A fun and enlightening conversation with Liz Gross from Campus Sonar #31MinutesPodcast

If you’ve read my blogs before, or we’ve had the pleasure of working together, you know I love to share. Travel tips, books, crazy stories…it’s all fair game. That urge to share is one of the reasons I’m pretty pleased with the outcome of this month’s 31Minutes, titled “Listen Up! Social Listening and Campus Sonar’s Field-Leading Approach,” because yes, it shares social listening strengths with our podcast audience, but the sharing converted Karen Black, H·A ThirtyOne’s Creative Content Strategist, into a self-professed “social listening junkie.”

My own journey learning about social listening began last year when I couldn’t help noticing Liz Gross’ name popping up everywhere. Liz is the CEO and Founder of Campus Sonar, and I was intrigued with her ever-present nature on Twitter, with the Campus Sonar offering, and wondered what, exactly, social listening entailed. I felt compelled to reach out to Liz and I am so thankful I did. Campus Sonar became the first adjacent company featured in H·A ThirtyOne’s longtime annual publication, The Best Ideas in Enrollment Marketing. This was a big step forward for H·A ThirtyOne, opening our minds, our eyes, and most importantly our ears to an innovative and tailored (hear that synergy?) service that has the power to drastically change outcomes for our clients. It also opened us up to more cross-collaboration opportunities with higher ed-focused consultants and companies in many areas.

Campus Sonar logo

Liz and her coworkers’ “take” on social listening and their corporate culture so closely mirrors ours, it feels natural to help spread the word about what social listening is, what it isn’t, and how campuses can best use it, depending on their size, their strategic goals, and their resources at hand.

Karen Black is now buzzing about social listening in her circles, just as I have been doing all year. She’s talking about how social listening can bust myths in higher ed marketing and communications, and how it can help campus leaders gain a more confident footing for the next strategic initiative. I think that’s really the key thing to understand. Social listening is all about listening, but it isn’t really about social media per se. It is not really about emerging artificial intelligence, per se. It is not about some new piece of software spitting out one more report to go in your desk drawer. Definitely not. It’s a strategic tool that can be applied both broadly and like a laser to help define the way forward.

Having a team (in house, for hire, or a nice mix) that understands your campus’ big picture goals for enrollment, retention, development, and alumni relations affinity building brings that critical and very human listening and assessment piece to this field. Social listening is about what to do with the information you glean from listening to conversations happening on publicly available platforms about your institution. It can help grow enrollment, help define new markets, help address donor and alumni concerns, and even help stave off crisis communications fiascos.

I hope you’ll begin listening by putting your ears up for our March podcast, “Listen Up! Social Listening and Campus Sonar’s Field-Leading Approach.” And thank you to everyone who has been sending feedback, comments, and questions. We love it. Please keep your thoughts and questions coming! You can reach us at info@ha-31.com or on social media.

We had so many great pieces of content from our conversation with Liz, you can expect us to share conversation “sidebars” from our cutting room floor throughout the month.

Make sure to subscribe to 31Minutes on Apple/ iTunes, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Radio Pubic, Spotify, Stitcher, or via our podcast page so you don’t miss any bits of our deep dive into the field of social listening!