Social Business
A Solution for International
Student Recruitment
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	 www.ahaingroup.com
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Table of Contents
Executive Summ...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
1	 http://socialcommercetoday.com/social-web-social-c...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
2	 http://socialcommercetoday.com/social-web-social-c...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
5	 http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2006/02/f...
Marketplace
Prospects
Shareholders
Customers
Communicate  Engage
Share knowledge 
capture collecive intelligence
Stimulate...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
6	 http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2006/02/f...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
7	 http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/lat...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	 www.ahaingroup.com
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Facebook’s pervasive popularity ...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
8	 http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesandresearch/socia...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
9	 http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2011...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
11	 Ref: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/20/tech/socia...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
13	 http://www.slideshare.net/Greg_Long/international...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
14	 http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesandresearch/soci...
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	 • Colleges and universities a...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
15	 http://onlinephd.org/facebook-university/
16	 htt...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	
17	 http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/colleges-faceboo...
Irish Colleges  Social Media
Having determined how colleges in the USA use SBM, we studied how Irish colleges and third le...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	 www.ahaingroup.com
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Institutes of Technology
Instit...
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Facebook (based on number of ‘l...
Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 	 www.ahaingroup.com
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Conclusion
The Social Business ...
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Appendix A
Analysis of Social M...
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	 LinkedIn		There is no Follow ...
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	 LinkedIn		Company Page – 1,10...
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7. NUI Galway
	The website - ww...
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University Leader Boards (Study...
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Tables of Social Media Statisti...
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University /
College /
Institut...
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University /
College /
Institut...
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University /
College /
Institut...
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University /
College /
Institute
L...
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International student recruitment, social business, digital economy report

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A new Ahain Group Report just released uncovers potential benefits that could accrue to the Higher Education sector in Ireland from deployment of appropriate Social Business strategies.

An Education Ireland 2009/10 report showed that enrolling an International Student in Ireland generates, on average, over €16k a year in fees and living expenses. The Ahain Group Report contains an analysis of deployment techniques of social business strategies which have proven to be very successful for international student recruitment by a number of North American Colleges. It offers recommendations on how deployment of similar strategies could benefit the Irish Higher Education sector.

“The Report highlights the speed at which change is taking place in the International Student Recruitment Sector due to use of cleverly-deployed social campaigns on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Traditional recruitment methods are already outdated, being replaced by the Social Business Model (SBM) which offers low cost, high value targeted methods of attracting International Students” explains John Twohig, Managing Partner at The Ahain Group.

The Report also highlights the fact that, increasing the current (26,000+) number of International students already attending courses in Ireland would assist Irish colleges. It would also lead to job creation, both inside and outside the Higher Education sector, as the Students contribute additional fees and living expenses whilst studying. “The fact is that the Institutions are suffering large cuts in their budgets from Government so increasing International Student Recruitment would bring much needed revenues to assist in protecting the quality of education given by our Institutions” Twohig added.

Enterprise Ireland’s Lucia Reynolds, Brand Manager of Education Ireland, says “This report contains the information needed by the Irish Institutions, to understand the changing International Student Recruitment Model and we are delighted to circulate this report to all our Education Partners.”

For more information, contact The Ahain Group:

Email: info@ahaingroup.com

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International student recruitment, social business, digital economy report

  1. 1. Social Business A Solution for International Student Recruitment
  2. 2. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 2 Table of Contents Executive Summary........................................................................................................................................................................3 Context............................................................................................................................................................................................4 Social Business in the Education sector.......................................................................................................................................5 Social Business Model...................................................................................................................................................................6 Social Media...................................................................................................................................................................................7 SBM to Attract International Students..........................................................................................................................................8 The target audience - Digital Natives............................................................................................................................................9 SBM in the Education Sector – the USA leads the way................................................................................................................10 The Oregon State University & Fairleigh Dickinson University story...........................................................................................11 Stanford University.........................................................................................................................................................................12 University of South Florida.............................................................................................................................................................12 Centennial College, Toronto, Canada............................................................................................................................................13 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.......................................................................................................................................14 Other Findings from the USA.........................................................................................................................................................16 Irish Colleges & Social Media........................................................................................................................................................18 Conclusion......................................................................................................................................................................................21 Appendix A......................................................................................................................................................................................22
  3. 3. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 1 http://socialcommercetoday.com/social-web-social-commerce-stats-from-econsultancy/ www.ahaingroup.com 3 Executive Summary The growth of Social Media Business over the last five years has been unprecedented. Today, acceptance of on-line peer-to-peer recommendations runs as high as 90%1 where people know each other, and at over 70% where they don’t. The Ahain Group carried out an analysis of how deployment of Social Business strategies by Higher Education institutions is leading the way in International Student Recruitment and identified the “Best of Breed” examples. This is a research excerpt from our comprehensive Social Business Strategy for Higher Education. In this Paper, we suggest ways in which this phenomenon can be harnessed to help to bring many more international students to our well-respected Higher Education system in Ireland. This Paper - • Outlines the potential for deployment of Social Business in support of achievement of business objectives • Offers insight into some of the very successful Social Business deployments in Higher Education in the USA • Provides comment on Ireland’s Higher Education sector, outlining the context within which Social Business could be adopted to advantage by the sector. This paper suggests ways to harness Social Media to bring many more international students to our Higher Education system in Ireland.
