Batteries not included

In our team it's easy to focus on keeping the website ticking over, supporting our editors and monitoring the progress of our campaigns. This can leave little time to focus on new developments, which of course, is the fun part! Everyone loves a new toy (especially at this time of year) so we've recently set aside some time to look at some new solutions which will help us more easily monitor and communicate our vast amount of public content.

Our new social dashboard with live
updates being published to the site
every twenty minutes
The first thing we've just gone live with is our new Social Dashboard. This basically combines all of our social profiles (our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts and blogs) and presents them in one regularly updated place. After some extensive research (and lots of free trials) we decided on the paid service Tint. This did everything we wanted and had the benefit of being easily customisable and responsive with some great analytics functionality.

We were also very impressed with the level of customer service we received with Tim (at Tint!) being particularly helpful and supportive of our cause. Now we're up and running we're looking for a way to further promote it on our homepage, make evidence based tweaks to the presentation and also roll out more specific 'Tints' - e.g. by creating one just for our student blogs.

We've now also gone live with with our new Belong at Bedfordshire CRM. This means that we've added all of our enquirer data and they should have received emails from us encouraging them to sign up. The benefits for them at the moment will be content (videos, blogs, subject guides and key dates) which will be tailored to their interests. The plan is that we can now communicate with them much more easily and give a great user experience to them before they even come here!

Another big development is around our brand and social monitoring. Thanks to some amazing work by Ranjit at Statistics Into Decisions we're now getting live updates of wherever we're mentioned the very second it goes online. This is from anywhere on the internet from news sites to Blogs to people's personal Facebook pages. We can then engage with them or add Google adverts to articles which mention us - it's true real time marketing! This has been a lot of work to refine and block out some of the noise around our brand (a lot of which we create) and is a bespoke fusion of two big media monitoring tools. We've already picked up some brilliant content which would have gone unnoticed otherwise and have Tweeted it out immediately!

In other news Graeme also attended the opening of our new crime scene investigation rooms with TV presenter Nick Ross and filmed the below video for our news stories:



Lauren has also been busy working with other departments to completely revamp their web sections and has this week launched both new Open Days and Part Time sections. It's been a lot of work to bring them up to speed and decide on which content to move, delete or create. Obviously, this is still a work in progress but a website's never finished right?!
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