Utilizing Social Media for Student Recruitment and Retention!

Navigate your Campus Social Media Arena

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the list goes on. Identify the platforms where your audience spends most of its time on to chat, exchange information or share. While there are general industry-wide trends, take the time to identify where you have a high or low volume of followers and engagement. Remember, you don’t have to tackle 10 platforms. The key is to identify and engage your audience without spreading yourself too thin with resources.

Form a Social Media Task Force

You want your social media channels to appeal to all audiences, yet at the same time you want prospective students to get the information they need when they need it. The key is identifying student leaders who are skilled with social media marketing, but also, have an understanding of how students and parent communicate regarding college life. A helpful tip is to create a buyer’s persona: profile your typical student who is likely to attend the college based on student programming, campus activities, etc.  

Form a University Social Media Strategy:

What are we already doing?

Take an audit of your presence on social media, how it is working and what holes/gaps exist. You do not want to duplicate efforts. Is your current social landscape aligned to your enrollment mission? How efficiently are they operating in this capacity?

What are we already doing?

Take an audit of your presence on social media, how it is working and what holes/gaps exist. You do not want to duplicate efforts. Is your current social landscape aligned to your enrollment mission? How efficiently are they operating in this capacity?

What are our competitors doing?

Are they active on multiple social media sites, or just one or two? What types of content generate the most engagement? How do they differentiate content for diverse audiences? Do not limit yourself to just your own competition — in fact, look at colleges, companies, and individuals. Look to everyone, especially industry models who excel in their digital communications usage.

What are the most innovative colleges doing?

Look to the institutions that inspire. What is it they are doing that your target audience responds positively to? Why do they respond that way, and how can it be applied to fit your social media strategy?

Match Existing Recruitment Goals with Social Media!

Recruiting through social media is not a one-way street. Social Media is a forum for facilitating conversations. Think of it as a powerful listening device and sharing platform, not a place for lecture, or one-sided communication. Social media enhances your institution’s research and development.

It gives you a platform to tell the stories and the core messages of your institution which is critical to recruitment and yes, this pertains to recruiting parents who are looking to attend college to prepare for a new career or to sharpen their skills set to improve their work performance on the job.