At A Glance
As the country’s top university and one of Asia’s highest ranking academic institutions, NUS was seeking to create opportunities for current students with alumni to connect, network, and collaborate. They created and launched a platform called ConNectUS – a space for students and alumnus alike to build connections and grow their professional networks.
Students have the opportunity to connect with potential mentors, build professional networks, gain advice from older students on electives or specializations, and receive interview tips.
Alumni have the opportunity to give back to a university that shaped them, while connecting with potential interns and future hires who could benefit their companies.
NUS built a great platform, but they had very few early adopters, and those who did sign up weren’t engaging. They approached Brew in need of solutions before their big investment became irrelevant.
Problem #1: Stakeholder and Student Buy-In
Despite the user-friendly platform, NUS was struggling to get students to sign up. Their key stakeholders weren’t pushing the platform as anticipated, so NUS needed to recruit students directly. They were also struggling to get alumnus on board.
We worked directly with the NUS Centre for Future Ready Graduates (CFG) office to brainstorm potential solutions. It was a tough task – students have so much going on in their lives already – how could we convince them to stop what they’re doing long enough to sign up for a new social platform?
Solution #1: Awareness Video + Targeted Ads
We know that students love video. We’ve seen a significant rise in video engagement across TikTok, YouTube, and other platforms in recent years. If we could get them to stop long enough to watch an engaging video, we could convince them to join the platform.
We conceptualized a video based largely on the successful Google Parisian video and designed the full storyboard.
To get the video in front of students and alumnus, we ran highly targeted Facebook and TikTok ads to students enrolled in NUS and alumnus of the university. These ads were segmented based on year in school as well as career interests.
Within 8 months, ConNectUS had over 18,000 students and alumnus using the platform.
We focused our targeting directly on NUS students
Snippet of the video showcasing the benefit of connecting with alumnus
Problem #2: Minimal Community Engagement
Community building is a difficult task. Especially when you own the platform – this isn’t like building up a Facebook page. For people to stick to and regularly return to the platform, we need consistent engagement. Every post needed replies and comments. Otherwise, why would anyone return to the platform?
Early on, there was little-to-no engagement with posts and forum topics. How could we entice people to engage and continue returning to the platform when everyone is brand new?
Solution #2: Multifaceted Community Building Strategy
We strategized a multifaceted approach to community building, relying on three primary pillars:
We recruited platform ambassadors who were passionate about NUS and gave them detailed instructions on how frequently to post and what kind of content to promote. This would encourage others to begin posting as well, creating a snowball effect.
As content began flowing, we needed a way to ensure posts were being engaged with. We coordinated with our ambassadors and encouraged them to ensure all posts were being commented on and replied to. This would encourage more and more posting.
Lastly, we employed the strategy of gamification – adding game-like mechanics to a non-game environment. This has been proven to be a very effective tactic in promoting early adoption. In this case, we tracked users activity and offered prizes for the most active members – further encouraging participation.
Our efforts have led to consistent increases across all engagement metrics month-over-month since the launch of the platform.
A Thriving Community
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