For college and university marketers, the array of online options for reaching prospective students can seem nearly infinite. In the past several years, the proliferation of social media platforms—and shifting trends in their use by traditional-age prospective students—has created new challenges in budgeting and staff deployment. To help illustrate the ever-increasing number of platforms being used by prospective students (and their parents), just take a look at this data from our 2014 E-Expectations Report (the following graph includes responses from seniors and parents in the 2014 survey and seniors from the 2013 survey):
Although the array of potential channels has increased, the size of most marketing teams (and the number of hours in a working day) has not. So what’s a college marketing leader to do? Jump on the latest trend to meet prospects where they live? Or stick with tried and true techniques and risk losing relevance in the eyes of young people? These, among many others, are the challenging questions many college and university marketing teams are tasked with answering.
Making the optimal investment in time and social media content: The example of Twitter as an e-recruitment tool
As with all potential marketing strategies, much of the answer depends on what you hope to accomplish in relation to your audiences and high-level organizational goals. It can be tempting to experiment with emerging platforms, but entering a new social space is ill-advised until you have the bandwidth to truly build an engaged community.