 62 students.

This will be one of the best source of advertising our institute. For two reasons, like we can reach only to people whom we want to reach and you can also focus on this area like in case you are giving some important data so these many people are there, anyways we are getting there because we are little slow in pace in comparison to how normally people specially youngsters are there. But all in all, we can say it’s important hence use it and take its full advantage.