Getting your university to the top of the results page is always going to be a high priority when looking to recruit prospective students, whether you’re a centuries-old institution or a brand new online college. You could be offering the best and most innovative courses available, but it won’t count for anything if the prospective students don’t know you exist.
[fusion_content_boxes layout=”icon-on-top” columns=”1″ title_size=”24″ title_color=”#ffffff” body_color=”#ffffff” backgroundcolor=”#74a1eb” icon=”fa-bar-chart” iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” iconcolor=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_radius=”” circlecolor=”” circlebordersize=”” circlebordercolor=”” outercirclebordersize=”” outercirclebordercolor=”” icon_size=”” icon_hover_type=”” hover_accent_color=”#a3c94c” image=”” image_width=”” image_height=”” link_type=”button” link_area=”link-icon” link_target=”_blank” icon_align=”left” animation_type=”” animation_delay=”” animation_offset=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” image_max_width=””][fusion_content_box title=” Leverage Our Academic Reputation Dataset and Gain Invaluable Insights” backgroundcolor=”” icon=”” iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” iconcolor=”” circlecolor=”” circlebordersize=”” circlebordercolor=”” outercirclebordersize=”” outercirclebordercolor=”” image=”” image_max_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ link=”http://bit.ly/2meP2aW” linktext=”QS Academic Reputation ” link_target=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]
It may also be of interest to you, as to how you can use our dataset to positively impact your reputation.
Raising your brand awareness will be a long-term goal for any higher education marketing and can be a drain on your marketing team’s time and resources; however, there is one resource that should not go untapped when it comes to building up your brand awareness: your students.
Student Marketing to Market to Students
Findings from our Students Online: Global Trends report confirm that prospective students draw on a wide range of online resources at each stage of their higher education research, and involving your current students in some aspects of your student marketing will give your university a more authentic voice across digital channels.
1. Create original content
Creating original content in the form of articles, blog posts, and videos is a rewarding yet time-consuming endeavor. Successful interaction with your students can not only give you better insight into what they find engaging, it can also lighten some of your workload by having the students create the content for you.
A prime example of this is Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which ran an initiative to enhance its reputation based on information gleaned from in-depth interviews and focus groups of past and current students. NTU students were assigned projects as writers, illustrators, photographers and video producers, demonstrating the high quality of NTU education at the same time as keeping their content fresh and relevant.
2. Genuine authenticity
Content and interactions with students will have a much higher perceived level of authenticity, especially for those potential students looking to get a genuine feel for the university online. While there is still a place for beautifully shot commissioned photos and videos, candid images and video clips from students portray a genuine feel of university life that students and potential students can relate to.
The 2014 study from Sandlin and Peña ‘Building Authenticity in Social Media Tools to Recruit Postsecondary Students’ revealed that “prospective college students perceived student-written blogs to be authentic when student bloggers disclosed personal details and feelings about campus life, even when the topic of the blog was contrived to focus on admission and college-related activities. Recognizing a blog as authentic occurred through the process of internalizing the experience described in the blog post and identifying with the blogger.”
3. Listen and learn
Trends move faster than many of us can keep up with, and a genuine connection with students online will allow for a greater understanding of what is and isn’t trending. This could be everything from the form of language used, social media platforms that are particularly popular or topics that are of interest.
Oxford University has an active Twitter presence that interacts regularly with both current students and prospective students, encouraging the creation and use of hashtags (eg #PuntingOnTheCam, #OxOpenDays) as well as the posting of original images.
4. Wider Reach
Likes, comments, and shares are a social media manager’s bread and butter, and shares directly with your target audience will, therefore, widen the reach of your content exponentially. Most, if not all, students are social media savvy and will be comfortable using any of the social media channels that you employ, so put their skills to good use.
Social-media savvy university MIT has an Instagram account specifically dedicated to showcasing the MIT student lifestyle.
@mitstudents follows a different student each week, giving a snapshot of their lives at MIT including everything from lectures, photos of the grounds and social events that they’ve attended.
Interested in learning more about student trends? Read the full Students Online: Global Trends report.