Q&A on St. John’s University’s Google + Presence

Janna Crabb (@jcrabb) is director of online communications at CASE.

As part of a series of posts around Google +, I spoke with Sandra Ordonez, assistant director of social media in the office of enrollment management at St. John’s University, about the school’s use of the platform.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the Google + presence your department manages and related goals. Does your institution have other accounts not managed by your department?
A: I manage the Google + presence for undergraduate admission at St. John’s University’s, which currently has 75,000 followers and 30,000 views.

Google+ was gaining in popularity and we decided to launch a page to engage with our prospective and admitted students. The main goals of the page are to provide information to prospective/admitted students about the admission process and highlight student life at St. John’s.

Q: Why is your institution on Google + and how do you find it valuable? Who is your audience?
A: We launched our official presence in 2011 when Google+ launched its brand pages. Our strategy has been solely focused on the undergraduate admissions page—so 15 to18 year-old potential and accepted undergraduate students are our main audience.

We became really involved in April 2013 when Princeton Review launched the #admittedstudents program, designed to allow admitted students to gain insight about universities, including St. John’s, as they decided which school to attend via Google+ Hangouts on Air.

Q: What are some of your Google + successes? What have you learned? Any tips for other institutions?
A: My advice is launch a Google+ page and post frequently (it will help with engagement and it’s essential for search engine optimization). We assigned a student social media ambassador to assist with the process.

Examples of the content that we post are:

Q: How does Google + compare with Facebook at your institution?
A: Since our Google+ Hangout with Princeton Review, our page has become more of an advice tool than Facebook.

Q: What Google + projects would you like to focus on in the future?
A: We’d like to host additional Hangouts using hashtags, involve admissions counselors and our social media ambassadors and embrace GIFS.

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