Strategies for using Facebook Groups and Pages to Yield Students

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Recruitment, Research, Speaking, Webinars | Posted on 14-01-2010-05-2008


I’m really excited about my upcoming webinar, Strategies for using Facebook Groups and Pages to Yield Students, on Thursday January 28th from 2-3:15pm!

The webinar is $199, and half of the proceeds are going directly to Hope for Haiti, a 501(c)(3) organization that’s using 100% of all  donations to help those affected by the recent earthquake.

We’re going to be discussing all of the changes that have been made to Facebook since the Class of 2013 came through.  Learn more about how you can leverage the updates to Groups to build community and help yield students for your incoming class.  Get informed about the recent changes to Pages that will help you segment and target your messages better, and what trends are coming out of BlueFuego’s research of over 1,200 higher ed fan pages.

I have many key learning objectives for participants of this webinar, including:

- Learn the key differences between Facebook Pages and Groups, and which you should use.

- What to do when students (or spammers!) have already started your Class of 2014 Group or Page.

- How to successfully join and contribute to the community and discussion on Facebook.

- Measuring outcomes: How to track and gauge success of your yielding efforts.

- Targeting messages:  Why the kids in Wichita don’t care about the yield event in Cleveland!

- Social Web Callouts and .edu Integration: How schools are promoting their presence on Facebook.

- Q&A Time: Get specific with your institution’s situation!

Learn more and Register today! Click here.

The BLINDYs are here!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Speaking, Thoughts | Posted on 10-08-2009-05-2008


As we approach this week’s Blog Indiana conference, the voting ballot for the BLINDYs has been released, and I am a finalist for the Social Media Superstar of Indiana!

There are a lot of great people and blogs on this list, so check them all out and you might find a new blog or two to subscribe to!

Here’s my only request:  If you have ever gotten anything out of what I’ve shared on this blog, if any of these posts have helped you with your social media presence and your SM efforts, if you have ever had a takeaway from one of my presentations or webinars that has helped you do something better or try something new…. then would you mind voting for me? :)

Click here to vote in the BLINDYs!

Thanks for reading SquaredPeg.  I appreciate you all. :)

10 days until BlogIndiana!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education, Speaking | Posted on 04-08-2009-05-2008


Hey Higher Ed Folks! If you’re in the Indianapolis/Midwest area, make sure you check out BlogIndiana, happening at IUPUI in downtown Indianapolis next week!

The cool thing about the 2nd annual BlogIndiana is that there is a Higher Ed Symposium as a part of the session list!  I’ll be giving one of the four keynote presentations along with Chris Brogan, Jason Falls and Chris Baggott.  I’ll be talking about marketing in higher education during the Higher Ed Symposium on Thursday. Also looking forward to ‘Chancellor 2.0′ by John Dalton and Rob Zinkan from Indiana University East.

You can register for the Higher Ed Symposium for only $79, or register for the whole conference for $249! What a great deal to hear national and local experts on a wide range of topics.

Will you be there?  Send me a message (@bradjward) on Twitter and I’ll be sure we meet!

Presentations: Who do you design for?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Concepts, Conferences, Speaking, Technology, Thoughts, Viral | Posted on 21-05-2009-05-2008


As I prepare for a 4-hour social web workshop at OACUHO in Toronto this weekend, I find myself asking this question….

Should I be designing my slides more for the people who are there, or for the people who aren’t there?

Here’s where the thought came from.  I was browsing through my old presentations on SlideShare and realized that I’m reaching a much wider audience post-presentation. We’ve all been in this stage of ‘Presentation Zen’  and ‘Slideology‘ for many months as everyone tries to make their slides more simplistic, but are they still able to tell the story to the casual viewer online, and do they still reflect the message enough?  In other words, is there enough meat on the bones of your slides to transcend into the online world effectively?

See what I mean?

How to Recruit Students using New Media Outlets – MACAC 2009
Presentation: 40 people
Online: 930 views in 2 weeks

FacebookGate – Online Webinar
Presentation: 2 webinars, 20 people each
Online: 1,085 views in 4 months

Rock Enroll: Integrating Social Media into your Recruitment Strategy – MPSEOC
Presentation: 60 people
Online: 1,636 views in 9 months

The Recruitment Long Tail – Stamats 08  (Slidecast – Audio + Slides to tell the story)
Presentation: 150 people
Online: 1020 views in 6 months

After these presentations happened in real life, they reached an audience on average 15 x’s larger on the web.  Surely not all visitors viewed the whole thing, not all of them stayed after the first 5 slides, but they all came across the content. And if was easier to follow, would they stick around longer?

Which leads me to think: How can I create engaging presentation slides that capture the needs of both my live audience and my online audience? The live audience ALWAYS comes first. Bottom line. But would a little more clarification on a slide hurt for when you post it online later? Will it ruin your presentation? If you’re engaging, lively and captivating, does it even matter?

