Efforts by higher education institutes to gain Twitter followers, Facebook likes and YouTube views, while connecting with students on blogs and message boards, are paying off, Mashable reports. A recent survey of 7,000 high school students by Zinch, an online college resource, reveals university social media accounts are influential to students who are deciding between colleges and universities. Admissions counselors are actively recruiting students on the popular social networks. The survey reveals schools that are smart with social media — engaging students in video chats, Facebook contests and Twitter conversations — are most influential online. About two-thirds of survey participants said they actively scoped out perspective colleges on popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr…

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