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[Guide] The Social Media Management Maturity Model

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CASE STUDY

University of Glasgow & Neon Caffeine

How the University of Glasgow uses Brandwatch for content planning, crisis communications, and campaign management.

CASE STUDYUniversity of Glasgow & Neon Caffeine
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Neon Caffeine and the University of Glasgow work in partnership, using Brandwatch to inform the development of content strategies, deliver insights, provide real-time reporting, manage crisis communications, and more to support the institutions’ external relations goals and activities.

Background

The University of Glasgow’s social media team began working with Neon Caffeine, a higher education social media consultancy, in 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The university identified the need for increased audience and brand insights to support them through a new and challenging period for marketing and communications in higher education.

The university has now expanded its use of Brandwatch with a wider group of colleagues who are embedding social intelligence into their strategies. This includes student communications, brand and reputation management, and student recruitment.

COVID-19 insights

COVID-19 presented a new challenge for the university in understanding how its core audiences responded to its handling of the pandemic and wider external challenges. The University of Glasgow utilized the free COVID-19 dashboard Brandwatch created for higher education institutions during the pandemic to monitor, amongst other things, sentiment across campus, the wider university community, and prospective applicants.

This enabled the social media team to provide leadership with regular insights on the perception of the university’s handling of the crisis, the success of their communications, and how others in the sector were reacting. This ultimately aided them in creating messaging to address concerns amongst their community in a timely and effective manner.

Importantly, it helped the University of Glasgow shape their communications strategy quickly to the changing needs and sentiment of their communities in Glasgow, and across the world.

Enabling team success

Key to the success of the roll out of Brandwatch at The University of Glasgow has been the training and ongoing support. Neon Caffeine works side-by-side with the university as an additional team member, and they are also supported by a Brandwatch expert.

Neon Caffeine created a bespoke guide to the key metrics within Brandwatch, mapping the university's questions and success markers to dashboards. For example, how is the university perceived, what do students care about, and should their content strategy be adjusted? 

Having worked through the harder times of the pandemic, the University of Glasgow is now able to focus on maximizing their use of the Brandwatch platform. They map their goals for each academic year and agree which metrics would align best to track progress throughout the year. The social media and student communications team and other internal stakeholders are now engaging with the tool in new and innovative ways, having implemented this goal-based approach to social intelligence.

Content planning

In the 2023-24 academic year, the university is launching core campaigns aligned to its values and mission. As the social media team develops their content plans, they use Brandwatch to analyze online conversations surrounding relevant topics. This enables the team to take advantage of positive mentions while also addressing negative issues that may arise during any given campaign.

There is always flex in campaign planning to adapt to community feedback via social intelligence or the changing global environment. 

The university is also able to create alerts around each topic ahead of time, providing real-time updates prior to launching a campaign and right through through to completion and post-campaign analysis. This is especially useful in the pre-launch phase, as it allows the university to adjust or even delay a campaign in the event of potential reputational risks arising or an external event making it unsuitable to launch at the planned time.

Crisis management

The university operates an always-on approach to crisis management with Brandwatch, having created real-time alerts delivered to inboxes of staff responsible for responding in an emergency.

Brandwatch’s Signals and Alerts features have been customized to deliver bespoke updates on the topics that matter to the University of Glasgow, while also monitoring for unexpected issues. This has enabled the university to get ahead of issues at an early stage, and manage them in an effective manner, including tailoring messaging accordingly.

"Using the social data and insights Brandwatch provides has really helped support my team and I to make informed decisions about our content strategies. It has ensured our communications respond to the needs of our communities, from current students to prospective applicants. The reports we create via Brandwatch also help us to provide timely and valuable data to senior leaders at University of Glasgow to inform high-level decision making."
— Emma Gilmartin, Head of Social Media and Student Communications
"Brandwatch provides the University of Glasgow with reliable social intelligence that supports the delivery of strategic business goals, particularly those linked to student recruitment and brand and reputation management. It gives myself and the wider leadership team confidence that we have a tool that can answer our questions and sense-check our strategies as we progress our institutional ambitions."
— Rachel Sandison, Deputy Vice Chancellor – External Engagement
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