  4. 4. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 2 http://socialcommercetoday.com/social-web-social-commerce-stats-from-econsultancy/ 3 http://www.ucd.ie/bursar/downloads/financial_statements/UCD%202010%20financial%20statements.pdf 4 Education Ireland; international students in higher education in Ireland 2009/10 www.ahaingroup.com 4 Current Situation In common with all sectors in these recessionary times, the Third Level Education sector in Ireland is under financial pressure. Budgets are decreasing year on year – leading to reductions in staffing and cutting of courses, compared with previous years. Faced with 19.9% reductions in Government Grants2 , new revenue sources become essential to maintain income levels. Any further grant reductions will further exacerbate this situation. Increases in the standard college registration fees help to offset some of the reductions but cannot address the total deficit. A key potential source of revenue which could be targeted is the international student market, particularly those students outside the EU who pay higher fees than EU-based students. According to Education Ireland Report 2009/103 there were 25,871 foreign students in Ireland that year and their contribution in fees and living expenses came to the following figures: Fees €192 million Cost of living expenses €236 million Total €428 million Total per student averages €16,543 It is easy to see that any increases in the numbers of these international student figures would increase the financial benefits to the sector and to the local economies. Course reductions could be reversed, and the pupil-to-lecturer ratios addressed and the general services sectors would see additional jobs - for every 100 increase in students in Ireland, 8 jobs are created in the wider local economy4 . This Paper sets out recommendations on how this international community of potential students could be addressed to advantage by Irish Third Level colleges, using Social Media methodologies. A key potential source of revenue which could be targeted is the international student market.
  5. 5. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 5 http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2006/02/forrsters_socia.html www.ahaingroup.com 5 Social Business in the Education sector The efficacy of the broadcast marketing model that has operated since Newspapers, Radio and TV started advertising, is rapidly diminishing. Broadcasting a marketing message to the public is no longer an effective marketing strategy. The 15-35 age group – the primary target market group for Higher Education, is not even watching TV - viewing programmes on the Internet, instead. And those who do watch TV, use PVR technology such as Sky+ and TIVO to record desired programmes, to be watched at the viewer’s convenience and allowing the viewer to fast forward past ad breaks. The new model for marketing is one based on construction of a dynamic interactive community, on-line, using Social Media platforms. Social Media offers business huge opportunities to engage with potential target audiences. In 2006 Forrester5 , defined Social Media as “a social structure in which technology puts power in communities, not institutions.” ‘Social Media’ as a term is, in itself, too limiting; it fails to acknowledge all the developments in the technologies and the dramatic rate at which they are embraced by billions of people interacting on-line, every day. It particularly fails to give due acknowledgement to the enormous and ever-growing volume of business transacted on-line, utilising the social platforms. Thus, a new model and term has emerged – the ‘Social Business Model’ or SBM. The new model for marketing is one based on Social Media platforms.
  6. 6. Marketplace Prospects Shareholders Customers Communicate Engage Share knowledge capture collecive intelligence Stimulate interest participation Drive business improvements Company Facts Filings Discussions Extended Enterprise Professional IR services Enhanced networking Social Business Model (SBM) The term SBM describes a social business strategy that includes: • authenticity, values and transparency • dynamic content and storytelling • internal and external collaboration between people • harnessing of all on-line technology, platforms and all mobile developments A SBM formula will look like: People (Prospects, Employees ) Online x Intrinsic Motivation + Multi-Directional Expressive Capability = (Advocates Evangelists) = Engaged Social Communities Social Business From this, it can be seen that people - and not technology - are the core driver of any SMB strategy. ‘Business is 75% people and 25% other stuff’ said Jack Welsh, the retired chairman of GE. In today’s on-line world, the ratio is more like 90% about people and 10% other stuff. The desired outcome of a SBM strategy is communication of business by ‘word of mouth’ - people expressing themselves on-line, demonstrating their Mutli-Directional Expressive Capability (MDEC) on-line, with no international boundaries. This expressive capability is analogous to traditional conversation with a neighbour over the garden wall or in a pub or restaurant - same concept but on-line – ‘word of mouth’ marketing has gone on-line for the ‘Y Generation’ and its younger siblings, the ‘Digital Natives’. A business seeking to expand, can create and grow a supportive community which becomes the MDEC vehicle creating increased awareness of, and advocates for, the business; witness, for example, the extent to which Apple has succeeded in creating an enormous global community of advocating evangelists for the company and its products. The on-line community is the very essence of the Social Business Model and at the core of the on-line marketing strategy. A good SBM strategy leverages these on-line behaviours and, by introducing dynamic relevant content, that community becomes engaged with the business and adds content, resulting in an increase in the profile of the business. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 6
  7. 7. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 6 http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2006/02/forrsters_socia.html www.ahaingroup.com 7 Social Media The new model for marketing is based on building a dynamic interactive community on-line using Social Media platforms. Social Media offers business huge opportunities to engage with potential target audiences. In 2006 Forrester6 , defined Social Media as “a social structure in which technology puts power in communities, not institutions.” ‘Social Media’ as a term is in itself, far too limiting; it fails to acknowledge all the developments in the technologies and the dramatic rate at which they are embraced by billions of people interacting on-line every day. It particularly fails to give due acknowledgement to the enormous and ever-growing volume of business transacted on-line, utilising the social platforms. Thus, a new model and term has emerged – the ‘Social Business Model’ or SBM. The term SBM describes a social business strategy that includes: • authenticity, values and transparency • dynamic content and storytelling • internal and external collaboration between people • the harnessing of all online technology, platforms and all mobile developments The desired outcome of an SBM strategy is communication of business by ‘word of mouth’ but on-line, because on-line has no international boundaries; people expressing themselves on-line, demonstrating their Multi-Directional Expressive Capability (MDEC). This expressive capability is analogous to traditional conversation in a restaurant, pub or over the garden wall with our neighbour - same concept but on-line. ‘Word of mouth’ marketing has gone on-line for the Y generation and (in larger numbers) for the X generation. A business seeking to expand, can create and grow a supportive community which becomes the MDEC vehicle creating increased awareness of, and advocates for, the business. Witness, for example, the extent to which Apple has succeeded in creating an enormous global community of advocating evangelists for the company and its products. The on-line community is the very essence of the Social Business Model and at the core of the on-line marketing strategy. A good SBM strategy leverages these on-line behaviours and by introducing dynamic, relevant content, that community becomes engaged with the business and adds content, resulting in an increase in the profile of the business.
