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How Skyline University College Increased Their Social Brand Impressions By 448%

"The possibility of engaging a student is now far greater than ever before since we started to use the TINT platform"

Mr. Rakesh Gaur

Director of Marketing & Admissions

About Skyline University

Skyline University College, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, is a business management university offering both undergraduate and post graduate programmes. Established in 1990, Skyline University College is recognized as one of the leading universities in the United Arab Emirates and it’s diversity is embodied by students from over 60 different nationalities.

The Challenge

The marketing team at Skyline University College had been quite active on social media over the past two years, and having identified that social media was critical in the future of communication with students, had invested resources to establish a present here.

The greatest challenge that they faced throughout this period was in trying to create a two way conversation with their students through social media. They were creating lots of great content themselves and pushing it out, but were struggling to get students to engage with the content and establish that two-way conversation with them on social media.

Whilst investing resources to create all of this new social content, another challenge that they faced was finding somewhere to host it so that it would have greater longevity. Social posts have a very short shelf life, and the marketing team wanted a tool that would allow them showcase this content, from multiple channels, throughout their digital properties and allow it to be accessed at any time.

“The possibility of engaging a student is now far greater than ever before since we started to use the TINT platform.”

The Solution

Upon partnering with TINT in September 2016, Skyline University College started by setting up UGC (user-generated content) displays on TV screens throughout the campus. These screens had a clear call to action banner at the top of the display, explaining to students that they would have their photos featured on the screens by using the brand’s hashtag on their social posts taken around the school.

Using TINT, they mirrored this content on the homepage of their website also. The main reason for doing so was to give prospective students a better idea of what life is actually like at Skyline University College, in terms of the school’s culture and personal development initiatives.

For phase two of integrating TINT with their digital properties, the team are now looking at embedding this UGC into the intranet portal that the students access every day, which is expected to increase engagement with them even further. The team are also looking at showcasing this content on more of their external web touchpoints, for example, student life pages and international student pages. These web displays will come with CTA buttons linking directly to admissions pages to help generate more leads.

“We, as a university, were posting a lot on social media, but wanted to get students more involved. TINT allows us to create a two way conversation and generate more engagement with them”

The Results

Build school spirit with campaigns

Skyline University College has now opened up a two way conversation with their students on social media.

In the first three months of using TINT, they have had a 448% increase in social brand impressions and also a 489% increase in the number of posts using their brand hashtag over the same period of time in the previous year.

How they did it

Unite teams to improve campaigns

Before using Hootsuite, social media was very scattered because each department operated as an independent entity. Lack of cross-collaboration affects student daily life and their ability to receive great digital customer service. For example, if a student reaches out to GSU on Twitter, they might not consider all of the people and departments required as contributors to respond properly. Coniglio is changing all that, with the help of Hootsuite, by adding all customer-facing departments into one centralized platform.One of the great things about Hootsuite—and why I love the platform—is the workflow. Instead of everyone operating independently, we can all work together to improve the overall experience.

“One of the great things about Hootsuite—and why I love the platform—is the workflow. Instead of everyone operating independently, we can all work together to improve the overall experience.”

This challenge trickled down into campaigns and events, such as Homecoming. In an effort to bring all colleges, campuses, departments, and students together, Coniglio chose the hashtag #GSUnited for the 2015 Homecoming. The hashtag is simple and it connected with people emotionally.

Prior to launch, she got buy-in and promise of support from other departments such as the athletics department and student influencers. Having their support meant greater promotion and more students aware of #GSUnited. Using Hootsuite listening streams, she found great shareable content to help engage students and build momentum for the event.

Boost engagement both online and offline

With students sharing Homecoming #GSUnited selfies and content, Coniglio wanted to showcase it all and keep school spirit high. To add a digital social dimension to marquee events, GSU turned to theTINT and Hootsuite app integration.

"Everyone loves their 15 minutes of fame,” Coniglio says. “We had hundreds of people Tweeting us—all of which was displayed on the homecoming website through the integration—it was wildly successful. The TINT app has a great monitoring system in the backend for pre-publishing"

With one click, Coniglio could send content from Hootsuite to TINT, pushing her moderated content directly to the homecoming website. Using Hootsuite listening streams she followed general conversations to find any related content that might not have included #GSUnited. “The TINT app in Hootsuite is easy to use and allows us to share more vibrant content,” Terry Coniglio says.

“I’ve been using both TINT and Hootsuite for a few years now and was excited to hear about their partnership. When a new campaign is just starting out, users might not know what the hashtag is or they forget it. We were able to follow the general conversations in Hootsuite and populate our TINT feed with posts that didn’t use the campaign hashtag but were on topic.”

The results

More engaged, happier students

The university is starting to see more students come to marquee events such as Homecoming. For example, the Georgia State Homecoming Football game—one of the largest events at Homecoming—saw a 9.4 percent increase in attendance year over year.

Departments collectively rallied to showcase the university’s playful side and engage students online. While the previous year’s Homecoming had 380 mentions, this campaign had 216 percent greater engagement, with over 1,200 mentions on social media. This is three times the normal weekly engagement for the university. The #GSUnited Homecoming campaign even earned GSU a CASE District III award for social media strategy.

GSU’s events now run smoother and are more successful because it’s easier to source great content and close the loop between social, web, and the physical world. They needed a way to make their lives—and communications with students—a little more social and they did just that.

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