Social Media Marketing and Adult Student Recruitment


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Social media marketing can boost adults student recruitment results when colleges and universities are willing to allow current and future students to discuss their experiences at the school. It will not work for schools that seek to broadcast only "Lake Wobegon" messages.

Examples from University of Phoenix, Davenport University, and St. Leo University are used.

Published in: Business, Technology, Education
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Social Media Marketing and Adult Student Recruitment

  1. 1. Social Media Marketing for Adult Student Recruitment ©Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. 2009 Aslanian Group Web Marketing to Reach Adult and Graduate Students Chicago, IL June 4-5, 2009
  2. 2. The “Groundswell”… <ul><li>“ A social trend in which people use technology to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Groundswell, Harvard Business Press, 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s in the Groundswell… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace and Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rate My Professor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> and digg </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Groundswell at your website…
  4. 4. Social tools from favorite brands? Forrester research, 2008… <ul><li>Adults… 18+ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>26 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>21 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FB & MySpace profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>12 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Teens… 12 – 17 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>12 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>37 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FB & MySpace profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>36 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>12 percent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>13 percent </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Do you agree? <ul><li>Question… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If a school has 11,000 students and 319 FB fans now at official site, what fan level says FB is important for marcom?” (Asked on Twitter) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Answer #1… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>moreheadstate @ HighEdMarketing “I'd say 2. Very little effort and that's two more people you are reaching. Also depends on what you are using it for.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Answer #2… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rachelreuben @ HighEdMarketing “I'd argue it's more about the volume & quality of conversation & interaction than # of fans.” </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Keep this in mind about online adults… Data from Forrester Research Technographics® surveys, 2008 <ul><li>How people 25 to 34 and 35-44 use social media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creators…. 29% and..... 22% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critics……… 42% and….. 39% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collectors… 25% and….. 21% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joiners…… 53% and….. 33% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spectators… 75% and….. 71% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inactives…… 16% and….. 24% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Groups overlap… thus the high total percent </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Is “Social Media” a marketing tool? <ul><li>Yes… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But not a direct sales/recruitment tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media allow potential students to listen to people talk about their experience with you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media allows people to ask questions about the value of your degree and get “experience answers” from your students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t escape social media discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can monitor and influence them </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Social Media site traffic… May 15, 2009 <ul><li>1. MySpace 30.92% </li></ul><ul><li>2. Facebook 29.00% </li></ul><ul><li>3. YouTube 9.03% </li></ul><ul><li>4. Tagged 1.97% </li></ul><ul><li>5. Yahoo! Answers 1.42% </li></ul><ul><li>6.Twitter 1.37% </li></ul><ul><li>7. myYearbook 1.00% </li></ul><ul><li>8. Yahoo! Groups 1.00% </li></ul><ul><li>9. Yahoo! Profiles 0.55% </li></ul><ul><li>10. Windows Live Home 0.51% </li></ul>
  9. 9. Facebook vs. Twitter… Starbucks & Ohio State <ul><li>Starbucks… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook fans in May… 1.5 million </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ohio State </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook fans in May… 37,107 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Starbucks… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter followers in May… 180,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ohio State </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter followers in May… 970 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. University of Phoenix Build online communities that allow current and future students to… “ interact, keep up with and explore the world of University of Phoenix.”
  11. 11. From an obscure home page link…
  12. 12. Start people at the “Wall”… 8,678 fans on 21 May 2009
  13. 13. And follow “Discussions”… After Phoenix BA, where can you go next?
  14. 14. Connect to other social media…
  15. 15. And accept intrusive competitors…
  16. 16. Get personal… @danportnoy has 1,375 followers
  17. 17. Phoenix Builds Brand on MySpace…
  18. 18. Phoenix Builds Brand on YouTube…
  19. 19. YouTube videos by academic program…
  20. 20. Most popular… “The truth about…” 7,856 viewers… and the truth is good
  21. 21. LinkedIn for alumni… 1,926 members
  22. 22. Davenport University Facebook… 319 fans Twitter… 951 followers Started on Twitter: 30 Sept 2008 Social Media Coordinator: March, 2009
  23. 23. Social media has low visibility…
  24. 24. Most “Wall” content is from DU…
  25. 25. “ Discussions” are limited…
  26. 26. Nicely crafted Twitter site…
  27. 27. Sasha Wolf… ......
  28. 28. Twitter… extra notes Very few under 18 use Twitter… Growing fastest with people over 35… Best with multiple accounts per school
  29. 29. 9 Twitter sites for adult recruitment… <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  30. 30. Setting up is easy… Maybe too easy?
  31. 31. Build brand with a distinctive bio… <ul><li>Good example… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Saint Leo University is a leading provider of higher education to young adults, working adults, and military personnel looking to further their education.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not so good… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>None </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ University of Delaware Admissions” </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. To see follower growth… ... Thanks to Barb Chamberlain
  33. 33. Check yourself against competitors…
  34. 34. In the near future… Easier access to online locations… One password open all your doors
  35. 35. Easier access to Internet locations… .................
  36. 36. The cost of getting started… (From Heather Mansfield at DIOSA Communications, Create initial sites on FB, MySpace, Twitter, FlickR, YouTube… $2,700 Create sites only on FB, MySpace… $750 Staff time allocation… 25% to 50% at start
  37. 37. Keeping up to date…
  38. 38. Groundswell blog…
  39. 39. Mashable
  40. 40. Dave Evan’s Blog…
  41. 41. Pew Internet research reports…
  42. 42. Shameless self-promotion…
  43. 43. Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President and Senior Consultant Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC Marshall, MI 49068 248.766.6425 [email_address] Customer Carewords Research for Online Marketing Success: