University Business - May 2012 - (Page 32)

Leveraging social media to attract prospective students and get them to enroll Admissions Goes Social kids make that decision,” says Christopher G. Dessi, author of Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything—and How You Need to Change With It (2012). The Maguire Associates 2011 College Decision Impact Survey reveals that 93 percent of U.S. high school seniors use at least one of the three major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) a couple of times per week and 58 percent of students view Facebook at least several times a day. But among the 21,339 students who participated in the survey, only 22 percent said a college or university’s presence on a social media or networking site made them more interested in applying. So while many institutions are putting in a laudable effort to reach prospective students on these sites, there is clearly room for improvement—and there are endless possibilities for better leveraging social media to help get students interested and admitted. Here are six best practices to consider. By Kristen Domonell L ast August, when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook Virginia, people in offices up the East Coast were reading about the quake before they felt their desks not-so-mysteriously begin to wobble. How? Chalk it up to another feat of Twitter (by this time it had already helped topple unruly regimes in the Middle East). During the earthquake, users tweeted at a rate of 5,500 tweets per second, with 40,000 tweets hitting Twitter timelines and TweetDecks in just one minute. In other words, social media has the potential to be stronger than an earthquake, and there’s no reason not to leverage that power for your admissions marketing efforts. If you don’t, you could get left behind. “If you’re going to stand out from other schools, sometimes the qualitative stuff, the fluffy stuff, is what helps Know what you’re trying to accomplish. What is your goal? What message are you trying to get out? Who is going to be responsible for content? These are all important considerations when forming a social media strategy, shares Rey Junco, a professor in the Department of Academic Development and Counseling at Lock Haven University (Pa.) who researches social media in higher ed. “I think that the idea should be, what do we want to do and what conversations do we want to have, and then from that make decisions about what technology to use.” 32 | May 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - May 2012

University Business - May 2012
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Human Resources
Education Gateways
Big Ideas
Reaching Higher
Admissions Goes Social
Learning Disabled Students Welcome
Who Goes There?
Computing Trends, Today and Tomorrow
Money Matters
End Note

University Business - May 2012