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4 Steps for Using Social to
Recruit College Students
A Guide for Higher Education Marketing
and Admissions Professionals
Structure your admissions team for social media success.
Build a steady following of eligible prospective students.
Create...
02
01
Structure Your Admissions
Team for Social Media Success
Is your university’s communications team doing the lion’s sh...
4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
03
02
Now that you have built a social environment
where prospective ...
04
4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
03
Create and Share Content
that Nurtures Interest
Every universit...
3
http://wommapedia.org/#section2
05
4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
A recent report from the Word of...
04
Facilitate a Social Media
Friendly Application Process
All your social media efforts will be in vain if it isn’t easy t...
07
4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
Only 10 days left to apply! Don’t forget!
colorado.edu/admissions/...
08
4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
The decision on where to attend college is both practical and
emot...
Sprout Social provides social media engagement, publishing
and analytics tools for leaders in higher education, including
...
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4 Steps For Using Social to Recruit College Students

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Students everywhere are raising their hands, clamoring for colleges’ attention. But are you reaching them in a way that effectively sells your school? As your admissions team works to shape the best freshman class possible, it’s paramount to have a comprehensive social media plan in place. This Sprout Social syllabus will help you make the grade.
Explore These Themes:
-How to set up your admissions team for social success.
-Social strategies for bringing qualified prospects into your funnel.
-Creative content ideas that will resonate with your target audience.
-Proven methods of leveraging social media to drive applications.

Publié dans : Marketing
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4 Steps For Using Social to Recruit College Students

