Disciplining Social Media Strategy

Reducing Acquisition Costs and Increasing Student Engagement in Continuing, Professional, and Online Education

Topics: Faculty Productivity and Incentives, Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs, Program Costs, Academic Planning, International Student Recruitment, Globalization, Online Strategies, Online Education, Online Student Support Services, Graduate Education, Business and Management Programs, Program Market Research, Education Programs, Non-Credit Programs, Employee Engagement and Satisfaction, Human Resources, Administration and Finance, Tuition and Fees, Revenue Enhancement, Alternative Revenues, Cost Savings, External Affairs, Student Employment, Career Services, Student Experience, Student Affairs, International Students, Special Populations, Social Media, Academic Support Programs, Customer Relationship Management, Information Technology, Admissions, Enrollment Management, Alumni Affairs, Advancement, Alumni Career Services, Staffing, Organizational Structures, Assessment, Marketing and Branding, Strategic Planning, Student and Young Alumni Fundraising

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By reading this study, members will learn:

  • How do we tap into external social media networks to generate leads without being seen as an unwelcome sales interruption?
  • What types of social media content are truly differentiating to adult and online students?
  • How can social media help us maintain momentum with international applicants?
  • What are the critical factors for creating social communities that are attractive to working adult students?
  • How can we scale social media activity without adding staff?

Executive Summary

Facebook, Twitter, and other online social networks are growing at an unprecedented speed, and many in higher education see them as a transformationally inexpensive means of building awareness with prospective students and building community among current students. Privately, however, many continuing, professional, and online education leaders express concern that the hype around social media may outpace the strategy, funds, and staff capacity necessary to make their social media involvement worthwhile.

Based on over 150 in-depth interviews with leading institutions and experts, COE Forum research endeavors to help members understand what’s going on, what’s working, and what’s not in recruiting and retaining adult and online students through social media.


The Challenge: Disciplining Social Media Strategy