International Educator - September/October 2016 - S6

Admissions, the most important thing institutions can do
is invest in their website and e-mail marketing strategies.
"However, when used in conjunction with other
digital outreach tools, social media can be very effective
and offer high returns. Your website and e-mail communications strategy must be primary, relevant, timely,
proactive, and friendly toward international students. If
they are, students will be more likely to engage with your
social media efforts," he says.
As Reinig mentioned, many students prefer e-mail
over social media for direct communication. "E-mail is

still a primary communication channel, and it is preferred
by most students. However, mobile apps are a great alternative to an actual phone call for the smaller number
of international students who want to speak with you,"
O'Rourke reiterates.
"Spend a lot of time on your e-mail strategy and website content first. Then, target your social media content
at students who are very interested and would otherwise
come for a campus visit," he adds.
Lee says that social media and website marketing
should be integrated and complementary. "Your social

Advice From the Field
USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN RECRUITMENT EFFORTS
Jessica Allen, social media coordinator at University of British Columbia, and Kellie McMullin, international learning associate at
Nova Scotia Community College, share insights from their experience in developing social media campaigns targeting students:
■■Ensure the tone of your copy is on-brand

with your institution, but still appropriate for
the channel: "A more formal brand voice may
be appropriate when detailing admissions
requirements, but on a channel like Snapchat
this could feel like a bucket of cold water to
students. I've found it's important to balance
your overall brand voice with the different tones
found in social media channels. For example,
on Facebook we use a helpful, friendly tone,
Twitter tends to be more factual, and Snapchat
is playful and casual."
-Jessica Allen
■■Start a conversation, not a speech: "Social

media needs to be a two-way dialogue, not a
broadcasting platform. It's important to encourage conversations with your followers, ask
questions, and show that you care about what
they say. If students feel you don't care about
their opinions or questions, or you fail to reply
in a timely manner, engagement will decrease.
For example, on Snapchat we ask our student
followers what stories they'd like to see and ask
them to send us questions for student Q&As."
-Jessica Allen
■■See what works: "When running ad campaigns

in different international markets, it's important to note that what works in, say, Brazil,
might not be as effective in Norway. Cultural
differences, along with general preference
and online behavior, factors into the way we
write headlines, select photos, and whether
ads are run on desktop or mobile devices

6  

only. By running several variations of ads (i.e.,
tweaking just the headline copy, or switching
out an image) we can determine what's working best in the first few days of a campaign.
At that point, we're able to pause underperforming ads and focus on directing the rest
of our ad spend into proven winners. This can
make a big difference in the ROI and overall
result of your campaigns."
-Jessica Allen

and also social media channels to use. If you
have a younger audience you will look at a
platform like Instagram or Snapchat. An older
audience may like to use Facebook or Twitter.
Also if your audience is other businesses as
well as students, potential students, parents,
or community you need to consider that when
posting content. The location of your audience
can help identify your channels but also the
timing of your posts. There are several tools
out there including several within social media
platforms such as Facebook that can help you
identify your audience."
-Kellie McMullin

■■Show your human side: "For prospective

students, communicating with a large university
can feel intimidating. To help combat this, and
to lay the groundwork for a positive relationship early on in the recruitment cycle, we try
to infuse as much empathy as possible into
student interactions. Good, supportive, friendly
interactions can help ease the anxiety that we
know students experience as they are making
the life-altering decision to attend university. For
example, I try to match the tone of the student,
acknowledge their feelings, and sign off with my
first name in every interaction so they know who
they're speaking to. For example, on Snapchat
we've received questions from student followers
with concerns about campus life, or requests
for certain content. When we reply, students are
sometimes shocked that a real person is running
the account and responding!"
-Jessica Allen

■■Identify your content: "What content will your

audience engage with the best? The key to a
strong social media strategy is to not focus on
the quantity of fans or people following you but
on how much engagement your posts receive.
Does your audience prefer pictures, videos,
interesting articles, or humorous posts? If you
can identify what your audience relates to you
will be more likely to have them respond and be
engaged".
-Kellie McMullin
■■Identify your channels: "One major challenge

■■Identify your audience: "To effectively engage

with your audience you need to know who
they are. Demographics of gender, age, and
location help when choosing content to post

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR S E P T + O C T. 16 * I N T E R N AT I O N A L E N R O L L M E N T S U P P L E M E N T

for all institutions when considering a social
media marketing strategy is finding the staff
and the time to be active. Choosing specific
social media channels and not trying to "do it
all," is an important strategy. Now that you have
identified your audience and your content, you
can best choose what social media networks
you should use."
-Kellie McMullin



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2016

Frontlines
In Brief
Insights
Collaborating with Africa
Rice University Finds a Natural Partner in Brazil
Virginia Commonwealth University Students Live and Learn Engagement
At Wake Forest University, Intercultural Skills Start with Faculty
Foreign Student Affairs
In Focus
Going Social
Advice from the Field
Using Social Media to Recruit Chinese Students
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 1
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Frontlines
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 6
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 7
International Educator - September/October 2016 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 11
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 12
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 14
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Insights
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Collaborating with Africa
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 24
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 30
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Rice University Finds a Natural Partner in Brazil
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Virginia Commonwealth University Students Live and Learn Engagement
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 38
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2016 - At Wake Forest University, Intercultural Skills Start with Faculty
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 42
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2016 - In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2016 - 48
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Cover4
International Educator - September/October 2016 - SCover1
International Educator - September/October 2016 - SCover2
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S1
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Going Social
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S3
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S4
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S5
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Advice from the Field
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S7
International Educator - September/October 2016 - Using Social Media to Recruit Chinese Students
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S9
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S10
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S11
International Educator - September/October 2016 - S12
International Educator - September/October 2016 - SCover3
International Educator - September/October 2016 - SCover4
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