I’ll talk for several minutes this weekend on this slide:


But I wouldn’t expect someone on Slideshare to spend more than several seconds on it. On the other hand, you don’t want your slides to end up on the other extreme:

Just something to think about as you prepare for your next presentation. Be remarkable, be rememberable, and be aware of your post-presentation audience.  See you on the stage!

Conferences in 2009

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Speaking, Thoughts, Web | Posted on 03-03-2009-05-2008


Following suit of Paul, Andrew and Karine, here is a list of the conferences I’m attending or speaking at in 2009. Mixed in will be a few BlueFuego Webinars and other Webinars that are still in the works.  To keep track of speaking engagements down the road, visit

If you’re going to be at any of these, don’t hesitate to get ahold of me ahead of time or during the conference so I can be sure we meet up. BlueFuego is planning tweetups at some of these conferences, so more info to come on that as we get closer.

2009 Presentations and Conferences Attending:

  • Innovative Branding and Marketing for Higher Education, Feb. 23-25 in Singapore, Singapore. I presented on how to integrate social media into a recruitment strategy.
    • Already happened! Want to hear more on my thoughts or see slides and video from this presentation? Head over here.
  • SXSW ‘09, March 13-17 in Austin, TX. I am co-presenting a Core Conversation panel with Dylan Wilbanks (University of Washington) titled “The Web In Higher Education: What’s Different?”.
  • MACAC, April 29-May 1 in Grand Rapids, MI.  I am co-presenting with Andrew Meyers (Hope College) on using social media in admissions.
  • OACUHO, May 24 in Toronto, ON, CA. I am presenting a 4-hour workshop on social media.
  • NEACAC, May 27-29 in Springfield, MA.  I am co-presenting with Drew Millikin (Saint Michael’s College) on ‘Your Mom Reads My Blog: The Power of Web 2.0 in College Admissions.’
  • EduComm Conference, June 16-18 in Orlando,FL. I am presenting ‘The Recruitment Long Tail’.
  • NACAC ‘09, Sept. 24-26 in Baltimore, MD. I am presenting on ‘Integrating Social Media into your Recruitment Strategy’.
  • Innovative Educators Webinar, Fall 2009. Details TBA.
  • Academic Impressions Webinar, Details TBA.

I really, really love conferences.  Great opportunity to meet all of you in real life and make new friends. Can’t wait!

I still have some availability to speak through 2009, so email me at brad(at)bluefuego(dot)com to talk about your event’s details. Can’t wait until a conference to hear more about effectively using social media at your University?  Contact BlueFuego to get a 1-on-1 session!

Join me for an upcoming webinar!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Social Media, Speaking | Posted on 26-11-2008-05-2008


Using Social Media to Enhance Student Services
Wednesday, December 3rd- 1:00-3:00 EST

Come join Mark Greenfield, Todd Sanders and I as we explore how higher educational institutions can leverage the full power and potential of social media to enhance student services. While much of the focus of social media in higher education is on student recruitment, these same tools can be used to provide services and enhance relationships with current students.  The webinar will provide an overview of social media tools, why they matter in higher education, and how they can be applied to student services. In addition, several case studies will be reviewed.

If you have any questions or just want to engage in some conversation prior to the webinar, feel free to drop us a line.

Do your homework after the conference.

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education, Recruitment, Research, Speaking, Thoughts | Posted on 19-11-2008-05-2008


I was fortunate enough to hit up seven conferences and several more webinars in 2008. I met a ton of great people, was filled with many ideas, and really never got off ‘the conference high’ because of the timing of them all.  2008 has been a great year for me professionally.

But there is one thing I continue to see at conference after conference.

Someone stands up to present, gives fact/stats/thoughts/theory, and people write it down and take it for what it is.

Don’t do that!!!

Yes, conferences are GREAT opportunities to learn, and there has to be some data/research/basis behind the presentation. But, there is not a ‘one solution fits all’ out there.  What works for me at Butler might not work for you at your school.  The methods that they are having success with might not be your best option.  Their failures might be your greatest decision ever.

Conferences are great places to get ideas, but please… do your homework.  Take the time to get to know your students. Your recruiting region. Do a survey. Ask students when they visit.

You’ll be much better off, and your efforts will be more fruitful.

Stamats08…. now what?!?!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education, Social Media, Speaking, Thoughts | Posted on 11-11-2008-05-2008


[This post is similar to my eduWeb2008 afterthoughts, but still very applicable for all subscribers, old and new.]

You’re back from Stamats08.  Florida was great, you’ve met tons of new people, and the trip home went fairly smooth. So today you’re getting settled into your desk, fresh with ideas and energized to change the world. You’ve got notes, resources, new connections at universities and colleges across the map, and you’re ready to rock.

So where do you go from here? Most of the time, someone who attends a conference follows a graph like this:

You get really excited at the conference. Your enthusiasm for your job is renewed. You have faith that things can be changed. But as soon as you get back to your office, confidence starts going down. Things start to return to business as normal, and before you know it you’re right back where you were before the conference.

Let’s do better than that.

