Social Media To Enhance Enrollment Management - Academic Impressions, March 2013

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Social Media To Enhance Enrollment Management was a presentation done at Academic Impressions' Social Media Strategy For Higher Education: Beyond the Basics conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

This presentation covers strategy, implementation, and integration of social media into the admissions and enrollment process.

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  • Potential applicants are visiting your admissions site all the time, but do you know how to drive them to your application page using social media? Or how to increase their likelihood of enrollment? This session will help you develop a strategy for improving admissions results and identify techniques for staying engaged with your applicants throughout the admissions cycle.
  • I went to Oberlin College. I was accepted in March 2006, online communities convinced me that my decision was the right one. The first one I joined was actually on Livejournal (where I met my closest friends to date), then the first of its kind, a class of 2010 Facebook group.
  • I got so much out of my class group experience that I hopped into each relevant Facebook community for every year after. Luckily, it became justifiable (and not just out of the goodness of my heart) by the summer after my sophomore year, as I became an academic ambassador, hired to assist new students with the ins and outs of the Oberlin experience during fall orientation.
  • My first job out of Oberlin was in a one-year web fellowship position in the Oberlin Office of Communications, which transitioned into my now-position of Social Media Coordinator. It’s my job to manage all the big social channels we have on third-party social networks, plus our home-grown social efforts through the Oberlin blogs and Oberlin stories project (both born out of an effort to better explain Oberlin -- mostly to prospective students). I serve as a consultant, strategist, and cheerleader for other around Oberlin’s campus interested in becoming more social. Though I’m not a part of the admissions office, one of the most consistent parts of my jobs involves communicating with prospective students throughout the admissions process -- they’re online, they’re on social networks, and even if they are not actively reaching out to us on social channels, these portals are regularly cited as reasons in students’ Why Oberlin? essays. This means that I might have some shortcomings when it comes to knowing everything related to Oberlin’s admissions office, but I have a network of individuals in admissions (student employees and staff members alike), the internet (you’d be surprised how many questions involve a quick Google search and the proper page linked), and my own experience as a prospective Oberlin student to draw upon.
  • Enrollment Management Goals using social media Brand Awareness Increase applications Improve Yield Build Community Retain Students Reduce Costs Applicant use of social media Prospects Inquiries Applicants Admits Social Messaging Saves Money Hyper-local Increase reach Trackable Conversions Page Strategies School-wide pages Class of 2016 pages Admissions Pages Social Community
  • Enrollment Management Goals using social media Awareness and yield Applicant use of social media How we fit into overall useage Social Messaging Why not? Because we must! We're social people Page Strategies Case studies and examples Social Community            Encouraging pro-social behaviors  
  • And yet, where does social media fit in? Official = excellent hub for all communications. Demos community.   Hopefuls = place for questions and admissions specific stuff.   Communities = build a virtual space to meet and talk. Private groups do a lot, next step(s) involve investments in communities that involve data, tracking, and conversions.    
  • We have a prospective students account that we’ve left by the wayside because of the holdover factor. Our main communications with prospective and accepted student come via our main @oberlincollege account. There has been major motion to centralize, then decentralize communication. Pros: decentralize means that you can target audiences. Cons: we determine when audiences change, the individuals stay the same even if they transition through time, many people must manage and transition must be smooth. As the only social media person currently running things at Oberlin, I’ve made the conscious decision to centralize rather than decentralize, because nothing makes a community look fractured than social media “ghost towns” all over the internet. Between myself and our web fellow Will, we cover a great deal of communications from our official accounts with ALL constituents, which makes messaging and communication more consistent, from admissions to students to alumni to related interested parties. We’re working under the assumption that students select a college not because of how they interact with an admissions officer but how the campus community feels, which is better told when it involves everyone.
  • Case study: Oberlin 2016, the Facebook page. Oberlin 2016, the Facebook group. Development, changes, and decisions.  
  • http://storify.com/brucefloyd/uf-admissions-decision-day-social-media http://lefthandlogan.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/a-magical-night-for-social-media-in-higher-ed/
  • Data and observations inform our social media decisions.
  • It’s the internet. If people have a space, they might be sharing information about you. Listening is always good. Doesn’t mean you have to be involved in every convo if you know it’s happening. Worth my time: where there’s a critical mass, or demonstrated repeated communication with prospective students – for us: Oberlin blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, then places like Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest.
