A 2012 survey by Zinch and Inigral revealed that approximately 72 percent of college bound students utilized social media networks to research prospective colleges and universities for their higher education. Considering the importance that students place on these networks, it only makes sense that colleges follow suit. The following gives some insight into how six savvy colleges are using social media to meet prospective students’ needs.
College of Saint Rose
Recruiting new students is always at the forefront of a college or university, and social media can play a key role in accomplishing this task. The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y., utilizes social media in the form of YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Facebook ads and tweets to highlight campus culture and events that make their institution unique. Direct messaging from Facebook also provides a means for students to send further inquiries directly to the institution. In this way, the college can attract students who are specifically interested in what it has to offer.
University of Washington at Seattle
For many students, college is the first time they are away from home, personal family and friends. Social media is one way students can connect with their peers and establish new relationships. Ranking ninth among the top 100 Social Media Colleges in the country, the University of Washington in Seattle maintains a strong online social network to make it easy for students to connect with university staff and their peers. This connection helps students to integrate into college life and feel more a part of the university community. The university’s Class of 2017 Facebook pages containing student profiles, pictures and videos was specifically designed to give incoming freshmen a sense of belonging from the start.
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
The University of Massachusetts (UMASS) at Amherst recognizes the importance of college and student connectivity throughout the student’s college experience and beyond. Through Facebook, Twitter and college blogs, UMASS continues to keep in touch with its graduates, encouraging them to share their educational experiences and post-grad career achievements online for the benefit of other students. Such connections provide greater online exposure for the university and benefit present and former students.
Through social media, universities can share greater knowledge and research findings. Harvard University sets the example with its online publication of Harvard Business Review, a prestigious management magazine covering the latest in business strategies and techniques. By expanding its readership base in this way, Harvard empowers students to grow in leadership skills, business experience and expertise.
Pinnacle College is a creative arts education institution that offers career training certificates and degrees in video game production, audio engineering, music production and more. To foster greater interest in its academic achievements, the college maintains a very active social media presence. They have a blog with student spotlights on www.pinnaclecollege.edu. They also post regularly on Facebook and Twitter, and interact with current students, former students and parents of students. This allows anyone to get in touch and share tips and advice, answer each other’s questions and share post-graduation experiences and successes.
University of Utah
Many universities are discovering the benefits of crowdfunding websites to receive donations for their school projects. Through crowdfunding, people can make tax deductible contributions to universities for research, development or philanthropic projects. The University of Utah in Salt Lake City has experienced great success from their crowdfunding site, raising approximately $32,000 to date, from more than 210 donors. Sponsorship of this nature can greatly enhance a university’s educational platform, enabling students to reap the benefits of a multitude of new projects.
Students who want to learn more about a particular educational institution will find that social media networks provide a wealth of information not commonly found on the official website. Via social media, universities and colleges connect with students and help them make informed decisions regarding which course to pursue, where to study, how to obtain financial aid and much more.