  8. 8. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 7 http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a#subscribers www.ahaingroup.com 8 SBM to Attract International Students Today’s ‘Y Generation’ and its younger siblings, dubbed the ‘Digital Natives’, interact with comparatively complex Mobile and Social technology in everyday circumstances in an offhand, commonplace manner. These usage patterns are observed in the emerging middle classes worldwide. Extensive and complex levels of technology usage are a given for this age group with their homes typically having an array of high-end entertainment equipment. The majority of today’s young people have their own smartphone, MP3 player, digital TV and laptop. Broadband access at home is a fixture of teenage life. Mobile technology is experiencing an explosive rate of growth as the world’s 6bn7 mobile phones are becoming Smart phones - current figures available show Smart phone penetration at 1.2bn with the balance, 4.8bn, made up of ‘Dumb’ phones. In this context, the term ‘Dumb Phones’ means the phones do not have internet access. These will be replaced over the coming 2-3 years with smart phones, which will further enhance the mobile phone user’s ability to access both on-line and social platforms. The extent to which elaborate, skilled and inter-related use of technology is apparent among this age group is striking. Regular use of laptops while also watching digital TV is commonplace. When working on-line, several software programmes can be open and active. In addition - and despite the endless variety of the internet - daily usage seems to revolve around a core set of popular sites – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. In particular, these sites appear to prompt greater frequency of use with on-line social networking highly concentrated on Facebook. These Social sites are interdependent, with a common emphasis on interactivity and sharing. Usage often involves the creation of entertainment which is shared, in order to build and maintain small social communities. The majority of today’s young people have their own smartphone, MP3 player, digital TV, and laptop.
  9. 9. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 9 Facebook’s pervasive popularity is driven by a range of factors which culminate in this audience being able to interact with their peers in a controlled and expressive environment which is defiantly their own. The sense of ownership within Facebook is such that its users are sensitive and alert to protecting its clearly defined boundaries. Importance for students in Course selection Social platforms can play a vitally important role in helping young people select career paths and Third Level courses when the following are considered: • The need to make university and career choices can be highly taxing and a source of anxiety for students when combined with the pressures involved in completing the Secondary Level final exams. Such anxiety is compounded by the cultural emphasis given to this decision process with parents, schools, peers and the media all regularly asserting the importance of the choices involved. • These decisions can be perceived as first acts in an adult sphere and the students appear to be only partially helped in addressing these challenges by the assistance they receive in schools. • Career guidance in schools seems to be formalised and varied, yet students can feel intimidated by the number of choices required and the quantity of information available; and students typically believe the career choices made at this stage can significantly impact their lives. There is little suggestion of exploring and trying things, rather the emphasis is on selecting and committing. Yet only a very small percentage of students have a clear idea of what they might do as a career – the remainder preferring to try to ‘keep our options open’, albeit within a specified area. Set against this background, a good College-course website is one that delivers digestible pieces of relevant course/career information, quickly and easily.
  10. 10. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 8 http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesandresearch/socialmediaadoptionsoars/ www.ahaingroup.com 10 SBM in the Education Sector – the USA leads the way Progressive colleges in the USA, like Johns Hopkins, are reaching out to engage with their applicants on Facebook and Twitter, finding that a robust social media campaign, together with innovative features such as student-run blogs, can lure prospective students, while a stale on-line presence can turn them off. A recent study by the Centre for Marketing Research8 at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth found that: • 100% of universities surveyed use social media to communicate with students - this figure is up from 61% in 2007-08 • 98% of the responding colleges have a Facebook page and, • 84% have a Twitter account Social Media is now very important to students when analysing the merits of a college and location, allowing them to get a sense of what life is really like on campus. The colleges’ ‘consumer’ website - www.studentadviser.com - now provides a ranking system for U.S. colleges: • The list is compiled based on a formula that requires a college to have at least 500 Facebook ‘likes’ and a Twitter account, to be eligible for inclusion. • The college rankings also take into account factors such as enrolment size, hours between tweets and responses to posts. While Harvard University (where Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook as a student) regularly tops the list, anyone browsing the Top 100 list will notice that many of lesser known US colleges are ranking very well including such as: • The Ohio State University, • Louisiana State University • United States Military Academy at West Point. Yet other universities have gone far beyond just having a Facebook page: • The chairman of the math department at Berry College made a calculus music video with his students, who sing about derivatives in a YouTube video titled “The Derivative Rag.” • 6th-ranked University of Kentucky created a campaign around the school’s colours of blue and white. Its site, www.SeeBlue.com, includes videos from students and staff. It recently sent out tweets to some of its accepted students saying, “Congrats and welcome to our Big Blue family.” • Baylor University keeps its students updated on student affairs through its Student Activities Twitter account.
