Using Social Media to Recruit College Students
Written by Stewart 360 Social Media Expert, Alisha Ahern
If your college or university isn’t actively leveraging social media for admissions, you’re missing out on new recruits.
No matter the size of your school, it’s imperative to attract the attention of college-bound students, who will be spending—on average—between $18,000 and $52,000 a year.
If you’re a member of the admissions team, it makes sense to think like a business when it comes to recruiting.
Every semester you are faced with bringing in new “customers”, AKA students, and like any smart business, a well thought out social media strategy is crucial to your efforts.
This blog post is the first in a series devoted to utilizing social media to recruit college students.
We often hear from smaller colleges that a social media presence dedicated to admissions only applies to bigger universities...if you fall into this school of thought, we challenge you to think again.
For most of the colleges and universities we speak with, the majority of their social media presence is handled by the communications team who is great at generating general awareness and ongoing engagement. When it comes to recruitment, however, your audience is different which means you need to re-think your social media strategy.
Keep in mind that prospective students and your beloved alma mater or currently enrolled students are very different audiences. The potential student needs to hear different messaging in order to be engaged. Build your admissions team a social presence of its own across the platforms that make sense for your school.
Here are some examples of colleges utilizing dedicated social media accounts for their admissions department.
Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR uses Twitter to announce application deadlines, application nights and to showcase virtual tours of their campus.
Walter State College in Morristown, TN takes advantage of Twitter’s audience to engage with potential students by tweeting to area high schools and responding to questions about the admissions process.
While most smaller schools are only utilizing Twitter for their admissions team, Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY has Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts all dedicated to the recruitment of new students.
For more Twitter accounts to inspire your admissions social media, follow our Twitter List!
Does your school devote social media channels to your admission's department? Share your accounts in the comments below so we can follow you!