Current students, known in S360 programs as Ambassadors (you can also customize this naming) play an integral role in your program.
Ambassadors should be active in the program on a regular basis. During peak activity periods (in the lead up to a deadline or event) they should be logging in daily and during slower periods (holidays or summer months) they should be logging in at least weekly if possible. When they login they should be posting in the forum, checking messages, and answering user questions. To assist with setting these expectations, Evolution Labs can provide ambassador training sessions via webinar. Your program's reporting center can also have an ambassador section added so you can easily see which ambassadors have or have not been active.
for more information about managing your ambassadors' day-to-day responsibilities.
While ambassadors do not normally initiate “Friend Requests” with end users, it is common for ambassadors to be asked to do direct outreach using your program's direct messaging feature. This is often organized based on major, hometown, or other factors that would lend themselves to a natural connection between an ambassador and a program user. When using this strategy, ambassadors are asked to send direct messages to users to introduce themselves and invite the user to connect with them if they have any questions (this is also very helpful when ambassadors are involved with tours or other activities because the ambassador can promote these at the same time). Ultimately the goal with these messages is to actively work to create a personalized connection between users and your school using informal communication with their potential future peers.
Ambassador direct messaging can be thought of in a similar way to a phone campaign that you may be using. Current students are communicating directly with users to address their questions and actively start a conversation (which is often more successful than just re-actively responding to messages). However, direct messaging in the S360 platform has a few key advantages that traditional phone campaigns do not:
- Direct messaging through an S360 platform is a great way to meet users in "their world" and it is often preferred by users compared to cold calling or other traditional outreach methods.
- With phone campaigns, when the call ends, so does the communication. With direct messaging in your S360 program, the conversation can be continued between the ambassador and user at any time should further questions arise.
- Phone campaigns often require a significant time and financial investment, whereas the direct messaging feature is included in S360 programs at no cost and ambassadors can be communicating by direct message at their convenience (it's as simple as responding to a text message or social media message on their way to class).
- You have the ability to see all of the communication between users and ambassadors in your program's reporting center. Meaning that you have better insight into what is being discussed at any moment, better arming you to address potential barriers to entry that a potential student may be facing.
Aside from on-going interaction with prospective students through S360, the impact of your student ambassadors can be significantly enhanced through the S360 student videos feature. S360 student videos provide an added layer of depth to the ambassador program and they create an opportunity for prospective students to experience the personalities of your students while they receive helpful information on key topics. Click here
to learn more about the S360 student videos feature.
Admission counselors or other staff members are generally used in two ways in an S360 program: in the administrative area utilizing program intelligence and (or) on the front end with user facing profiles. For back end access either individual accounts or one master staff account can be created so counselors can look up user profiles and use the information the program is gathering in their efforts. On the front end, counselors can have accounts similar to ambassadors (separated from or combined with ambassadors) so they can communicate with users through the program’s direct messaging feature and in the forums.
Similar to Ambassadors, if you have a separate orientation team, they can also be given accounts in the program either as ambassadors or separate orientation team members (the title can be customized to follow your branding). If individual accounts are not manageable then it is also possible to create an article introducing the orientation team members as a way to drive anticipation for orientation events and to create a more meaningful orientation experience for users.