5 Ways Universities Can Use Social Media to Attract New Students
Times have changed and the fight for students’ attention has never been harder. The way universities have been doing things has proven to be less effective with the upcoming generation. With the decrease in enrollment rate and the rise in drop out rate, universities have to improve the way they communicate with prospective students. Social media, and the internet, in general, are a great place to reach their audience. In a previous post, the Swizly team had compiled for you different ways a university can improve its recruitment process. In this post, we are detailing 5 strategic approaches to Social Media communication with prospective students.
We can’t say it enough times: personalize, personalize, personalize! Today, generations entering higher education institutes have been brought up with technology. Adapting to the latest releases and adopting technologies as their own, millennials and Gen Z expect you to know who they are, what they like, and what they are interested in. They are the generation that grew up with cookies being more than a nice dessert to indulge in.
It is time to send out your call-to-action in a smart way. For instance, universities can rely on geotargeting to reach their audience. Have an event happening soon in New York? Your student recruitment department will be there? Geo-target your ads to reach high schools within 10 miles of the event’s location.
Personalization can also be achieved through tracking. Let’s assume a prospective student visits you Computer Science Degree page. Retarget him/her with an email detailing the benefits the degree has to offer, career opportunities, and major achievements your university accomplished in this domain. This also applies to the financial aid page for instance. Informing the students about the different options available for them to finance their studies can influence their decision into attending a school or not.
Swizly‘s Student Engaging Engine (SEE), coupled with the Mobile Engagement Guide (MEG), relies on the latest technologies to provide universities with this level of personalization.
When applying for universities, prospects take many factors into consideration. The university’s current students, faculty, and alumni play a big influential role in attracting prospective students. Universities should acknowledge these people as key influential personas within their body and make them a part of their external communication strategy by leveraging their power to attract new recruits. The experience and knowledge these people share can make the balance tip towards one institution rather than the other once a student is deciding where to apply, and at a later stage, which school to attend.
Social media can be a great place to showcase the university’s level of dedication towards its community. While it might be good to graduate from a top university, not landing a job makes the money spent on education seem like a very bad investment.
Through their social media portals, universities are expected to show students how a degree from their institution can translate into a career. Whether through networking session, or mentorship programs, universities can showcase their efforts on their social media channels and demonstrate the effectiveness of their methods through relevant and accurate statistics.
Featuring alumni profile and career paths, their stories, and their dreams can prove to be extremely fruitful in attracting a generation that grew up in hard economic conditions.
When considering a university, prospective students want to know more about the degrees offered, the curriculum, its length, professors and areas of emphasis. However, they also want to know about the cost of attending said universities. Hence, it is crucial to keep an updated cost of attendance available to the students and prospective students at all times. Additionally, many prospectives rely on scholarships and financial aid as a way to attend the university. You should use these rewards as opportunities to attract bright students to your university campus.
They say an image is worth a thousand words. Universities should take this saying to heart and apply it. When reaching to their community and especially to prospective students it is better to keep things clear and concise. While detailing the latest research in a blog post, or talking about the university’s latest achievements, your university should also favor images and videos that get the message across. Better focus on transferring one idea than throwing multiple information in a prospective direction. Seeing candid moments from competitions, events, sports games and clubs’ reunions would showcase student life and campus life to prospective students. Your university can go a step further and work with the student body to develop its social media pages and content.