  11. 11. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 9 http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2011/09/oregon_universities_open_today.html 10 http://www.facebook.com/groups/273911856030134/#!/fduglobal www.ahaingroup.com 11 • And the admissions office of George Washington University has a Twitter account that messages applicants about interview weekends and decision dates. These initiatives are successful because students expect to have them available; experience shows however that a) it is not good enough to simply be on Facebook, prospective students will make a judgment if it is not current and responsive online and b) students expect to able to have a one-to-one connection, speak directly to the college and get interesting information that they never knew before. During conduct of our research for this Paper, we collected a number of Case Studies and observations on successful SBM strategies and deployments, some of which are set out hereunder. Oregon State University Fairleigh Dickinson University By updating its website and developing and implementing an on-line Social Media strategy, Oregon State University9 (OSU) has achieved 45% growth in international student enrolments over the last four years. OSU, just like Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) and many other colleges, believe in peer-to-peer marketing and use student leaders to respond to prospective student enquiries via their social media channels. Using effective strategies and tactics on-line, both OSU and FDU have achieved great results, some tactical highlights of which include: • Sharable content on their websites and Facebook pages (FDU10 opened a specific Facebook page for international students, streamlining the enrolment process) • OSU has 104,265 Facebook ‘likes’ because the content is timely, relevant and authentic • OSU has International Student Orientation Leadership and Mentor programmes, all carried out by student leaders • Both colleges promote Virtual Events, which show – not tell - all about the university and its community, a major distinction on-line • OSU conducts live video chats between prospective students and advisors These are excellent examples of some tactics that a good on-line strategy can employ, easily and cost- effectively. The in- corporation of the student body into the strategy reduces costs and also gives the students valuable experience in leadership and on-line community management. A particularly important signal given to prospective students is that the sense of community is strong, that the students are cared for and cherished by the university and that it is interested in helping them to integrate quickly and with the minimum of fuss.
  12. 12. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 11 Ref: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/20/tech/social-media/universities-social-media/index.html 12 http://www.slideshare.net/VisualAlliance/social-media-for-colleges-and-universities-digital-help-desk-case-study-by-visual-alliance-media www.ahaingroup.com 12 Stanford University Stanford University11 set up a Facebook page in 2009 and currently has 357,388 ‘likes’. The page is managed by Stanford University Office of Public Affairs, whose mission is to enhance and protect Stanford’s reputation. “In order to measure the effectiveness of our social media efforts against our core objectives, we administer annual surveys to our Twitter and Facebook followers. In these surveys, we ask the same questions that we use in our off-line reputational research. For example, our Facebook postings have done ‘a great deal’ or a ‘fair bit’ to enhance and reaffirm beliefs that Stanford is producing innovative research and important discoveries.” The survey information shows that the Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter followers include significant proportions of prospective students, current students, and alumni; i.e. the University is reaching audiences that it cares about. Within specific audience segments, it found that it is “moving the needle” on audience objectives: • Over 80% of Stanford students indicated that Facebook postings have significantly “enhanced or reaffirmed a sense that Stanford values its students and alumni” • Social media drove 26% of remote alumni to get in touch with Stanford professors • Stanford turned over authorship of the University’s Facebook posts to a student team in September 2010 and found that the number of new ‘likes’ each day doubled as a result • Similarly click-throughs on tweets also doubled as a result of the change It introduced a series of “Open Office Hours” on Facebook, during which anyone can direct questions to, and receive video responses from, faculty. Interviews published by “The Stanford Daily” indicate that under-graduates feel more likely to attend in person during actual office hours after having participated in Open Office Hours. University of South Florida In a recent Visual Alliance12 case study of the University of South Florida they explained their USF InformaBull Facebook page was a type of “Student Concierge” to ensure students were able to find university-related information in one central- ised place. Kevin Banks is the Assistant Vice President and Dean for Students at the University of South Florida; he explained “As the Student Success Council sought to improve USF students’ experience on campus, we realized a real-time service to provide students with fast and accurate answers to their USF questions would be very helpful. Facebook was a natural fit to making this work – it is accessible to virtually everyone, has the features we needed, and there is no learning curve because students already use the site extensively.”