  • This is cool data, but it’s unclear whether admissions specific spaces are where students choose to look for information.
  • What social media channels are prospects using to learn about your institution?
  • https://www.noellevitz.com/documents/shared/Papers_and_Research/2012/2012%20E-Recruiting%20Practices%20Report.pdf https://www.noellevitz.com/documents/shared/Papers_and_Research/2012/2012_E-Expectations_Communications.pdf https://www.noellevitz.com/documents/shared/Papers_and_Research/2012/2012_E-Expectations.pdf
  • Top expectations following liking a Facebook page
  • What social media channels are best to respond to and generate inquiries?
  • What social media channels are best to respond to and generate applications?
  • What social media channels are institutions using to engage students once they’ve been admitted?
  • Within Social Messaging you need to cover: Saves Money Hyper-local Increase reach Trackable Conversions (at a minimum)
  • Downside: trackable conversions are hard to pinpoint to social specific. Social media doesn’t necessarily make conversions, it echoes or reinforces decisions one is already feeling. Impediment: we do not connect students to their social media channels. More on this in a bit. Listening is one thing, direct communication is another (if I get a message, I pass it along to admissions for a file. If we're finding/hearing buzz, we're not digging deep into what students are doing on social platforms. BUT - Buzz on social channels related to or around web or print initiatives. Example: white squirrels and womb chairs on the application BUT there isn’t a one-to-one conversion. All together with strategy definitely reinforces. 
  • Only exception to our funnel: This screenshot pops up every fall on Tumblr and Twitter. Take a look at it. What’s different about it? It makes people laugh or freak out, almost divided in half. It’s one of the only times we actually see/know that students on social media are participating in the admissions office (sharing elements of our communications and applications with everyone else). Like I said, we don’t track these students online via their social channels, but it’s a little sign that we’re making a social impact out there.
  • Blogs: Authentic content, direct connection with students, awesome.
  • Accepted students weekend, orientation, and the first week of classes brings folks out of the woodwork to say that that blogs changed their lives/reinforced their decision to attend Oberlin. Folks walked up to me and other bloggers, knowing so much about my life and I knew not even their names. It’s pretty awesome once you get used to saying, it’s great you know so much but I know NOTHING about you! Let’s be friends! New blogger stats: every year, we have close to 50 applicants to new blogger positions, 4 out of every 5 students who apply state that they read the blogs as a prospective student and wish to contribute so they can contribute to the future stories to be told.
  • What they ’re doing? Are they having any luck? Are they thinking about it in terms of their overall enrollment management strategies?
  • CC: get verified!  CC is incredibly valuable because we can contribute and direct people back to our owned content.   Prowler, Unigo: monitor lots. Not much to be done. Cross-pollination of these sites to other social sites.
  • Go to the kitchen! Find where conversations are happening and join in. A polite infiltration, if you will.
  • A place for community and questions.
  • Mentioned above with trackable conversions: we do not monitor students on social channels If there is a direct (usually private) communication with a name attached, we will pass it on., Otherwise, it's ephemeral.  
  • General attitude for us: show them the awesome, let them decide what it means to them. Don't just wait for stuff to come at you, show off!
  • Sounds silly, but don't be stodgy. Enthusiasm can and will be infectious. Reflect that in what you share, say, and converse about.
  • Some explanation: some recruited student helpers anxiously waiting, EDI, EDII, Regular Decision, SUMMER FORMS OMG STUFF, fever pitch of waiting for roommates, classes, and advisors, (spinoffs of people talking outside of the space for specific reasons -- FYS, dorms, roomies), packing and travel, orientation, first week of classes. HOW DO WE FIT IN?
  • More on this in the workshop!
  • WATCH: http://youtu.be/46s5YdcjqU0 We’re having a video contest, starring YOU! In 60 seconds or less, we’d love to see you demonstrate your enthusiasm for Oberlin. Go all out: sing, dance, draw, compose a poem, make a recipe, write a theorem, skip, jump, shout, or whatever tickles your fancy, as long as you can fit it into a short video to share with us. The ObiEager video contest (previously the Show Us Your Enthusiasm video contest)… 2 years and counting http://blogs.oberlin.edu/about/ethos/show_us_your_enthusiasm.shtml http://blogs.oberlin.edu/about/ethos/obieager_video_contest.shtml After the great success of our contest, we served as inspiration for the MiddLove video contest. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL876EDC35FC232B47
  • Watch: http://youtu.be/wtO5MkEs5CY   The ObiEager video contest (previously the Show Us Your Enthusiasm video contest)… 2 years and counting http://blogs.oberlin.edu/about/ethos/show_us_your_enthusiasm.shtml http://blogs.oberlin.edu/about/ethos/obieager_video_contest.shtml After the great success of our contest, we served as inspiration for the MiddLove video contest. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL876EDC35FC232B47
  • Start listening. Start talking. Start inspiring.
  • Social Media To Enhance Enrollment Management - Academic Impressions, March 2013

