Myth 7: Facebook is dead to teens. Bolstered by media reports and national surveys saying teen Facebook use has declined, a third of admissions officers also believe this to be true, says the report. Yet, teens do still use Facebook when researching colleges: 67 percent say that it was the most valuable of the social channels they used. That’s because while teens have moved on to other private messaging apps and Instagram to connect with friends, Facebook and email are legacy media for Generation Z, say the authors—they use them for specific purposes, such as communicating with specific people or institutions in their lives. Teens have an email address because their teachers, parents, coaches and colleges will use it to reach them.
Myth 8: Teens love when you contact them through a social channel. Even though teens use social media, and 72 percent of admissions professionals believe students are open to being contacted through Facebook (71 percent believe through Twitter, and 50 percent through Instagram), it’s usually only if a student contacts first that they’re open to communication.
Myth 9: Social media over website. 64 percent of admissions officers believe that teens value the college’s official social media account before applying, though only 18 percent of teens find them valuable. However, the college website is highly valued by teens both before and after deciding to apply—and still valued, though not as much, after being accepted, when admissions believe that it’s still important to their admitted students, say the authors. 87 percent of teens find college and university websites “extremely” or “very” useful in their college research, and they also use independent external websites, ranking them lower in value. [Read: “Your .edu site for 2016 looks like this.”]
Myth 10: Admissions let prospectives slide through the cracks. 61 percent of teens said they expected a response from a college representative within a day of contacting him or her, and admissions is very aware: 97 percent assume teens expect a response within a day or less. [Read: “L.A. admissions use AI to transform dormant leads.”]
“Just because teens use social media, don’t get caught up in a social media channel arms race,” conclude the authors. “The landscape is shifting rapidly, with new channels emerging and a dizzying array of choices for everyone to use. You’re better off focusing on email and personal outreach to admitted students—via the channel of their choice, of course.”
For much more detailed information, as well as charts, data, and methodology, read the full white paper, “Mythbusting Admissions: Where prospects and professional agree—and disagree—on enrollment marketing, messages, and channels.”