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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

How do I know if Twitter and Facebook has helped us reach a wideraudience?


A few weeks ago I blogged about the presentation I was doing with Matt Mobbs and David Morgan at the Learning Futures Festival on Engaging without invading (you can read the paper here if you're really interested). We presented the paper live online and took questions at the end. One of the most useful questions for me was about whether or not we thought we had reached not just a bigger audience (we currently have nearly 900 fans on our Student Development Facebook page and more than 300 on Twitter) but a different audience. That is to say, we were reaching a certain subset of students via more traditional methods to inform them about how Student Development could help them whilst at University but were we now reaching a different subset of students? My suspicion is that we are but the question is how can I get evidence to back this up?

Unfortunately I didn't ask any questions related to this in the first survey so I'm thinking of putting up a second quick survey or poll to get some additional information. I think the question should be something like:
Were you aware of how Student Development could help you during your time at the University of Leicester before following us on Facebook or Twitter?

But I don't want to ask the question wrongly - so what do you think?

While I'm at is I'm also thinking of asking:
Are you a distance learning student?

We suspect, from the Facebook statistics, that many of our followers are distance learning students - because they list their home towns as places other than Leicester (in fact, 44% from of them are outside the UK). But this doesn't necessarily mean they are distance learning students - they could be international students who are studying in Leicester.

So, are these the right questions to ask? Have I phrased them in the right way? Should I ask any other questions whilst I'm at it?

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