  13. 13. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 13 http://www.slideshare.net/Greg_Long/international-education-strategic-planning-meeting-2011-social-and-digital-media www.ahaingroup.com 13 The goals of the Facebook page were:- • Eliminate the shuffling of students among departments • Leverage existing customer service resources • Educate students about available University resources • Provide faster open and constructive interaction and engagement • Analyse metrics regularly and adjust approach as appropriate Initial outcomes showed that all stated goals were met. Over 1,700 students connected with the page in the first 30 days. Also, in the first 30 days the page achieved over 2,300 monthly active users and 32,000 post views. In June 2012 the University’s Facebook page has 79,449 ‘likes’ but only 3% are talking about it despite the page being updated regularly. With just over 47,000 students, a greater level of activity would be expected. Centennial College, Toronto A market analysis was conducted by Centennial College13 over a sample two-month period in June/July 2011, of interna- tional students who had not yet accepted an offer and paid tuition. It showed that 85% of what students were searching for and talking about on-line had nothing to do with the college programmes or reputation of the school. Five key elements dominated the decision process of international students: • Permits – are Visa’s available? • Fitting In – are they nice to strangers? Are there other students like me? • Financial – Scholarships / Loans / Expenses • Job Opportunities – most students need to work to supplement their grants • Programs and reputation of the School Students were using Social Media to research and plan their study abroad process before applying to, or being accepted by, the University. They used it to research the people at the college and connect with staff and students, before making their final decision. The key platforms they used are:- • The College’s website • Facebook
  14. 14. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 14 http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesandresearch/socialmediaadoptionsoars/ www.ahaingroup.com 14 • The College’s Week Live • StudyinCanada.com • Twitter • Email The University understood that future students’ initial main contact with the college, would be via the website. The website was updated and improved to include current information and all Social Media links and updates. To establish the Facebook interaction, the University created a community which grew to 1,400 fans by September 2011. It provided the content that the international students were searching for – e.g. information on next steps in their application, decision, admission, payment, Visas, orientation, registration and enrolment processes. In June 2012 it had 13,650 ‘likes’ on the Facebook page and the college encourages students to get involved with blogs and to participate on the page, discussing courses and study programs. Although the page is very busy and updated regularly, there are less than 2% of people talking about the page. In June 2012 it had 2,714 Twitter followers. The Twitter account is far less interactive than the Facebook page, offering infor- mation and little engagement. The University also has a YouTube page with only 359 subscribers but 413,029 video views (as of June 2012). University of Massachusetts (UMass), Dartmouth According to recent studies by Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D. and Ava M. Lescault, MBA of University of Massachusetts Dart- mouth14 they found that ‘Y Generation’ (aka ‘Millennials’), the generation born after 1980, have Facebook profiles and a Twitter presence and are less likely to have land-line phones. The competition for these students is fierce and success ulti- mately depends on engaging them through the use of social media and new communications tools. Over the past four years the Center for Marketing Research at UMass, Dartmouth has conducted statistically-significant studies on the usage of social media by US colleges and universities, providing a longitudinal look at the adoption of social media by these institu- tions.. The study explored the fundamental question – “How does a college or university recruit in this new, highly networked, constantly ‘on’ world?” A proportional sample of schools in all 50 States are included, with public (28%) and private (72%) institutions, ranging in size from 4,000 to over 54,000 undergraduates. Tuition (without fees) ranged from $1,700 to over $53,000. The findings pre- sented from the 2010-2011 study are based on 456 interviews and are valid within the range of +/- 4%.
  15. 15. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 15 • Colleges and universities are using social media, especially social networking sites, not only to recruit but to research prospective students. • Usage of at least one form of Social Media by College Admissions Offices 2007/2008 - 61% 2008/2009 - 85% 2009/2010 - 95% 2010/2011 - 100% • Social Media Sites Usage 2010/2011 2009/2010 Facebook 98% 87% Twitter 84% 59% Blog 66% 51% Podcasting 41% 22% LinkedIn 16% 47% Youtube 86% n/a FourSquare 20% n/a MySpace 8% 16% The adoption of social media by colleges and universities is being driven by recognition of the increasingly important role of social media in today’s world. Social media policies are now seen as important elements as an institution develops its social media strategy. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogging and podcasting are becoming the tools of choice for institu- tions of higher education in the USA, they have all seen double-digit increases in adoption in the past year. Podcasting now highlights faculty, students, lecture series etc. to create the experience of being on campus. When asked how successful social media tools have been for their colleges, respondents have consistently enthused about their experience, especially about Facebook (95% success) and YouTube (92%). For every tool studied, a high degree of success is reported. The institutions interviewed reported using search engines and social networking sites to recruit students. Most reported interest in information about “the student’s activities or interests”, and in searching by geographical region, to target students for their college.
  16. 16. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 15 http://onlinephd.org/facebook-university/ 16 http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/20/tech/social-media/universities-social-media/index.html www.ahaingroup.com 16 Other Findings from the USA American colleges and universities are taking the lead in using social media as part of their marketing and recruiting plans. Some use search engines and social media sites to garner more information about perspective students. They evaluate the effectiveness of social media tools used and then decide which new tools to add. The goal is clearly to reach and engage those tech-savvy young people seeking to make initial decisions about a college, based on its on-line presence. According to research done by www.onlinephd.org15 “Facebook has changed the way college students do everything – how they make friends, date, share stories, and increasingly, get an education” Facebook was started by college students, so it makes sense that it continues to be used by college and university students and has become a way of life in higher education. Recent studies show that if Facebook is used correctly “you can engage with your school, your professors, and your studies in productive ways you never thought could actually enrich your college experience.” According to this research, 82% of American universities use Facebook to communicate with prospective students and Facebook is the most used social network of college faculty. In 2011 students visited Facebook 6 times a day and spent ap- proximately 100 minutes per day on this Social Network. OnlinePhd also suggests that some Facebook apps are beneficial to students, such as:- • “Admissionsplash” tells students their chances of being accepted to a school with an 85% success rate so far. • “Connect Fund” lets students know their financial aid options and enables them to discuss this with their friends. • “Schools App” helps students find their way around the new campus, making friends and sharing interests. • “Hoot.Me” brings the study group to the students ensuring collaboration and providing teachers with virtual office hours. In a recent article for CNN, Nora Barnes16 , Director of the Center for Marketing Research explains “students will make a judgement about the university if it is not current and responsive on-line”. She went on to say “Social media is past the fad phase, the numbers speak for themselves. Many students can’t afford to visit the campus, so they are depending on the podcasts and blogs to get answers.” The article mentions that students have gone to colleges based, not on information in old fashioned brochure material, but on what they have learnt on Social Media. Hearing what other students say, seeing how teachers and faculty staff interact with students and learning more about the community spirit of the colleges is what they see as important.
