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As competition for international students intensifies and more first-generation students enroll, there’s no one-size-fits-all method for reaching families in their native languages.

Reaching students and families with social media posts in their native language is one way higher ed institutions can build engagement and drive traffic to the website.

Here’s how two universities are getting social using WeChat. 

WeChat captures the biggest share of mobile apps usage in China, according to the 2017 Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist and former technology sector securities analyst.

Why should college administrators consider making part of their website or campus app accessible to speakers of languages other than English, and can you offer any tips for success?

“Providing a multilingual web experience conveys that the institution cares about a diverse background of applicants as well as their enrolled student body. From a digital marketing perspective, providing a web interface in the student’s native language will likely increase enrollment by driving overall web conversions.”

Developing a successful model for creating an e-textbook program is key to taking digital course materials to the next step of widespread use. Here are three ways to design an e-textbook initiative.

One decision to be made in launching or expanding an e-textbook program is whether the office managing it should be on the business or the academic side.

Here are two options. 

Campus store

Since the retail manager negotiates the costs of digital course materials anyway, many institutions choose this administration model. Cornell University houses its e-textbook program in The Cornell Store.

What is the most important factor in ensuring an e-textbook initiative is successful, and is there anything administrators tend to miss in planning that, if handled better, would result in a more successful program?

“We’ve seen that successful programs often start as small pilots. Instructors might begin with simple e-books and then move into more powerful adaptive learning software. Many of them then launch inclusive access or immediate access programs that save students money and deliver materials on day one.”

In what ways could colleges use digital signage installations to generate revenue, and are there any roadblocks you have seen preventing them from doing so?

“Digital signage can engage students while providing an avenue for revenue. At the campus bookstore, digital technology can leverage analytics to trigger meaningful content. For example, if a student picks up a baseball cap on sale, a digital display above the item can recommend additional merchandise such as sweatpants or a t-shirt.”

Video analytics has been considered the next big thing in campus security. But the surveillance technology, also known as video content analysis, is just beginning to catch the eye of higher ed security administrators.

What is the biggest roadblock to widespread use of video analytics technology?

“ROI. Understanding how to design and implement solutions that work with the analytics system—and not against it—make the difference. Campuses offer a diverse environment with a range of challenges. Proper design and deployment can yield a measurable return on investment.”

—Jammy DeSousa, senior product manager, security products, building technologies and solutions, Johnson Controls

In the two years since Northern Arizona University launched a virtual 360-degree campus tour, more than 30,000 people have explored the campus virtually.

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