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McGraw Hill Ryerson Social Media Analysis

Critical thinking about social media's effect on a company's bottom line.

Steven Solarz

on 5 August 2013

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Transcript of McGraw Hill Ryerson Social Media Analysis

Grow Your Networks
Expanding social media presence to target a socially inclined audience.

A presentation for:
Lauren McMullen,
Donnette Sangster-Morgan,
Steven Solarz &
Carmen Tobar
Presented by:
About McGraw-Hill Ryerson
Canadian division of the McGraw-Hill group of companies
Primary business: educational resources and products
Divisions include: McGraw-Hill Business, McGraw-Hill Medical, McGraw-Hill Technical, McGraw-Hill Educational
Originally founded as two separate companies at the turn of the century: The Ryerson Press (CAN) and the McGraw-Hill Book Company (US)
McGraw-Hill purchased rights to all Ryerson Press publications in 1970
1971: the companies merge Canadian operations
1972: McGraw-Hill Ryerson goes public on the TSX
Management Team
Industry Analysis
General industry: communications & media
Specifically work in educational media
Major competitors include:
Thomson Reuters
Oxford University Press
J. Wiley
W W Norton
David Swail
President & CEO
Mary Arrand
Director, Human Resources
Brenda Arseneault
Chief Financial Officer
Patrick Ferrier
President, Higher Ed
Marshall I Morris
EVP, Customer Satisfaction
Nancy Gerrish
President, School
How social media affects a businesses' performance and sales
The tie between McGraw-Hill Ryerson's market and social media in general
Social media use by McGraw-Hill Ryerson, its parent company, and its competitors
The current educational resource market
Recommendations to improve McGraw-Hill Ryerson's social media practices
McGraw-Hill Products
Products for Pre-K to Grade 12, Post-Secondary, and Business Professionals:
Reference libraries
Course planning materials
Study guides
Test preparatory guides
Test banks for teachers/professors
Web-Based Products
Financial Analysis
CAN: Q1 2013: posted $1.68 mil loss
USA: Q1 2013: posted $254 mil profit

Thomson Reuters (USA)
posted $31 mil loss
J. Wiley (USA)
posted $7.9 mil profit

MHFI (NYSE), MHR (TSX) top performers in educational resource publishers
Social Media & Business
71% of retailers claim social media has had a significant impact on sales
Average time between seeing a product shared on a social network and purchasing that product within one week:
Pinterest: 36%*
Facebook: 29%*
Twitter: 35%*
*of sales brought in by social media
Social Media &
Our Target Markets

1. Students
Social media for students is: a news source, a connection and interaction tool, & how students support and assist each other (both personally and in school)
Of the more than 20 million higher education learners, more than half will not earn a degree within 6 years. The reason most cited for this is lack of engagement
Social Media &
Our Target Markets

2. Educational Professionals
Over 90% of all faculty are using social media in courses they're teaching or for their professional careers outside the classroom
Over 40% of faculty have required students to read or view social media as part of a course assignment
70% say privacy concerns are an "important" or "very important" barrier to using social media effectively and more as a resource for class
McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media

Facebook pages for both McGraw-Hill and MGH Ryerson are set up for various extensions of the brand
Branding is consistent across most pages
Departments have their own pages
Updates are consistent
Some pages are poorly put together and not branded properly (ie. MGHR LearnSmart)
McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media

To note:
MHR Faculty is a Facebook page for educational professionals to 'like'
Connect and LearnSmart (two web-based MH/MHR products) have their own product pages
McGraw Hill Financial (parent company) has own page
Inconsistent Facebook page in McGraw Hill Canada "Business Books that Work"
McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media

602 followers on LinkedIn page
Branding between US and Canadian LinkedIn company pages are different:
Products & Services not listed on Canadian page
McGraw Hill interactive with stories, headlines, and info relevant to people who would follow (educational links): Canadian LinkedIn has no participatory functions
McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media

