Admissions leaders are always looking for new strategies to keep students engaged throughout the enrollment process and prevent summer melt. But as colleges grow their applicant and admissions pools, it gets harder for admissions teams to remain responsive to incoming students and their parents.
That's where social media comes in. The accessibility and familiarity of social media among prospective students makes it an ideal tool for large-scale interactive communication.
Writing for Forbes, Chloe Athanasia Politis, the Associate Director of Digital and Social Media at Mount Sinai Health System, shares not only her own social media strategies for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, but also how colleges can use social media to recruit more students and improve their overall online reputation:
1: Show prospective students what it's really like on campus
Social media provides colleges with an opportunity to show prospective students a behind-the-scenes look into student life, notes Politis. To give prospective students a glimpse into life on campus, Politis recommends colleges' social media teams work with current students or appoint a social media ambassador from the student body who can curate student-centered content.
2: Share student testimonials
Social media teams can also showcase the student experience by sharing video testimonials from current students. "By interviewing students, they can share why they chose to attend that particular school, what it's like to be a part of the community and what opportunities are available," writes Politis. "These interviews can give applicants insight into what aspects of the school appealed to its current students the most."
Also see: 3 ways to engage admitted students on social media
3: Introduce prospective students to faculty
Prospective students don't just want an idea of who attends your institution, they also want to know what to expect in your classrooms. Politis recommends introducing faculty and staff on social media through bio cards that include a photo and a blurb describing their teaching method, for example.
4: Describe your programs
Politis argues that "all the information that is in brochures should be converted to social media." She recommends both providing in-depth descriptions of your institution's programs and highlighting why these programs are unique. Politis adds that this can be done through written content or video interviews with program leaders.
5: Showcase your leadership
"It's important to hear from university leaders, including deans and faculty members on trending events in academia," writes Politis. Introducing prospective and current students to your institution's thought leadership also allows them to get to know their mentors, she adds.
6: Reveal alumni success stories
Both current and prospective students want to know what they can expect in the job market after graduation, notes Politis. "Sharing alumni success stories can give prospective students an idea of the type of careers that alumni have pursued and succeeded in with the help of their degree," she adds (Politis, Forbes, 3/1).
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