The University of UMass at Dartmouth study on the use of social media by higher educational institutions shows just how prominent a resource social media is for colleges and universities.
“The value of these social networking sites for college admissions offices cannot be underestimated. As more and more young people spend increased amounts of time on these online networks, an institutional presence will be mandatory.” (Page 6)
Colleges and Universities around the country are reaching out to their prospective students through the avenues that these kids are already on. Students are having conversations about their schools and as the study shows, more and more schools are joining those conversations. As the quote above states, “an institutional presence will be mandatory.” When will the same be true for independent schools? Now seems like a good time to start.
“For students or their parents looking to have a conversation online about particular aspects of university life, this increased interaction through comments can be significant. With more and more schools moving into multiple channels of social media, schools that don’t allow for conversation will quickly be passed by.” (Page 7)
Social Media is too important a resource at this point to be ignored, or worse, feared by educational institutions. As Samantha Murphy’s article in TechNewsDaily declares, “Social Media: Huge, and Here to Stay.“ The numbers do not lie; schools no longer need to be convinced about the need for a social media presence. The next step is to embrace it and learn how to harness these powerful tools so that your school can confidently navigate the world of social media.