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ARCHIVED - International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity

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Annex E: Conceptualizing a Digital Strategy

In launching a sophisticated digital strategy, several elements should be considered to ensure appropriate tools and content are delivered for each of the key audiences outlined in Chapter 7. While many competitor countries are revising and updating digital strategies, those that are most successful clearly offer an authoritative source for international students. Noteworthy competitor sites to monitor include:

Many other country sites, consultants and agencies are generating substantial interest through competitive social media and Internet strategies. Often raised throughout the engagement process, the panel noted discussion regarding the critical development of social media in developing a sophisticated and nimble digital strategy. Social media monitoring companies report statistics on a daily basis, given the extensive growth of these communication channels. Out of the 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile phone, with many of them leaping through technological revolutions to the most current and efficient tools available. We also know that companies report their own user profiles.

  • Facebook hosts 850 million active users:
    • 425 million use mobile technology
    • An average Facebook user has 130 friends and “likes” 80 pages
    • 56 percent of consumers are more likely to refer a brand after becoming a fan
    • More than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week
  • Twitter adds 1 million accounts each day and hosts 465 million users:
    • 55 percent use mobile technology
    • 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter
  • LinkedIn has become a professional networking giant:
    • Two new members join each second
    • 64 million members in north America
    • Europe hosts 34 million regional members
  • Youtube generates 2 billion views per day:
    • 44 percent of users are between 12 and 34 years old
  • India’s Orkut is the most visited social media site:
    • More than 12.8 million visitors, an increase of 81 percent from last year and three times the size of its nearest competitor in the category
    • Facebook ranks second with 4 million visitors, an increase of 150 percent over last year
  • China’s restrictions on social media have enabled local social media networks that compete heavily:
    • Renren hosts 160 million users
    • Pengyou models Facebook in style
    • Weibo (launched in 2009) currently has more than 100 million users and is growing by 10 million new users per month

Social media is the new media platform for planned media relations and viral communications. In modeling how a digital strategy might work, the following concept can illustrate how effectively digital platforms can operate through a coordinated strategy with many spokes to push key messages. This is a concept initiated by DFAIT but represents an example of how authoritative sources interact with other partner websites and with content generated on social media.

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