Followers of our twitter account @CambridgeMBA would have noticed a subtle but significant change that occurred about three weeks ago. I used to tweet under the @CambridgeMBA handle but I now tweet under the handle @conradchua16. The marketing team now tweets using the @CambridgeMBA handle.
When we first started on the social media journey some four years ago, we were frankly, unsure about what we were getting ourselves into. Instinctively, we thought there was great potential here because what students liked about the Cambridge MBA was the personal transformation that they had experienced, something which we thought could be best conveyed through social media.
We were lucky that there were people in our team who had already taken the initiative and started using social media for work purposes. James Barker had written an excellent blog about our admissions work and he was also the first to try his hand at twitter (@JamesAdmissions).
Given our starting point, we decided to try little first steps and not commit to any KPIs in the beginning just so that we would not be pre-determining our behaviour when we did not fully understand the potential of the technology. So, I started this blog and started tweeting, while our Marketing team started to co-ordinate a student blog and revamped our Facebook page.
So far, it has been an exciting journey. I cannot praise the marketing team enough for growing our fan base on facebook to more than 15,000, which is even more impressive when you consider that this is just for one programme. To me, that strong growth in fans was achieved when we re-oriented ourselves from thinking about how to get people interested in our MBA, to thinking about what content could we generate that would be useful to our audience. Of course, we are a marketing team and it is still important to keep our focus on marketing the MBA, but instead of the linear paradigm that was prevalent during the pre-social media era of advertising, we now realise that the gains to the MBA will be more oblique and, if we get things right, could be exponentially greater than the admittedly non-trivial task of getting top candidates interested in the Cambridge MBA. This was also the thinking behind the New Game blog that we started last year.
It is against this backdrop that we decided it was time to rethink our approach to twitter. When we started, it did not matter that much that @CambridgeMBA was an account where I overlaid my personality on corporate tweets. But now with more than 1000 followers, it is now more difficult to mix very factual tweets about events or deadlines that we are organising, with stories about the accomplishments of our students or alums, and my own attempts to engage with people who had an interest in MBA-world.
So we have now relaunched @CambridgeMBA to be a strictly corporate account, where our marketing team will tweet about events, deadlines and also content about our students and alums. I will continue to tweet about the school and the Cambridge MBA but under @conradchua16 handle. I am fully confident that our Marketing team will be able to convey the CambridgeMBA personality through @CambridgeMBA, and over time, we will have a corporate account with a strong voice, while also having individuals in the school who have their own clear points of view through their personal twitter accounts.
I wanted to end off by plugging the twitter accounts of several people in the school. I have already mentioned James Barker (@JamesAdmission) in the admissions team. You can also follow Michael Kitson, the deputy director of the MBA @MichaelKitson , and of course the school account @CambridgeJBS. I have also created a list of MBA alums who are on twitter (Cambridge MBA alums) that you can subscribe to.