Number of different Twitters for various products/divisions
MHR has 612 followers
The MHR Twitter interacts with Twitter users tweeting to them, a great way to interact with students
McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media

A few Pinterest accounts exist
General posts, meant to drive repins to increase brand awareness
Irrelevant for professional crowd: more used to interact with Students (ie. College Life pins, LearnSmart Funnies pins)
McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media - COMPETITORS

McGraw Hill Ryerson
Current Social Media Review

Inconsistency between pages - no linked content, no aggregation, multiple pages doing different things
Wider audiences than most competitors
Inefficiently reaching out to the two core consumers: students and educational professionals
Wider audience but less focused impact than competitors social networks
Educational Resource Marketplace: a changing landscape
Digital textbooks are expected to account for almost 20% of all textbook sales by 2014 (US)
70% of students have skipped a textbook purchase because of cost
On average, digital textbooks are more than 50% cheaper than traditional textbooks.
Print is still the preferred textbook format for the majority of students
Educational Resource Marketplace: a changing landscape
Some schools have started rolling out all-digital course materials
There is no used-market for digital textbooks, versus lost sales due to used-textbook market for print
Traditional print textbooks see drastic sales declines after year one when a resale market is created
Putting It All Together
What does all of this mean?
How do we improve McGraw-Hill Ryerson's social media presence?
How does better social media presence contribute to the company's bottom line?
Unify the branding across all social media platforms.
Drive textbook sales, especially digital, through increased promotion of the "online educational resource" components of MHR's products.
Promote the social components of digital solutions to educational professionals
Modify strategy to become the "go-to" on social networks for information regarding educational news
Engage biggest consumer group (post-secondary students) through social media, including contests, promotions, to drive new purchases
1. Uniform Branding Across All Social Media Networks
Ties all branding together
Creates a unified look
Allows various divisions to have unique content while being "branded"
2. Increased "digital resource" promotion
Higher Ed is highest sales group for the company; experiences 6.4% sales drop in 2012
Digital is trending
Increasing the promotion through various incentives reduces "used" market
Leverage LinkedIn to target markets (students) and promote educational resource services



3. Digital Solutions to Educators
Connect via LinkedIn and Twitter with Educational Professionals: drive sales of educational resource products
90% of all faculty are using social media in courses they're teaching
Boast about the "SECURE" social networking capabilities of MH Connect and Tegrity
"McGraw-Hill Connect is a digital teaching and learning environment that saves students and instructors time while improving performance over a variety of critical outcomes."
Online course system
Interactive features
Recordable lessons and lectures
"Edusocial" network
Course monitor with interactive features
Networking/student-help features
4. Become the "Go-To" Social Network for Educational News
Keep connections coming back by providing relevant news and information
Differentiate posts across networks and across product/division pages
5. Engage the Core Market
Use social networks to engage customers, especially students
Introduce new products, offer discounts on web products
Contests for subscriptions to services, digital resources, digital textbooks
Facebook: offer coupons, trial periods (Attract Leads With Facebook Offers)
Twitter: "They ask, you answer" methodology: participate in discussion, answer questions, get results, gain followers
Have a "Social Media Voice:" have a voice that resonates with followers
Better utilization of social media can directly contribute to MHR's bottom line
Digital educational resources should be the company's main focus
A strong web presence will allow MHR to compete against competitors offering similar products and services
Appendix: Methodology
Google Searches
We used a number of Google Searches to find the information we were looking for regarding MHR social media networks:
"McGraw Hill Ryerson" Facebook OR Twitter OR Linkedin OR Pinterest OR Youtube
McGraw Hill
"educational resource publisher" + Canada
Canadian textbook publishers
MHR + McGraw Hill + social media network
McGraw Hill Ryerson corporate governance
Analyzing Data
We consulted a number of blogs, social media resources, and business sites to locate current trends in social media.

It was apparent from the beginning that ESTABLISHING a social media plan not IMPROVING one was key -- there was no consistent plan prior.

Our data was collected here:




Social Media Networks consulted:
Full transcript