  17. 17. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment 17 http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/colleges-facebook-recruit-students/story?id=13256877page=2#.T-R9frWJeSo www.ahaingroup.com 17 In another article on ABC NEWS, Mallory Murray17 , Chief Officer of Marketing and Design at Northwest Missouri State University, said her university’s use of Facebook has been beneficial to students and administrators alike. “Students pay more attention to the Facebook messages we send out than our general emails,” she said. “They’re on it anyway, so it’s just convenient for them.” Murray said the university’s page is used to update students on all parts of the university, from housing application dead- lines to information about course registration. “We’re getting back to the roots of what Facebook is,” she said. “It’s a line of communication.”
  18. 18. Irish Colleges Social Media Having determined how colleges in the USA use SBM, we studied how Irish colleges and third level institutions fare. Our findings are summarised in the following tables: Universities University Likes Followers Views Other TCD 3,195 11,736 279,225 views 760 subscribers iTunes DIT 10,134 3,217 156,373 Views 175 subscribers LinkedIn 2,484 UCD 3,543 12,152 357,555 views 317 subscribers LinkedIn 3,889 followers DCU 15,329 3,804 LinkedIn 2,923 followers N.U.I Maynooth 800 715 3,173 views 7 subscribers LinkedIn 1,105 Followers UCC 5,539 6,175 121,871 views 193 Subscribers LinkedIn 3,419 Followers University Limerick 7,076 1,128 182,353 views 253 Subscribers LinkedIn 2,347 Followers NUI Galway 8,639 10,378 70,891 views 65 Subscribers LinkedIn 2,553 Followers Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 18
  19. 19. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 19 Institutes of Technology Institute of Technology Likes Followers Views Other Athlone Institute of Technology 3,678 853 33,069 views 30 subscribers Blanchardstown I T 1,330 338 Followers 1,564 views 7 subscribers Carlow Institute of Technology 6,059 972 12,574 views 44 subscribers Linkedin Page 481 Followers Cork Institute of Technology 6,693 1,537 50,519 views 106 subscribers Presence on iTunes, Google Plus and LinkedIn Dundalk Institute of Technology 450 112 1,178 views 1 subscribers Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology 247 0 3,033 views 10 subscribers Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1,678 396 Limerick Institute of Technology 524 143 1,161 views 0 subscribers Sligo Institute of Technology 7,844 1,018 Tallaght Institute of Technology 3,341 642 Tralee Institute of Technology 749 458 1,507 views 7 subscribers Waterford Institute of Technology 6,705 577 8,221 views 36 subscribers LinkedIn 437 followers
  20. 20. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 20 Facebook (based on number of ‘likes’) 1. DCU - 15,329 2. NUI Galway - 8,639 3. UL - 7,076 4. UCC - 5,539 5. UCD - 3,543 6. Trinity College Dublin - 3,259 7. Queens Univ. Belfast - 3,064 8. NUI Maynooth - 1,139 9. University of Ulster - 467 Twitter (based on number of follows) 1. UCD - 12,152 2. Trinity College Dublin - 11,937 3. NUI Galway - 10,378 4. University of Ulster - 6,926 5. UCC - 6,175 6. Queens Univ. Belfast - 5,021 7. DCU - 3,804 8. UL - 1,128 9. NUI Maynooth - 715
  21. 21. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 21 Conclusion The Social Business Model works - many global corporates such as Coca-Cola, IBM, Oracle and the Ford Motor Company have already demonstrated tremendous successes achieved by deploying carefully-crafted SBM strategies. Higher Education institutions in the USA that have embraced SBM are achieving efficiencies in all areas of day-to-day man- agement, not just those relating to international students. It is interesting that it is the smaller colleges that are developing some of the more creative on-line ideas to help them survive in an increasingly competitive market place. Some Irish institutions, however, do not have any Social Media presence whatever. This is inappropriate in today’s education environment - yet it would be equally inappropriate to subscribe to the various platforms, simply for the sake of it, today’s students and prospective students expect more. Social Media has changed the way college students do everything – how they make friends, date, share stories, and increasingly, get an education. Definition and Implementation of a coherent and well-defined SBM strategy is essential if any SBM strategy is to be of use and to be successful. Irish third level institutions will have to adopt and deploy SBM going forward, both for day-to-day manage-ment of com- munications and affairs and, particularly, to attract international students to Ireland. Moving away from family and country is a huge step for these young people, but this move can be made much easier if they are comfortable in the knowledge that their needs are going to be met. It is evident that this information is best coming from the students’ peers - students already in Ireland and enjoying their experience - and not from the colleges themselves. This is consistent with the SBM - people are happier dealing with people and not companies or organisations – on-line communities give them that ability, like no other technology in the past. The Irish Higher Education sector can be amongst the top in the world for attracting international students. The technology, staff and student populations are already in place; the budgets required for implementation of clever and effective SBM strate- gies are small, with excellent, identifiable and measurable returns on investment possible.
  22. 22. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 22 Appendix A Analysis of Social Media Deployment by Irish Institutions (Figures correct July 2012) Universities 1. TCD Trinity’s use of social media is excellent with active communities on:” Facebook 3,195 Likes Twitter 11,736 Followers YouTube an excellent YouTube channel with 242 videos/279,225 views Students are also able to download lectures and course content via iTunes and from the site. Their blog/news section could include more content from students and is missing social share buttons. 2.UCD www.ucd.ie - there are buttons to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube on their home page. Facebook www.facebook.com/ucdlife 3,543 Likes 65 People talking about the page (less than 2% – seems a small number for such a large Univer- sity). The page has regular content (daily). They use photos and video regularly. However their content is very statement oriented rather than conversational, so there is very little engagement on the page. There is no international feel to the page so it is unlikely to attract foreign students. There are other spin off accounts. Some incorrectly set up as Personal Profiles. Twitter @ucddublin 969 Tweets 186 Following 12,152 Followers They use this account to tweet daily - usually to broadcast info on events or news. However they are not using Twitter to chat/engage/interact with their followers. They tend only to RT tweets from other UCD Twitter accounts. Video There is a lot of potential in UCD’s video website – www.ucdlife.ie. However the site lacks a facility for visitors to leave comments and share content. YouTube www.youtube.com/myUCD Subscribers – 315 357,555 video views since August 2008. They upload regular content, but it tends to be quite dull. This may explain the fact that their videos lack comments.