  1. 1. 4 Steps for Using Social to Recruit College Students A Guide for Higher Education Marketing and Admissions Professionals
  2. 2. Structure your admissions team for social media success. Build a steady following of eligible prospective students. Create and share content that nurtures interest. Facilitate a social media friendly application process. 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS 01 Two-thirds of high school students say that social media conversations influence their decision on where to enroll in college.1 So if you’re not actively fostering communication and joining the conversation, you’re missing out. Whether your university is big or small, private or public, liberal arts focused or research driven, it’s critical to attract the attention of college-bound students, who will be doling out—on average—more than $100,000 when all is said and done.2 The investment on your end is high as well. As a division of the university that is beholden to some very clear targets, you understand it pays to think like a business—one that needs new customers every single semester. Like any smart business, a clearly defined social media strategy is essential to your efforts. Introduction This guide offers four steps to help you find the right students and nurture them throughout the entire college admissions process: 1 http://www.uversity.com/downloads/presentations/2014-Social-Admissions-Report-Webinar.pdf 2 https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/misc/trends/ 2014-trends-college-pricing-report-final.pdf 01 02 03 04
  3. 3. 02 01 Structure Your Admissions Team for Social Media Success Is your university’s communications team doing the lion’s share of social posting? That’s a good start for general awareness building and continued engagement from a broad perspective, but you’ll likely discover language that isn’t speaking directly to prospective students. The solution: Build your admissions team a social presence of its own across platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; even Pinterest). Bottom line Segmenting school profiles by audiences and planned social communication activities is key. Don’t sell yourself short either by thinking that only the biggest universities need a designated social media presence for their admissions staff. In fact, according to Sprout Social’s Discovery Smart Search feature, more than 900 Twitter handles around the US are geared toward “college admissions.” Once you’ve picked the right platforms and created accounts for the admissions team, make sure everyone understands the objectives. Get your staff set up with access to your pages and social management tool, and train them thoroughly. Sprout offers front-end training and ongoing webinars to make things easier. Then, encourage active participation. Many universities build social metrics into their admissions staff’s performance evaluations. Sprout’s Reports tool provides neatly consolidated data to help. 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
  4. 4. 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS 03 02 Now that you have built a social environment where prospective students can engage and you have thought through how your team will interact with them, it’s time to build a community of strong leads. Here’s how: Discover who is reaching out to your school. Find out who is already reaching out to your school on social media by doing some quick searches for your name—bonus points if those students are already reaching out to the school’s main channels with questions on the application process. Moving forward, you can have the team running your university’s main brand channels refer prospective students to your new admissions handles. Sprout’s Tasks feature makes this process easy. Monitor social media for school mentions. People discussing you on social won’t always tag you in their posts. That’s why it’s a good idea to monitor for when your school isn’t mentioned directly on your page. For example, your admissions team could also monitor for phrases such as “applying to NYU,” “Northwestern admissions” or “UCLA acceptance rates.” These would be interested people with whom your team should foster relationships. Keyword monitoring in Sprout makes this process efficient. Monitor social for “brand adjacent” and education category phrases. How about prospective students who are undecided about even attending college? With intent to act, these are important relationships to build. The prospects may not mention your school by name (or even any school by name), but they’re talking around the category. Try monitoring social media for keywords such as “best colleges,” “best schools applications,” “great universities to attend” and other brand adjacent phrases that are typical of people starting the college selection process. Build a Steady Following of Eligible Prospective Students
  5. 5. 04 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS 03 Create and Share Content that Nurtures Interest Every university boasts unique characteristics; make sure you’re showcasing yours across your social platforms. Use media—images, infographics, videos and testimonials—to create interesting, useful content that will aid in the decision-making process. Do you have a beautiful campus? Show it off through pictures of storied buildings, handsome statues and secret study spots that students will have the joy of experiencing. Have you been featured in the press? Share articles about your school and alumni that will draw applicants into your world. UWMadison Admissions @UW_Admissions #UWFall is a great time to be on campus. Have you signed up for a visit yet? admissions.wisc.edu/visitbucky/#future- badgers Impressive young alumni getting deserved recognition in Forbes for their innovative app. @BCAlumni forbes.com/pictures/eimi4... BC Admission @BC_Admission
  6. 6. 3 http://wommapedia.org/#section2 05 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS A recent report from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association shows that 81 percent of US consumers are influenced by their friend’s social media recommendations. Take advantage of user-generated content to shape your story. Retweet and share posts that have a positive message about your university. If someone posts about being accepted to your college, why not retweet it for all to see? Are you known for your sports program? Highlight recent box scores, pictures of your team in action or tailgating videos. An unforgettable game! @PackMensBball wins against No. 2 Duke! #STATEment #tradition #gopack NC State Admissions @applyncstate
  7. 7. 04 Facilitate a Social Media Friendly Application Process All your social media efforts will be in vain if it isn’t easy to apply. To ensure prospective students understand what next step to take, include a link to your admissions website in your social media profile and call attention to this link frequently around application deadlines. Furthermore, consider the life cycle of prospective students as they interact with your school—what information is needed at each stage? • Inquiry • Application • Admission • Enrollment On the following pages are some best practices to drive action throughout the admissions process. 06 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS
  8. 8. 07 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS Only 10 days left to apply! Don’t forget! colorado.edu/admissions/und... #ApplyCUBoulder #CUBoulder CU Admissions @mycuboulder Join us in January to get all your admissions questions answered! #OhioStateChat FutureBuckeyes @futurebuckeyes Host live chats. Set aside regular times to host live Twitter or Facebook chats with interested students. It’s best to plan topics and announce themes in advance so that students come prepared and you are able to guide the conversation. Coach the students. Social media allows prospective students to interact in real time with admissions representatives. The experience you create here, like the one you provide in person, should be welcoming. If students feel overwhelmed in any way, they may opt out of your social media all together and, with it, the application process. Create a sense of urgency. Let’s face it, high school students may not have the most developed time-management skills. Frequent deadline reminders will encourage them to plan ahead, manage the process and submit their materials on time. Consider it a crash course in college itself. Distribute FAQ documents and resources. Social media runs 24/7. Your team, however, does not (though sometimes it might feel that way). Post documents on your social channels that answer common questions about the admissions process. Self-service tools can be more efficient for prospective students and of great relief to your team.
  9. 9. 08 4 STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO RECRUIT COLLEGE STUDENTS The decision on where to attend college is both practical and emotional. Perhaps the student is interested in one of your academic programs. Maybe the student’s parents went to your school. Or it could be that the student has an affinity for your sports team. The more you highlight these assets while delivering necessary information around dates and deadlines, the more likely you are to bring in the right students at the right time. As students gear up to make that big decision, and you work to shape the ideal freshmen class, make sure you’re providing an exceptional social experience—on campus as well as online. Final Review
  10. 10. Sprout Social provides social media engagement, publishing and analytics tools for leaders in higher education, including Marquette University, Oklahoma State University, Seneca College, The Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. A powerful platform for communication, Sprout enables colleges and universities to more effectively manage their channels, collaborate across teams and offer an exceptional student and alumni experience. Headquartered in Chicago, Sprout is a Twitter Certified Product, Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer and Google+ Pages API Partner. sproutsocial.com TRY SPROUT FOR 30 DAYS START YOUR FREE TRIAL

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