Social Media Success in International Student Recruitment

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How to define success using social media in international student recruitment is a tricky question, and one that is increasingly getting asked. Where should you start? …

How to define success using social media in international student recruitment is a tricky question, and one that is increasingly getting asked. Where should you start?
What platforms do students prefer to use? Which ones are used for US college search information? What times are they on these platforms? What do they want to hear? How can EducationUSA help? These questions and more will be addressed in the course of this webinar geared toward international admissions professional at U.S. colleges and universities.

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  • 1. INTRODUCTIONS • Kevin Barta, Program Officer, EducationUSA Branch, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State • Marty Bennett, Outreach Coordinator, Global EducationUSA Services, Institute of International Education
  • 2. WHAT IS EDUCATIONUSA? • A U.S. Department of State supported network of hundreds of advising centers worldwide • Advisers work in U.S. embassies and consulates, Fulbright commissions, NGO’s, universities, etc.
  • 3. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE PERSPECTIVE •Rise of ‘digital diplomacy’ or ‘twiplomacy’ o Expand our public diplomacy ability by engaging directly with the public around the world. •All U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide are now on social media. •Over 1,000 State Department staff now engaged in social media activities. •Social media courses provided at Foreign Service Institute. •Over 30 Million+ followers on State Dept. social media platforms worldwide. •Also engaging with other governments around the world on social media.
  • 4. WHAT DO WE MEASURE? WHAT CONSTITUTES SUCCESS • Measuring success can be a difficult endeavor in public diplomacy in general. • Measuring for success: o Follows (followers, likes, etc. use to be one of the primary ways success was measured, but this does not go far enough). o Analyzing user engagement, click-throughs, sentiment, evaluate against previous numbers, etc.  Using tools such as Hootsuite, Mention, Topsy, Crowdbooster, etc. o Setting goals for platforms or special campaigns against benchmarks from previous programs, other accounts, etc.
  • 5. 12 MILLION+ CONTACTS IN 2013
  • 6. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA, MOBILE, DIGITAL DATA
  • 7. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA DATA
  • 8. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA DATA
  • 9. GLOBAL MOBILE DATA
  • 10. EDUCATIONUSA PRIMARY SOCIAL MEDIA
  • 11. EDUCATIONUSA SOCIAL MEDIA 2013
  • 12. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY 2013 • Began late May 2013 • Tracking students per country • 100+ nations responded • Assesses how, when, and on what devices students use social media including US college & university sites
  • 13. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY RESULTS
  • 14. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY RESULTS
  • 15. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY RESULTS
  • 16. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY RESULTS
  • 17. EDUCATIONUSA GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY: WHAT THE DATA SHOWS • Social media is key to student communications  Most have 2-3 accounts – 91% have Facebook • Students look primarily online for US college info  Over 70% use social media to find info about institutions • Greater majority interact directly with institutional social media  They want: to see aid available Ask questions/get answers • While PCs & laptops are still dominant way students access social media, mobile phones (increasingly smart phones) are used by nearly 50%
  • 18. GLOBAL SOCIAL MEDIA SURVEY TAKE-AWAYS • Know Where Your Students “Live” Online • Focus Your Attention Accordingly • Provide Opportunities to Interact • Engage in Conversations • Start Thinking Mobile • Time/Target Your Messages
  • 19. FACEBOOK • Images, quotes, photos most impactful videos • Largest single referral source of traffic to the EducationUSA site • Most active of all EducationUSA social media platforms • Early in 2014, the EducationUSA Facebook page broke the 100,000 barrier • https://www.facebook.com/lists/10100743331943828
  • 20. TWITTER • Event-driven/hashtag most successful • Mostly news, events, announcements, articles, images/photos • Scheduling/Timing of messaging is critical to engage audiences • https://twitter.com/EdUSAtips/educationusa/members
  • 21. YOUTUBE In 2013 video content was viewed on the EducationUSA YouTube channel nearly 64,000 times. • Testimonies from students currently studying in the U.S. • “How-to" advice from advisers • Playlists of 200+ U.S. college and university videos available on EducationUSA YouTube Channel • Most impactful university content – student-produced/oriented, simple, funny.
  • 22. BLOGS • Student-owned • Personal stories • Days in the life series • Topical issues
  • 23. VIRTUAL FAIRS 1. International Students Day (during International Education Week in November) EducationUSA partnered with CollegeWeekLive (CWL) • 2013 saw 68% increase, with 22,821 individual attendees • Students from 206 countries and territories interacted with 104 U.S. colleges • 55,000 interactions with U.S. institutions (up 25% from 2012) 2. CWL’s two other global International Students Days in February and August 3. 2 CWL virtual regional events for Asia and Latin America 4. Hobsons’ Virtual Student Fairs 5. Other players/vendors
  • 24. WEBINARS/PODCASTS 1. Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study Webinar Series  3 years running  Panelists of US higher ed reps  sign up with login access to EducationUSA site 2. Recorded webinars podcasted on iTunes  The 90+ podcasts available  Downloaded 25,000+ times in 2013  Viewed over 168,000 times in 2013 3. Individual centers webinars w/ US higher ed  In 2013, over 10,000 students attended EducationUSA webinars  Check out individual center’s needs for webinars in 2014
  • 25. WEEKLY UPDATE CONTENT 1. EducationUSA Weekly Update (WU) sent to over 500 EducationUSA advisers 2. In 2013, 274,000+ clicks-through on WU content 3. EducationUSA Weekly Updates PDFs posted to Slideshare each Monday = 38,000+ additional views of articles = top 1% most viewed on SlideShare in 2013 4. U.S. institutional reps with login access can submit content online to the WU, free
  • 26. NEXT STEPS • Log in to www.EducationUSA.state.gov • Sign-up to request a login, receive HEI News, send information to Weekly Update, sign up to present, and use resources on website. • Attend EducationUSA events: EducationUSA Fairs, Pavilions at APAIE and EAIE, Regional Forums, and Webinars. • EducationUSA Forum, Washington DC, June 23-25, 2014
  • 27. HOW TO REQUEST A LOGIN
  • 28. QUESTIONS? Thank you!