Engaging Prospective Students with Social Media

Sometimes I’m asked, “Is social media worth the effort?

 

Usually it’s from someone not in the social media or digital marketing space, so I try answering as honestly and as patiently as I can. My reply every time in so many words is, “of course.”

 

Whether you care or not, there are conversations taking place on many social media channels about your institution. Participating in that conversation is entirely up to you and your staff. (Psst… obviously you should be involved!) Let’s take a look at the effectiveness and true success of just one social media interaction on Twitter between a prospective student and the University of New Hampshire:

 

A high school junior toured campus and then tweeted about his recent visit to Durham, New Hampshire. Since the UNH social media team searches hashtags & keywords associated with the school, they found his tweets and replied.

 

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After replying, the high school junior then followed many social media channels at UNH, including @UNHStudents on Instagram. He then replied back in a positive way, using the official #UNH hashtag we had just used in our tweet. Since we noticed he followed other social media accounts at our university, he was able to see a post about a candlelight vigil our student community held for the Boston Marathon tragedy.

 

It was soon after that he tweeted the following…

 

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The relationship was now established.

 

UNH engaged a prospective student and demonstrated that they care about students and want to get to know anyone interested in the institution. Did this have anything to do with the student choosing UNH? I can’t measure that specifically, but I do know the actions and social media replies were positively received and that social media is a large part of many student’s lives.

 

So what do you think, is social media worth the effort?

 

Jason Boucher

Jason Boucher

Social Media Manager at University of New Hampshire

Jason is the Social Media Manager at The University of New Hampshire and responsible for developing and leading UNH‘s social media strategy and coordinating related activities. His role enhances and expands the university’s online image, increases brand equity and awareness, promotes the university’s mission through various social media platforms and helps build relationships with stakeholders. Jason also frequently leads discussions on how to engage your audience with social media.

http://jasonboucher.net