[Interview] Asheesh Sabarwal, Vice President-Marketing, Pearson on Education Sector using Social Media

pearsonWe interviewed Asheesh Sabarwal, VP-Marketing of Pearson India regarding their brand’s social media strategy and the efforts taken for marketing their company’s blog. He talks about the promising future of social media in the educational sector and the rise of social media among teachers and students. Asheesh also gives us an insight on how their brand utilizes social media as a B2B marketing tool.

What role does a social medium play when it comes to education and companies related to education?

In today’s day and age, learning has become a collaborative process. A learner’s ecosystem offers him much more than just the traditional ways of education.

Social media plays a critical role in connecting the learner, educator and the education companies. The desire of both educators and learners to engage on these platforms and consume new and innovative content, provides an excellent opportunity for education players.

We at Pearson have been using social media to communicate our values and beliefs, by presenting content and material, which can help both educators and learners. We also use social media to engage with teachers and students, understand their needs, and get feedback on our products and services so that we can help achieve better learning outcomes.

Your blog is very impressive. What goes behind building a company blog like this? What kind of marketing results does it fetch you?

Pearson is focused on helping people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. Just like we provide learning materials, technologies, assessments and services to teachers and students in order to help people aim higher and fulfil their true potential, our blog is an effort to provide them a knowledge bank that assists in their learning process.

Be it a domain expertise article by our world-renowned authors, or child development articles by our counselors, or a piece on ways to effectively use technology in education, our blog content caters to learners across all stages and age groups. It helps us build a stronger brand value for Pearson India, while impacting the lives of our stakeholders through quality products and services.

Do you use social media as a b2b marketing tool? If yes, how?

We use social media channels to provide our b2b stakeholders the tools and content that make it easy and effective for them to impart quality education. Some of that content includes case studies and webinars with Pearson experts on new trends. Social media also helps us create platforms for these stakeholders to collaborate with each other, nurture mutual learning and facilitate the sharing of new ideas.

Do you receive sales for eCommerce through social media marketing? Can you give us some details on that?

We are one of the strongest communities of learners and educators in India on social media. Through our engaging content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, we have increased no of referrals for eCommerce. These referrals are far more qualified as these people have interfaced with the brand and sampled the content, thus resulting in better conversions. We have also seen conversions via social media are more loyal, thus increasing repeat usage and buying.

What are your objectives for social media?

Our objective of social media is same as our our mission – to help people of all age groups make measurable progress in their lives through learning.

We use social media to first understand what sort of learning works best for our stakeholders. It progresses to further engage them and comes a full circle with the creation and sharing of the content that helps learners and educators achieve their learning outcomes.  In fact, the basis of our Facebook page is the idea that our community can ‘Learn something new everyday’ and our Twitter handle shares interesting learning facts via the handle #LearnInATweet.

How do you see social media usage shaping among teachers and students and in the education sector overall?

Education is one of the most widely searched fields on the internet. More and more educational companies are using the tenets of social media, collaboration and sharing to create innovative education technology products. All this goes to show that social media usage, moreover its influence, is on the rise amongst teachers and students.

Be it private social groups, Facebook pages, classroom Twitter profiles or blogs, students and teachers have embraced social networking with open arms.