4th Social Media Seminar for African Higher Educational Institutions
“Social media: A strategic tool for communication, outreach and marketing”
Target Participants: Communication Officers, Public Relations Officers, Information Officers, Marketing Officers and International Liaison Officers – working in an African Higher Educational Institution. Other participants working in private corporate / public organisations are also welcome to attend.
Dates: 30 October – 3 November 2017
Venue: Uganda Management Institute – Kampala, Uganda
Background: The WhatIs.com website describes social media as a ‘collection of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration’. Examples of social media channels include Twitter, Google+, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Reddit, FaceBook, Pinterest and many others. The impact of social media is well documented in corporate organisations, civil society lobbying and personal use by communities. The 2015 ITU1 statistics indicated that in 2015, 3.2 billion people were using the Internet of which 2 billion were from developing countries. Jan 2015 statistics compiled by ‘We are Social2’ revealed that Africa had 103 million active social media accounts (9% of the total African population). In comparison East Asia had 690 million active social media accounts (49% of the total population of East Asia)The Social Media Today3 website featured the following key statistics on the growth of Social Media in 2015: Facebook adds ½ million new users every day – creating an ever-expanding market worth tapping into. There are over 2.206 Billion active Social Media users, a global penetration of 30%. A total of 1.925 Billion users utilize their mobiles for Social Media platforms.
The Status of Social Media Usage in Selected African Universities
However, a survey conducted by the Association of African Universities (AAU) Secretariat during the DATAD4 Workshop held in Uganda revealed that ‘Social Media Usage for Impact’ by Higher Educational Institutions in most African countries was still at its infancy. Twenty-one AAU member universities from 9 African countries reported that they did not have Social Media Strategies. The majority of the universities have many unofficial social media accounts and they do not guide the creation of social media pages and groups by their various faculties / colleges / institutions. Universities don’t have a coherent plan for using their Twitter and Facebook audiences – meaning that they are not fully benefiting from these audiences. African universities also don’t have trained and dedicated Social Media Strategists. Where social media platforms seem to be thriving – they are the initiatives of individual efforts – there is no institutional approach or strategy to guide this. It also emerged that Communication Officers, Public Relations Officers, Information Officers, Marketing Officers and International Liaison Officers in most African Universities have not undergone training on how to integrate Social Media to enhance their important work.
|Name of Institution||Country||Twitter Followers||FaceBook Likes|
|Addis Ababa University||Ethiopia||912||25,154|
|Catholic University of Eastern Africa||Kenya||7600||7,939|
|Federal University of Technology Owerri||Nigeria||2,515||20,477|
|Islamic University in Uganda||Uganda||1,635||6,810|
|Kampala International University||Uganda||1,391||25,751|
|Lupane State University||Zimbabwe||0||4,740|
|Mahatma Gandhi University Rwanda||Rwanda||546||7,674|
|Islamic University in Uganda||Uganda||1,635||6,810|
|Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology||Kenya||2,968||14,091|
|Mount Kenya University||Kenya||30,800||86,972|
|St. Mary’s University||Ethiopia||121||8,418|
|Uganda Christian University||Uganda||2,336||9,228|
|Uganda Martyrs University||Uganda||515||4,205|
|Uganda Technology and Management University||Uganda||1,123||11,113|
|University of Abomey-Calavi||Benin||1,651||31,846|
|University of Cape Coast||Ghana||367||30,871|
|University of Dar es Salaam||Tanzania||0||7,975|
|University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana||Ghana||179||18,568|
Top universities such as Harvard University have a Social Media Strategy and have trained and dedicated staff to implement this strategy. Harvard University has 195,341+ followers on Google+, 758,000+ followers on Twitter and 5,104,873+ likes on FaceBook. Harvard University is benefitting from carefully aligning its communication strategies with its social media and digital strategies.
Why You Must Attend This Course
Social media continues to change the way consumers of higher education choose programmes, products and services. Communication Officers, Public Relations Officers, Information Officers, Marketing Officers and International Liaison Officers must know how to keep these conversation going. They must therefore constantly improve their marketing strategies and communication skills and learn how to exploit new technologies, analyze customer feedback and adopt new strategies.
1. Introduction to Social Media for Business – e.g. Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest, Google+, Flickr / Instagram, LinkedIn and Hootsuite
2. Social Media Marketing
a. Create a powerful company page that has impact on your target audience
b. Improve postings and polish profiles per best practice standards
c. Identify and follow influencers relevant to your brand to expand your reach
d. Social Media Management – 9-5 or 24/7. Who follows the University’s social media channels? Students, potential employees, other universities, the media. How do you “talk” to all of these different stakeholders.
3. Social Media Strategies and Policies – including a monitoring plan
a. Evaluate your brand’s digital footprint to find what’s missing or needs to be improved
b. Customer service and reporting to management, monitoring key institutional events and activities and reputation management.
4. Examples of best practices from Africa
5. Examples of best practices from elsewhere
All participants are expected to develop a draft Social Media Strategy and a six-months action plan towards implementing their strategies in collaboration with their institutional leaders.
Duration of the seminars
Three Days (8am to 5:30pm)
These seminars will assume attendees are at the beginners’ level. However, we expect that prospective participants have used Social Media platforms before but need skills on how to use these tools for the benefit of their institution’s core business. All participants must have the log in details for their institutions’ social media platforms.
Tuition Fees – US$400 per participant for Member Universities, US$ 500 for non-member universities
Participants will cover costs of their travel, accommodation, meals and upkeep.
Number of participants
Thirty spaces are available
 Database of African Theses and Dissertations