International Educator - September/October 2016 - S8

media content should drive traffic to your website and
e-mail communications, and vice versa," he says.

Different Markets Require Different
Platforms and Local Knowledge
Effective social media marketing also requires knowledge
of local markets as well as the target audience's preferred
platforms. "Any recruitment strategy must have an active
presence on multiple platforms to maximize the effectiveness of outreach efforts," Davies says.

This includes presence across different types of platforms, as well as tapping into local channels in target
markets and developing culturally appropriate content.
"Apart from having different channels, institutions should
also think about adapting their social media content depending on the region. Different cultures value different
types of information and like different styles of communication," Ripmeester says.
"For instance, a German student may prefer a
straightforward message where a British student favors a

Using Social Media to Recruit Chinese Students

"Social media is not the only channel that
the Chinese students and families are using to
choose foreign institutions, but it is very important at the initial decisionmaking stage to learn
about what's out there. With the numbers of
(high-school age) students declining in China,
social media adds to the points of contact for
overseas schools to connect with the students,"
says Angela Zhao, senior project manager at
Arizona State University. "In China social media must be used in combination with other
recruiting methods, such as in-country visits
and long-term relationship development."
Many Chinese social media sites are
similar to their foreign counterparts, but
managing Chinese platforms requires local
expertise. "Within China a different platform
is required to reach and attract your target
audience, swapping out YouTube for YouKu,
etc., but then there are platforms like WeChat
that offer a unique set of functionality and a

8  

subsequent challenge in terms of resource,
content, and the ability to react in real time
with local language-speaking staff," says Anthony Lee, digital marketing director of the
UK-based Study Group.
"As the two main established social
media platforms in China, Weibo and WeChat offer great potential opportunities for
Chinese student recruitment. WeChat has
more than 650 million monthly active users, whereas Weibo has 468 million," adds
Jemma Davies, international education marketing manager at SMRS Ltd in Manchester,
United Kingdom.
She says that WeChat is considered to be
the most sought after social media platform
for Chinese students on a day-to-day basis
because it allows them to remain in contact
with their parents: "As a result the parents
who in some capacity will financially support
the students use the platform."

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

She adds that being active on WeChat and
other platforms can help foreign institutions
build a reputation within China. "Creating an
official presence on WeChat enables a university to build its brand awareness among the
family members of the prospective students.
This is especially useful because, except for
the very top universities, the brand awareness
many universities enjoy in the West does not
exist in the Far East," Davies says.
The University of British Columbia (UBC)
in Vancouver, Canada, has created a Weibo
channel where students can ask questions
about UBC and join a community of their
peers. They are also active on Youku, where
students can view their videos. Jessica Allen,
social media coordinator in the UBC Office of
Recruitment Marketing and Prospective Student Engagement, advises engaging current
students in social media efforts.
"The channels are run by a student employee who can read and write in simplified
Chinese characters, who works with our advisers to translate their answers to complex
admissions questions," she says.
In addition to social media platforms,
Quick Response (QR) codes, which can be
scanned by a smartphone, are still popular
in China. According to Zhao, institutions can
use them to collect student data. They also
allow students to easily capture an institution's webpage.
IE

ISTOCK

SINCE 2009 the Chinese government has blocked access to many foreign websites and social media platforms such as Facebook,
Twitter, YouTube, and Google as part of its Internet censorship policies. In response, students have flocked to local providers. Recruiters
and marketing experts say that it's necessary for institutions wanting to reach Chinese students to have a presence on local networks such
as messaging app WeChat, microblogging site Weibo, and video site Youku.



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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