Here is a quick 10-step plan to help you get the most out of your conference experience from Stamats08 if you’re just getting your feet wet in a lot of the topics you heard about this week.

10 Steps to Maximize Your Conference Experience

  1. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor/boss/direct reports/team. Right now. Come prepared with a short and sweet summary (no more than 1 page) of key takeaways and implementations that you want to move towards. Have a discussion about each, and what steps you can take to get it done. Proceed.
  2. Reflect on resources other than yours. Use this post of Stamats08 content that we have all created to refresh your mind or to catch up on sessions you might have missed.
    1. Did you notice that this post was compiled by Jacob, who works at Central College and was not even at the conference? Chew on that for a second…
  3. Watch presentations again, or share them with your co-workers. Point out specific segments they should watch. All presentations and videos are linked here.
  4. Join Twitter! Stay connected with others that you have met and continue to have conversations revolving around what you’re doing at work and the trending topics in higher ed. [Follow Me!]
  5. Start using RSS. A few months back I did a quick how-to on getting started with RSS. Watch it and begin subscribing to blogs so that you can keep up with the information better.
  6. Start a blog. Head over to WordPress and start to type out some thoughts about what you’re working on. Be sure to email me your link at bradjward(at)gmail(dot)com so that I can add you to my RSS feeds.
  7. Try something new.  I personally am going to play with analytics more and try some of Kyle’s tricks and tips.  Think of one thing from the conference you’ve never heard about or used, and try it out.
  8. Book another conference for yourself or a co-worker. Karine Joly has an event calendar of upcoming conferences.
  9. Read a book.  Check out my list of eduWeb 2008 Book Titles here, which are all great choices.
  10. Join the Conversation. Start commenting on blogs or posting in the uwebd forums. is also a great place to start, but there are many more great blogs out there. Check blogrolls of others to find many more quality blogs in higher ed.

I hope that you can take a few of these steps to get started towards better work and amazing projects. You can do it; be persistent and make change happen in your organization.

Stamats08 was awesome. The conversations and connections that took place both in and outside of the conference room stimulated me and gave me some great ideas.

I was glad to be a part of the event, and look forward to keeping in touch with all of you.

If this is your first time to SquaredPeg, subscribe to our RSS!

Live from Stamats!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Social Media, Speaking, Thoughts | Posted on 06-11-2008-05-2008


Hey everyone! I am coming to you from sunny St. Petersburg, FL at the 2008 Stamats Interactive Marketing Conference.  Things are going well so far and it’s been great to meet so many people and reconnect with others.  Last night we sat around in my suite and discussed/debated many topics and interacted with the viewers in the uStream channel, and it was a blast. Mike summed it up well too, and I’m glad he’s seeing the power of social media by doing it!

Hope you follow me on Twitter (@bradjward) or come say hello to me while at the conference.  I speak tomorrow at 1:00pm and hope you get some ideas to take back to your workplace.

Take a look around SquaredPeg and old blog posts and let me know if you have any questions! Leave a comment or email me at bradjward(at) You can also subscribe by EMAIL or RSS. So if you’re here and you read this, make sure we meet! :)

Stamats08 Conference

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Higher Education, Speaking, Technology, Web | Posted on 07-10-2008-05-2008


Remember when I told you to keep an eye on the HighEdWeb backchannel?  I hope you have been this week.

And like me, you’ve 1) probably felt a little left out, and 2) had no clue what some of the presentations were about.  I’m more of a front-end technology guy.  You all build the tools, I’ll figure out awesome ways to use them. :) Thanks, web geeks!

SO, are you ready to 1) experience an awesome conference, and 2) learn about the front end of technology such as analytics, social media, ROI, creating a web 2.0 plan, and more?

Well, my dear subscribers, I hope you’ll join me and many others at the Stamats Integrated Marketing Conference in St. Petersburg, FL from November 5-8, 2008.   Speakers include myself, Chris Brogan, Karlyn Morissette, Kyle James, Matt Herzberger, and several others. We wil discuss many of the hot topics in higher education, and you don’t want to miss out.

My presentation is titled ‘The Recruitment Long Tail’, and is shaping up to be my favorite presentation out of the ones I have put together.  While The Long Tail by Chris Anderson is certainly not required reading to come to the session, I certainly would encourage you to read the book for professional growth. The presentation stems from a post I did earlier in the year.  The good folks at Stamats asked me to come present it, and I’m looking forward to it.

It was at the Stamats 2006 conference, my first conference as a higher ed professional, where my eyes were opened to a world of possibilities in higher ed recruitment.  This will be my 3rd Stamats conference.

Budgets might be tight, and the economy might be down, but now is the time to start preparing your 2009-2010 recruitment plans and the Stamats Conference will provide you plenty of material to learn where to get started, how to do it, and how to measure the success of your campaigns. My personal goal is to give you your money’s worth in my allotted 1 hour of speaking, and I know others will not disappoint either.

Click here to register for Stamats08 for only $499!!