Channels allow you to create multiple dialogue spaces in your Community, and are a great way to create an engaging environment for your students. Here are some best practices for getting your Community up and running with channels.
Set Your Channel Names, Icons & Descriptions
If you already have some channels in your app. You can edit the names, icons, and descriptions for each one of your channels in Campus Cloud. Every college & university is unique! So be creative, distinctive, and be authentic to your students to ensure that they have a rich social experience in the app.
It can be easy to come up with dozens of potential channels that students could be interested in, but it is best to come up with 2-3 public channels, and 2-3 private channels to start. You want to ensure that every channel you create is providing students with rich, relevant content to ensure they get the most out of the app.
Here are some ideas for public and private channels to select from:
- A general “Student Feed” Channel for campus-wide posts
- A School Spirit Channel for community and/or athletics
- A Channel for commuter students, where they can share information, carpool, and discuss
- A Channel for Volunteering Opportunities to share opportunities and ask questions about volunteering
- A Channel for Career Development to connect with other students about getting ready for post-collegiate life.
- A Student-Led Recognition Channel so students can share the love for their fellow student leaders, athletes, and their favorite professor!
- An IT Helpdesk Channel to make sure that students have an easy access point to get help if they need it
- [If you’re a Community College] A Channel dedicated to Transfer Pathways to encourage students to openly discuss advancing their education
- A Greek Life Channel for fraternities and sororities to share information and publicize events.
- A Meme Channel where students can let loose with some silly online banter while not diluting the content of other channels.
- A Channel for New Students and/or Transfers to get to know one another and become familiar with the campus
- Student Government Channel where student leaders can share and discuss content regarding student governance
- Channels for housing: These can be organized by dorm, or by areas of campus to make sure that announcements, and in-dorm events are shared in an easy-to-find location
- A channel for off-campus housing so students can look for roommates, sublet apartments,
- Channels for specific programs on your campus, such as TRiO, ROTC, chemistry majors, etc. where they can share resources that are most relevant to their specific areas.
- Channels for identity groups (cultural, ethnic identity, etc.) to provide them their own space for sharing and socializing:
- African American, AAPI, Latinx Students Organizations
- First-Generation Students
- Full-time workers
- Channels for interest groups and/or clubs:
- Film Lovers
- Anime Club
- Ultimate Frisbee
- What’s on Netflix
- App Admins Channel for those superusers of the app who manage content and community channels themselves.
- A Student Advisory Board Channel for students you can leverage for content ideas and promotion of your campus app.
- A Peer Mentorship Program Channel to connect mentors and mentees with one another.
Give Any Channel You Create Starter Content
Don’t create a channel and then just assume that students will gravitate towards it. You have to give them a reason to look and join the conversation! To do so, make sure that…
1. Every channel you create has an entity that posts a welcome message, as well as some messages that include a call to action
2. Every channel you create has a moderator or a moderation team assigned so they can manage the Community with you and the administration. Add them via Campus Cloud, and give them moderation privileges.
3. Have campus services, organizations, etc. serve as hosts and moderators.
4. Involve student leaders as influencers who can provide content as well as help moderate the Community.
Keep Content Fresh
A channel that hasn’t had a post in over a year? It’s not going to get traffic, and students are going to ignore it.
Don’t let your channels die on the vine! Encourage engagement by continuing to post in the app. Putting a post in there every week or so only takes a few minutes, and will make sure that you encourage people to open the app repeatedly. Get inventive and create interactive content, like polls, trivia, or photo contests.
Tie Your Most Important Channels to Tiles
Have a new channel that you want front and center for students? Have a channel that students absolutely need to see? Dedicate space in your app’s Campus Guide to give your channel maximum visibility by linking a channel to a tile.
10x Visibility of Channels by Cross-Posting
If you want to increase the traffic of your channel, provide more and richer content to students, and keep content fresh, cross-post! Take a post from one of your private channels, and post it in another channel to get more impressions and draw traffic to your post & channel. Have an event coming up? Want to let students know how to utilize a service? Publicize it in Community!
Data we’ve seen from our work with more than 300 colleges and universities show that cross-posting can increase a post’s visibility by more than 10x!!
Here are some great examples of how you can cross-post:
- Socialize an upcoming event by posting about it in your public channels.
- Announce your private channel on the default Student Feed.
- Link your channel to a tile at the top of the Campus Guide.
- Let students know how they can get in touch with a department or service through the app by saying so in Community.
- Use a post to draw students to your private channel