  23. 23. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 23 LinkedIn There is no Follow on LinkedIn button on the UCD website. The “Company Page” on LinkedIn has 3,889 followers. However the college is not engaging with those followers as they are not updating their status. Groups - UCD Alumni has 6,607 members. 3. DCU www.dcu.ie No LinkedIn or YouTube button or link on their home page. The Facebook button on the page does not work (it directs to Facebook’s home page, not their business page). Facebook www.facebook.com/dcu 15,329 likes (234 talking about) - Less than 2% The page is not regularly updated and lacks a sense of dialogue. Very few comments from fans. There is a nice “Re-invent Yourself” tab on the page. Twitter @DublinCityUni 586 Tweets 123 – Following 3,804 – Followers No Regular Tweets and rarely more than one in a day. Tweets are about pushing out information rather than interesting dialogue. YouTube www.youtube.com/dcumps This channel is focused on the Media production courses. There does not appear to be a main channel for DCU. LinkedIn “Company” LinkedIn Page – 2,923 followers. No status updates or services listed, so the page offers no value to a follower. Groups – Dublin City University Alumni, 5,822 members. – DCU Education, 109 members. 4. N.U.I Maynooth No mention or portal to any social media account on their website. Facebook www.facebook.com/GoNUIMaynooth - 800 Likes – 2 people talking about (well under 1%) A dormant page - no updates in over a month. www.facebook.com/International.NUIM - 1,139 Likes – 35 people talking about (just over 3%) Daily content. 2-3 likes on average per update. Very few comments. Again like most of the pages = we are seeing, the page lacks conversation. Twitter @gonuim Only 715 followers, 60 Tweets and no activity in over 2 months. YouTube www.youtube.com/InternationalNUIM Only 7 subscribers and 3,173 video views. The page has no engagement and the latest video is a year old.
  24. 24. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 24 LinkedIn Company Page – 1,105 Followers. This page offers no updates or info on “Services”. So there is no valuable content for a “Follower” to see. Groups – NUI Maynooth Alumni – 1,144 Members. 5. UCC www.ucc.ie Website has Social Media Buttons at the bottom right hand corner. It even has a LinkedIn button. However that leads to the UCC Alumni Group rather than the Company page. Facebook www.facebook.com/universitycollegecork 5,539 Likes - 116 talking about (just over 2%) The page has an “old school” feel about it. Looks dull and may not appeal to a young student. No daily page update and can be sporadic with postings - usually a post every couple of days. There is no dialogue or engagement on the page. It lacks any sort of “Fun Factor”. No International feel so unlikely to appeal to prospective foreign students. Twitter @UCC_Ireland 363 Tweets 40 Following 6,175 Followers The Facebook account is linked with Twitter, so tweets are in fact the Facebook status updates. So they are not tweeting nearly enough. No conversational tweets. YouTube http://www.youtube.com/uccireland 193 Subscribers 121,871 video views since June 2010 Regular content (weekly). However content can be quite random, irrelevant to students. Page to do with more likes and comments. LinkedIn Company Page – 3,419 Followers. Like the other universities there is no engagement and have not enabled the ability to send status updates. Group – Science Alumni Group – 3,419 6. University of Limerick Links on the website to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook www.facebook.com/universityoflimerick 7,076 Likes – 166 talking about (just under 2.5%) Great TimeLine Cover. Post daily with an average of 2 likes per post. Again like other Universities, updates do not encourage dialogue. An effort to appeal to International Students is made, however. Twitter @ULPressOffice 378 Tweets 234 Following 1,128 Followers Currently tweet 1-2 times a day. Use Twitter to broadcast rather than engage. YouTube www.youtube.com/universityoflimerick 253 Subscriptions, 182,353 Video views since May 2009. Lots of regular content. However, not very dynamic content. The account lacks interaction (comments and likes). LinkedIn Company Page – 2,347 Followers. No updates or services enabled on the page. LinkedIn Groups – 5,649 members of the UL Alumni Group.
