3. Social media
According to the 2014 Social Admissions Report, nearly two-thirds (67 percent) of students use social media to research colleges, and nearly 75 percent find it influential. Also, the percent of students who like or follow a considered college on social media increased by 23 points from 2012-13.
67 percent of students say social media conversation influences their decision on where to enroll, and Facebook still ranks first among social media sites visited for their conversations. However, Twitter is in close second: 31 percent of students search for specific hashtags related to their college search.
A recent feature of many college and university social networks, groups for admitted students, is considered a positive for students, with 63 percent of survey respondents saying they would likely join this group, and almost all students surveyed who had already joined an acceptance group say the experience was rewarding.
Also, nearly 75 percent of students think colleges should have a presence on social media to reach students; yet, only 4 in 10 students find the information posted on a school’s social media site relevant. For more information on what students find least relevant, read the report.
Topics students found most relevant include campus events, student life for lower classmen, majors offered, and the dating scene.
“Own your school’s hashtag,” emphasizes the report. “Over 30 percent of students have searched for hashtags related to their college search.”
“Students and counselors are most important for interaction on social media,” says the report. Specifically, currently enrolled students (not alumni), other admitted students, and admissions counselors, are the people students say are important to interact with on social media.
One of the most innovative uses of video is through the University of Southern California Academy. Rather than traditional brochures or letters in the mail, students admitted to the new USC Academy received their acceptance announcements through YouTube videos.
The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation sent personalized video messages to accepted students filmed by the donors, Jimmy Iovine and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young.
The Academy, opening this fall, will begin with 25 students selected out of hundreds of applicants. All applicants had to include video submissions in their applications, describing pitches that solve problems or create opportunities for communities through inventive ideas, products, or services.
According to a press release by USC, the Academy’s Executive Director, Erica Muhl, wanted the acceptances to be unique. She believes the YouTube videos will be “lifelong keepsakes for these students.”
(Next page: Recruitment tech 5)
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