Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do You Use or Misuse Social Media to Reach Your Students?

Does your school or state agency use social media to reach your students, potential students or other interested parties?

I no longer think a website, no matter how slick and shiny, can make that "connection" with students or potential students. I think students are looking for a social connection and not from just the adults. They want to hear what their peers are saying about a school and/or a program. Does it scare you to provide an uncensored look at what you do? I admit, the thought can scare me as well, but I think it is best to deal with the truth and try and control the discussion.

It has been said for years that athletes on a college football team are the best recruiters for future players. Why doesn't that same line of thought hold true for your school or your business? To be honest, your students or co-workers are your best salesmen. If you provide a great program and a great environment with a chance for future success, why wouldn't you want the word to spread about what you have created?
According to a recent study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, 100% of universities surveyed use social media to communicate with students, up from 61% in 2007-08. The study found that 98% of the responding colleges have a Facebook page and 84% have a Twitter account.
What about your school? Are you where your customers (students) are at? Are you willing to have an open, online discussion with your students? Are you willing to let your students join your marketing efforts? To be totally honest, social media is well past the "fad phase" and its use will only continue to grow. I think students will take pride in promoting their school and in their program of study. It will also help them develop a feeling of ownership in their school as well. 

Please read the thought-provoking CNN article by Umika Pidaparthy entitled, "How colleges use, misuse social media to reach students" for more information about using social media in your school.

Also see's "Top 100 Social Media Colleges," which classifies the universities on how well they use social media. It also provides great social media examples from many of the universities.

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly what I've been saying about social media,it's the personal connection that matters. All the tools in the world won't make a bit of difference unless the people maneuvering them use them to make that human connection. Peer to peer interaction is vital to educational success, no matter if it's in a physical or virtual classroom.


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