  25. 25. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 25 7. NUI Galway The website - www.nuigalway.ie - lacks a social media presence. Only very small Social Media buttons at the bottom left of the home page. LinkedIn button not working. Facebook www.facebook.com/nuigalway 8,639 likes – 145 people talking about (less than 2%) Post on their Facebook page every 2-3 days and can be sporadic. Posts lack engagement and rarely generate comments. Average posts get 3-4 likes. That said, photos have been used to good effect at times. Twitter @nuigalway 1,595 Tweets Following – 14 Followers – 10,378 Tweet 2-3 times daily. Mostly information based tweets. Very little interaction which is a missed opportunity with over 10,000 followers. YouTube http://www.youtube.com/thinkingaboutnuig 65 Subscribers 70,891 views since May 2010. The channel does not supply regular content. 2 videos in the last month and prior to that no video uploaded in the last 10 months. The videos have lacked comments. However the video on student life two years ago generated some engagement and got over 27,000 views. LinkedIn Company Page – 2,553 Followers. No services or updates added. Groups – NUI Galway Law Alumni – 569 Members NUI Galway Business Society – 391 Members
  26. 26. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 26 University Leader Boards (Study – May 18th 2012) Facebook (based on number of ‘likes’) DCU – 15,329 DIT – 10,134 NUI Galway – 8,639 UL – 7,076 UCC – 5,539 UCD – 3,543 Trinity College – 3,259 Queens, Belfast – 3,064 NUI Maynooth – 1,139 University Ulster – 467 Twitter (based on number of follows) UCD – 12, 152 Trinity College – 11,937 NUI Galway – 10,378 University Ulster – 6,926 UCC – 6,175 Queens – 5,021 DCU – 3,804 DIT – 3,217 UL – 1,128 NUI Maynooth – 715
  27. 27. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 27 Tables of Social Media Statistics of Third Level Education Sectors in Ireland [Figures correct July 2012] University / College / Institute Likes Followers Views Other DCU 15,623 4,108 9,841 / 44 3,033 TCD 13,861 12,799 279,224 / 760 4,591 DIT 10,134 3,217 156,373 / 175 2,484 NUI Galway 8,768 11,109 77,413 / 74 2,665 Institute of Technology, Sligo 7,923 1,113 0 521 University Limerick 7,346 1,286 190,914 / 259 2,510 Waterford Inst. of Technology 6,998 642 11,099 / 38 518 Cork Institute of Technology 6,873 1,646 56,416 / 109 3,568 Institute of Technology Carlow 6,158 1,065 13,872 / 46 522 Royal College of Surgeons 6,006 0 0 0 UCC 5,954 6,614 130,422 / 207 3,583 Dublin Business School 5,689 582 12,028 / 13 347 Shannon College of Hotel Management 4,073 24 0 22 National College of Ireland 3,919 2,392 191,459 / 109 789 UCD 3,627 12,890 406,134 / 334 4,078 Institute of Technology Tallaght (Dublin) 3,555 710 344 13
  28. 28. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 28 University / College / Institute Likes Followers Views Other Mary Immaculate College, Limerick 2,938 135 8,404 / 4 133 Athlone Institute of Technology 2,165 922 33,069 / 30 650 Limerick College of Further Ed 2,035 124 5,990 / 30 18 Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1,801 439 543 257 Griffith College Dublin 1,757 1,235 16,650 / 234 615 Hibernia College 1,629 132 14,718 / 7 151 Cavan Institute 1,557 398 0 0 Cork College of Commerce 1,556 46 5,471 / 3 0 Royal Irish Academy of Music 1,251 58 8,754 / 34 0 IBAT 1,070 202 14,529 / 22 67 National College of Art and Design 953 2,584 12,053 / 33 0 Blanchardstown IT 823 366 1,564 / 7 246 NUI Maynooth 818 794 3,613 / 8 1,151 Institute of Technology Tralee 777 492 1,637 / 7 239 Burren College of Art 683 189 1,809 / 8 0 Limerick Institute of Technology 641 204 1,078 / 8 2,510
  29. 29. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 29 University / College / Institute Likes Followers Views Other Dundalk Institute of Technology 558 135 699 / 1 574 Dunboyne College of Further Ed 490 54 0 0 LIT Tipperary 480 953 0 37 Liberties College 471 4 0 18 Newpark School of Music 468 0 1,749 / 6 0 Froebel College of Education 368 0 0 8 College of Further Education, Dundrum 346 0 0 0 Development Studies Centre, Kimmage 340 0 1,182 / 4 13 Galway – Mayo Insti- tute of Technology 336 0 3,033 / 10 882 St Angela’s College of Education, Sligo 285 112 0 0 Dun Laoghaire Inst of Art Design Technology 278 0 0 372 Mater Dei Institute of Education 259 77 1,161 / 3 0 All Hallows College 248 69 2,012 / 2 31 Griffith College Cork 219 0 16,549 / 23 0
  30. 30. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com 30 University / College / Institute Likes Followers Views Other Bray Instit. Of Further Education 195 10 1,009 0 N.U.I Maynooth 818 794 3,613 1,151 Irish Management Institute 182 175 1,516 / 8 438 St Nicholas Montessori 164 0 0 8 Monaghan Inst. Of Further Education 135 0 266 / 1 0 North Connaught College 89 0 0 0 SQT Training 63 138 0 0 Drogheda Institute of Further Ed 49 0 353 0 American College Dublin 38 104 1,944 / 1 0 Institute of Public Administration 35 0 0 0 Marino College of Further Education 31 0 0 0 Rathmines College of Further Ed 26 0 0 0 Moate Business College 23 23 0 0 Marino Institute of Education 10 30 463 34 National Institute of Bio-Processing Research Training 0 0 0 37
  31. 31. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com University / College / Institute Likes Followers Views Other Digital Skills Academy 0 0 0 0 St Patricks College of Education 0 0 0 0 The Church of Ireland College of Education 0 0 0 0 Central College Limerick 0 235 0 0 Adamstown Vocation College 0 0 0 0 Plunket College Accounting Technicians 0 0 0 0 Griffith College Limerick 0 0 0 31 Pontifical College Maynooth 0 0 0 32
  32. 32. Social Business - A Solution for International Student Recruitment www.ahaingroup.com Contact Us If you would like to talk further about this report or if you would like The Ahain Group to help you along this path please feel free to contact us. Email: info@ahaingroup.com Address: Unit B1 | Fota Point Enterprise Park| Carrigtwohill | Cork

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