According to Martin Bennett from EducationUSA, he states that to be successful in admissions you must ‘live where your audiences live’. The audiences of admissions are students that ‘live’ predominantly on social media channels, like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. For admissions professionals to engage more international students into their universities, the school must become creative and open with social media. Just last month, there was an article in The Chronicle about the new twists in online recruiting international applicants.
Madan Padaki, the CEO of Erudient, states, “Facebook is an ideal place to foster interaction, but universities are not doing it.”
There is no easy way for international students to visit campuses, which is why students rely on social media and virtual tours to convince them to go to a particular school. Some high school students in the United States visit well over twenty or thirty different schools, and will rely heavily on those visits to determine whether they want to go there for the next few years of their life. International students, on the other hand, do not have that opportunity, especially if they have a limited budget. Social media in admissions is a way for international applicants to view real photos and videos from the school, along with interacting with other applicants. This is a chance for them to meet, engage, and question students as well as the admissions office.
Social media can work fast and effectively when it is used correctly. Facebook applications are another excellent way for a school to connect with prospective students. Comparative to other marketing mediums, social media is minimal in cost. Out of the 1.362 billion people that have internet access, fifty-five percent of them have Facebook that they check at least once a month. Another reason why your school should target international applicants through social media is because sixty percent of your audience is in the college-age demographic with a Facebook presence, according to .eduGuru. It is an easy way to target specific sets of applicants, and offer a variety of resources for them.
Social media doesn’t have to just be about Facebook and Twitter. Your school’s admissions office could also consider creating a blog, where members of your office could write about specific topics. For instance, have one of your admissions staff write specifically about topics of interest and tips that will benefit the international applicant, so that the applicant can have a better understanding about the process.
Do you have any interesting ways to engage international applicants using social media?