Posted by: Zachary Smith
Students are not the only group that benefit from social media usage; universities are too. Universities are now using social media as tools for admissions, programming, networking with alumni and communication tools for parents.
Social media, such as Facebook, allow for perspective students to feel collected to a university campus before stepping foot on its campus for the first time. Admissions offices around the country are feeding into these community building opportunities to help increase applicants and enrollments.
According to Online Universities, “once students arrive on campus, their social media use mediates the ways in which they interact with their peers.” Through Facebook groups or Twitter hashtags for specific residence hall floors or classes, student organizations or student hometowns, social media are allowing students to form connections with future classmates before class sessions start.
Furthermore, university alumni offices are using social media for ways that current students can network with alumni. Drake University, for example, used Twitter for alumni to tweet academic advice to the incoming freshman class. Connections were instantly built between current students and alumni, and it took very little time or money from the university.
This trend of colleges and universities using social media has increased in recent years. Business Grow reports that “100 percent of colleges and universities studied are using some form of social media, up from 95 percent last year…and 61 percent in 2008.” Admissions offices are most commonly using Facebook and Twitter, while Alumni offices are using Linkedln.
It appears that these social media tools are exceeding their expectations and goals. Business Grow states extremely positive outcomes for social media tools, especially Facebook and YouTube.
Some universities are even turning the tables and gaining information on perspective students using search engines and social media.
Are you motivated to use these social media outlets as ways to build connections with current and future alumni? Will social media be a way that you keep in contact with former professors and current students after graduation? Should admission offices spend more time promoting their school on social media sites? Do you think it is ethical for universities to gain information on perspective students using search engines an social media searches?