    1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR HIGHEREDUCATION: BEYOND THE BASICS #AIsmcFORT WORTH, TX | MARCH 25-27, 2013 1
    2. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENHANCE ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENTMa’ayan PlautSocial Media Coordinator | Oberlin College@plautmaayanTuesday, March 26, 201310:45am – 12:00pm 2
    3. 3. LEARNING OUTCOMEAfter participating……you will understand how to develop a strategy for improvingadmissions results and identify techniques for staying engagedwith your applicants throughout the admissions cycle. 3
    4. 4. WHO ME?WHY ME? 4
    5. 5. WHO ME?WHY ME? 5
    6. 6. WHO ME?WHY ME? • Manage top tier pages on third-party sites • Manage home-grown social projects • Strategist, consultant, cheerleader! • Best face forward 6
    7. 7. AGENDA • Enrollment Management use of social media • Applicant use of social media • Social Messaging • Page Strategies • Social Community 7
    8. 8. #AIsmcEnrollment Management use of socialmedia 8
    9. 9. PERSPECTIVES:YOURS ANDTHEIRS Institutional perspective: •Prospective student •Waiting for admissions decision •Admissions decision, then student decision •“AH! I can’t wait!”//prospective student 9
    10. 10. PERSPECTIVES:YOURS ANDTHEIRS Applicant perspective: •Hopeful student? •Student! 10
    11. 11. PERSPECTIVES:YOURS ANDTHEIRSWe’re meeting students on their turf,plan content and communicationaccordingly.Find where social media fits into theircycle first, then yours. 11
    12. 12. INCREASINGAPPLICATIONS Facebook •Official Page(s) •“Hopefuls” Page •Class of … Communities 12
    13. 13. INCREASINGAPPLICATIONS Twitter •Dedicated admissions account •Dedicated hashtag •Correspondence from main account 13
    14. 14. IMPROVINGYIELD Pages vs. Groups: The Great Debate 14
    15. 15. BUILDING Hashtag success: #UF17COMMUNITY 15
    16. 16. SOCIAL MESSAGING Tumblr •Age demographics skew younger •Imagery is golden •“Ask” box 16
    17. 17. #AIsmcApplicant Use of social media 17
    18. 18. APPLICANT USE OFSOCIAL MEDIA •Monitor everywhere. •Contributions are not necessary everywhere. •Where and what is worth your time? 18
    19. 19. PROSPECTS Inigral/Zinch 2012 Social Admissions Report • 67% surveyed think colleges should have social media presences • 68% have researched colleges on social media • 38% used social media as a resource to decide on enrollment 19
    20. 20. PROSPECTS Inigral/Zinch 2012 Social Admissions Report • 58% have researched on Facebook • 41% have researched on Youtube • 18% have researched on Twitter • 6% have researched on Pinterest 20
    21. 21. PROSPECTS Noel/Levitz 2012 E-Expectations Report • 46% of students have visited a college’s Facebook page • 69% of those students liked a college’s page 21
    22. 22. PROSPECTS Noel/Levitz 2012 E-Expectations Report • Deadlines & events • Interacting w/page (36%) admin (26%) • Academic programs • Contact re: admission (34%) (26%) • Newsfeed updates • Photos & video (25%) (30%) • Interaction w/other • Visible “like” (30%) likers (21%) • Exclusive information • Posts to share (20%) (26%) 22
    23. 23. INQUIRIES UChicago Admissions 23
    24. 24. APPLICANTS Ithaca College: #accepted 24
    25. 25. ADMITS 25
    26. 26. #AIsmcSocial messaging 26
    27. 27. TRACKABLECONVERSION Social media doesn’t necessarily make conversions, it echoes or reinforces decisions one is already feeling. 27
    28. 28. TRACKABLECONVERSION 28
    29. 29. SOCIAL MESSAGING 29
    30. 30. TRACKABLECONVERSION “Rockstar” Status 30
    31. 31. DISCUSSION LEARNING OUTCOME1. What are you doing to track conversions?2. Is it working?3. Is it part of your overall EM strategy? 31
    32. 32. #AIsmcPage strategies 32
    33. 33. PAGESTRATEGIES Anonymous Sites •College Confidential •College Prowler •Unigo 33
    34. 34. PAGE STRATEGIES 34
    35. 35. PAGE STRATEGIES 35
    36. 36. PAGE STRATEGIESA good social media strategy isonly as good as the rest of yourcommunications strategy. 36
    37. 37. PAGE STRATEGIESYou’re a guest in these spaces. 37
    38. 38. BUILDINGCOMMUNITYAn audience wants and needsdifferent things at different times. 38
    39. 39. PAGE STRATEGIESClarify and clearly state youradmissions office’s stance onusing social media to connectwith students. 39
    40. 40. PAGE STRATEGIESOpen the windows, let theworld peek in. 40
    41. 41. PAGE STRATEGIES Be. A. Human. 41
    42. 42. #AIsmcSocial community 42
    43. 43. SOCIALCOMMUNITYWhat does the trajectory of anaccepted student community look like? 43
    44. 44. SOCIALCOMMUNITY 44
    45. 45. SOCIALCOMMUNITYGet more helpful voices involved. 45
    46. 46. SOCIALCOMMUNITY 46
    47. 47. SOCIALCOMMUNITYThe Squirrel Brigade is here to excite people; tobe an easily accessible resource for informationand directors for "the next step" in theinformation-gathering process; to connectstudents with each other, on and offline; and tobe a megaphone for the campus community. 47
    48. 48. SOCIAL COMMUNITY 48
    49. 49. SOCIAL COMMUNITY 49
    50. 50. TAKEAWAYS LEARNING OUTCOMESocial: It’s not just youIt’s where you fit in with your audience and respond,provide, and inspire accordingly. 50
    51. 51. QUESTIONS LEARNING OUTCOMEMa’ayan Plaut• @plautmaayan• maayan.plaut@oberlin.edu• http://about.me/maayanplaut 51

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