At WGU, one of our core values is student-obsession. As an online university, social media has become a valuable tool to connect WGU students, alumni, and faculty to develop a sense of community for WGU students nationwide. Facebook Live made a strong impact on the overall student experience.
We've used this format to connect current and prospective students with grads, faculty, enrollment counsellors, college deans, and alumni across various formats including:
Q + A sessions
"Ask a Grad"
Our strategy was to create a medium for students to engage with WGU leadership and their peers on timely issues and events.
Featured Facebook Live events include:
Student Q+A Session
This Live Q+A showcased features of the newly designed WGU mobile app, which allows students to study on-the-go – providing access to course and assessment information, contact information for program and course instructors, support departments, and more. The app also provides links to helpful resources like the WGU Library and Student Support. The goal of the mobile app is to bring ease and convenience to students, so that they can be successful by integrating learning to their individual lives.
As a technology-driven university, we implemented Facebook Live to answer questions from our online audience while displaying the functionality of the app--using an iPhone as an additional camera source.
This Live "Reverse Interview" included a current student Matt Armstrong, who also serves as admin of one of WGU's most popular (unofficial) FB groups. Armstrong represented the WGU Accelerators Facebook group by asking questions on their behalf to Natalie Murray, WGU's VP of Student Experience.
By facilitating this "remote" style interview, we were able to create a transparent, authentic experience for viewers at home, connecting them directly to our headquarters in Salt Lake City. The use of Facebook Live allows students to connect with their peers through WGU's social media platforms.
This Live event showcased WGU's commencement weekend experience. We hold an average of six commencements each year nationwide to accommodate our students across the country, but it's just not possible for every student to attend. By incorporating Lives to include those not in attendance, we're able to give an immersive commencement experience to every WGU grad.
We highlight the commencement weekend by hosting interactive games, giving away prizes to online audiences, and interviewing students and faculty who discuss their personal WGU experience.
These Facebook Lives inspire students to keep pushing toward graduation, allow alumni to reflect on their time at WGU, and provide an opportunity to those not in attendance to celebrate with their fellow graduates.
Through these real-time virtual experiences, we utilized our platform to bring students in every state to one place.
Following the initial success of our Facebook Live pilot in 2017, WGU set out to grow viewership and engagement. In 2018, WGU's Facebook Live productions doubled in number reaching more than 289,320 views, representing a 198% increase YoY. Engagement increased 200% YoY, with 25,570 interactions.
Our Student Q+A Session on Facebook Live resulted in a 15% increase in WGU app downloads.
Facebook continues to be WGU's largest social media channel, covering 61% of our overall social media followers— which total more than 240,000.