When trying to attract the next generation of post-secondary students, student recruitment strategies need to be as tech savvy as their prospective students. The usual strategies can come off as bland or dated. The following universities are changing the ways that social media can be used in your student recruitment strategy.
In the capital city of the United states, Georgetown University’s social media super campaign, Georgetown Stories, has followed over a dozen students each year, who filmed their experiences across the hilly campus. These videos, using the hashtag #GeorgetownStories, were featured on Georgetown’s social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat, and were meant to show prospective students what life is truly like at Georgetown as lived by real Georgetown students.
This tactic proved to be genius as it led to 7,027 students sending in early applications in 2015, a record-breaking number for Georgetown, up from 6,840 in 2014 and 6,624 in 2013. Moreover, after the first year of the campaign, Georgetown saw an 2007% increase of engaged users on Instagram and a 348% increase of engaged users on Facebook. During the second year, Instagram saw a 162% increase in engaged users and Facebook saw a 105% increase in engaged users. Impressively, during 2015-2016, Georgetown Stories reached over 165,000 SnapChat story views.
Taking the “swipe” phenomenon from dating applications, the University of Salford’s Match Made in Salford application allows students to swipe left or right when presented with a potential course.
Prospective students put in their first name, choose three things they are interested in, and their grade average (known as Tariff Points). At the end of the experience, students can submit their emails to have their class list sent to them. Additionally, you’re able to go through each of the classes more in depth and contact the school about admissions. By the time you finish using the applications, you’re ready to take a #Salfie.
Drake University & #BringDrakeToDrake
Now, this takes name recognition to the next level! When Drake scheduled a Des Moines, Iowa stop, he also liked the Instagram of the local university: Drake University. This resulted in this fantastic exchange:
It only took a few short posts to get the international superstar to respond and #BringDrakeToDrake took off. Students rallied on campus believing that Drake would visit their campus before his show. And while he did not show up before the show (where he wore custom Drake University gear), he did show up afterwards.
This campaign had international media attention, with Time, the Guardian, and Teen Vogue reporting on the entire series of events. Continuing the engagement long after the initial show, and to address the large groups of people still coming to the University to replicate Drake’s photo, Drake University installed vinyl shoe decals on top of the sign that Drake stood on (see below) so that future Drake students can take part of the fun.