During the month of October, things start to get spooky with the much-anticipated arrival of Halloween. But, adding social media into your recruiting strategy shouldn't be one of them. Hopefully, most colleges and universities have already implemented some type of social media strategy to benefit admissions. We have our top four reasons why you need social media and some tips on how to start implementing your strategy.
The fact that students in 2015 are spending time on social media is no revolutionary idea. In the 2015 Ruffalo Noel-Levitz E-Expectations report, only 13% of seniors and 15% of juniors said that they don't use social media in their college research process. But simply "being on social media" isn't enough – you need to have the right type of content on the platform that your prospective students are actually on. While many think that Facebook is a dying medium, the same Ruffalo Noel-Levitz report found that 54% of seniors and 47% of juniors chose Facebook as the best social media site to research colleges. While Instagram may have taken over as the premium destination for social photo sharing, Facebook is still a great way to help prospective students connect with each other, as well as with current students or alumni.
One of the biggest benefits of social media is that there is a certain authenticity associated with it. With the help of carefully selected student ambassadors, you have the ability to have eyes and ears on the current events on campus and to share these with prospective students. A picture posted from the student section of your football stadium shows a different perspective than just a normal bird's eye view.
The decision to go to college far away from their home can be a stressful one for many students. But these students are incredibly important to the cultural makeup of your campus, and they generally pay more in tuition than local students. As stated in an article from Uversity, "They often have particular anxieties and needs related to language and cultural barriers, and they like being able to openly discuss them with other International Students, especially with students from their home country." Help make these students more comfortable with their decision by utilizing Facebook groups to connect them with other students. You can also host a question and answer session on Twitter, using a hashtag to join the conversation.
We know that today's students don't want to be sold to, and slick advertisements and sales videos aren't interesting to them. Social media allows the moderator to reply directly to students' comments and questions and makes them feel like they have a real person helping them. Twitter is even being utilized by brands across the country to show that they have a human voice who is there to help their clients. You can also facilitate this conversation through your Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube comments section.
We only listed four reasons why you need social media here, but the list goes on and on. To hear more about why you need social media, and to get some tips and tricks on how to use social media in your recruiting strategy, join us for our upcoming webinar. "How to Maximize Social Media in your Recruiting Strategy" with Jonathan Clues, StudentBridge Founder, will take place on Wednesday, November 4th at 11:00 am.