Leveraging Social Media to Recruit Chinese Student to Western Universities


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Around the globe, universities are facing funding pressures for their various programs and have moved to offset this by attracting full fee paying students, primarily from China. This presentation outlines the use of Social Media as a way to attract and acquire Chinese students.

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Leveraging Social Media to Recruit Chinese Student to Western Universities

  1. 1. A"rac&ng  Chinese   Students  Using   Social  Media   September,  2013      
  2. 2. China: A Recruitment Goldmine •  It’s  no  secret  that  China’s  economy  con9nues  to  expand,  at  more  than  7%  a  year  even  as   the  global  economy  wobbles  due  to  a  number  of  market  condi9ons.   •  The  Chinese  middle  class,  which  already  totals  over  300  million  people  according  to  CNN,   will  con9nue  to  expand  as  the  economy  con9nues  to  grow.   •  With  increased  wealth  and  purchasing  power,  many  Chinese  families  finally  have  the   means  accomplish  their  dreams  of  sending  their  children  abroad  to  study.    Recently,  an   overwhelming  85%  of  families  with  assets  over  $1  million  USD  said  they  want  to  send   their  children  abroad  to  study.   •  The  pres9ge  of  overseas  universi9es,  a  greater  emphasis  on  personal  development,  and   the  greater  amount  of  opportunity  available  abroad  for  students    who  may  not  score   highly  on  the  GaoKao  exam  are  all  reasons  why  parents  favor  overseas  educa9on.   •  With  academic  funding  being  reduced,  recrui9ng  overseas  students  who  will  pay  full   tui9on  fees  represents  an  viable  source  of  funding  for  universi9es  in  developed  markets.   •  In  addi9on  generally  solid  academic  backgrounds,  Chinese  students  also  bring  a  wealthy   of  diversity  and  experiences  to  campus  across  the  world,  adding  to  the  cultural  milieu   that  helps  to  graduate  well-­‐rounded  and  well-­‐grounded  students.  
  3. 3. Chinese Students Abroad, by the Numbers •  Between  1978  and  2011,  China  sent  2.25  million   students  abroad.    Between  2000  and  2010  the   number  of  Chinese  students  abroad  grew  by   28.2%  per  year.   •  Number  of  Chinese  students  abroad,  select   countries:   –  1.    United  States:  126,498   –  2.    Australia:  87,588     –  3.    Japan:  86,553     •  Experts  predict  a  30%  increase  in  the  enrollments   of  overseas  students  in  Australian  universi9es   from  2013  to  2020,  meaning  interna9onal   students  could  contribute  over  $20  billion  dollars   to  the  Australian  economy  in  the  future.     •  As  of  August  2013  Chinese  students  currently   make  up  40%  of  interna9onal  enrollments  in   Australia;  Malaysia  places  a  a  distant  second   highest  total  with  7.2%.     Sources:  Caixin  Online  English,  “China  Becomes  World's  Top  Source  of  Overseas  Students,”  UNESCO  Ins9tute  for  Sta9s9cs,  “  Global  Flow  of  Ter9ary-­‐Level  Students”  and    Study  Group,  ”Chinese  Student   Numbers  in  Australia  Go  from  Strength  to  Strength.”          
  4. 4. Understanding Social Media   •  Whether  communica9ng  ideas  to  friends,   consumers  or  internet  at  large,  social  media   enables  individuals  to  make  their  voices   heard  across  the  internet,  across  wireless   networks  and,  increasingly,  across  the   world.   •  Brands  and  companies  are  increasingly   using  social  media  to  become  a  source  of   trusted  and  highly  prized  informa9on  for   consumers.   •  In  China,  the  importance  of  social  media  is   amplified  due  to  consumer  mistrust  of   tradi9onal  adver9sing,  the  rapid   prolifera9on  of  internet-­‐enable  devices  and   a  booming  middle  class  who  will   increasingly  shape  product  offerings  for   decades  with  their  preferences  and  habits.   Social Media is, at its core, a means of communication. The Chinese social media landscape is unique and substantially different than its Western counterpart.
  5. 5. Social Media is Now Mainstream Marketing •  Social  Media  is  no  longer  the  preserve  of   Silicon  Valley  CEOs  or  uber-­‐hip  20-­‐somethings.   •  Mul9na9onal  corpora9ons,  governments,   poli9cians  and  universi9es  are  increasingly   turning  to  social  media  to  befer  communicate   their  values,  ideas  and  content  to  consumers.   •   “Consumers”  no  longer  just  refers  to  people   or  groups  looking  to  purchase  something.    In   the  world  of  social  media,    “consumers”   include  everyone  from  retail  shoppers  and   interna9onal  tourists  to  development   agencies  and  prospec9ve  students.  
  6. 6. Why Universities and College Should Embrace Social Media •  Given  this  insight  about  Chinese  students,  universi9es  should  embrace  social  media  to   enhance  their  reputa9ons  and  build  trust  with  their  followers,  consumer  groups  and  target   audience.   •  Universi9es  and  colleges  are  blessed  with  a  cap9ve  audience  of  prospec9ve  and  current   students,  alumni  and  staff  who  are  likely  to  follow  the  ins9tu9on’s  social  media  accounts.       •  Using  its  students  and  staff  as  a  springboard,  universi9es  can  building  large,  ac9ve  and  open   online  communi9es  that  revolve  around  the  university’s  brand  values.       •  This  branded  community  will  play  a  large  part  in  recrui9ng  Chinese  students,  given  the   prevalence  of  social  media  and  internet  use  in  China.   Source: Wired, “Why Universities Need to Get Social” Insight 1: Chinese students care about a university’s brand and reputation
  7. 7. Why Do Universities and Colleges Invest in Social Media? Students are likely to continue following and engaging with a university’s social media accounts once they have enrolled, thus expanding the university's loyal and active fan base. Crea9ng  awareness  is   cri9cal,  especially  in   markets  outside  of  the   home  market.    Many   non-­‐U.S.  families  are   only  aware  of  top-­‐ ranked  schools  that   widely  wrifen  about   in  tradi9onal  media   outlets.   Pos9ng,  sharing  and   referring  interes9ng   and  engaging  content   will  help  to  build  your   follower  base.    Be  sure   to  encourage  “Liking,”   “Sharing”  and   “Repos9ng.”   With  a  solid  follower   and  fan  base,  it   becomes  possible  to   inform,  recruit  and   network  via  social   media.    FAQs  and   Q&As  can  also  be   posted  for  use  by   followers.   ce:  China  Internet  Network  Informa9on  Center  (CNNIC),  June  2013.   Insight #2 Chinese Millennials spend 20.5 hours online and trust online peer recommendations. Social Media activity allows Chinese students to easily access and research a university’s community, reputation and brand.
  8. 8. Reaching Chinese Students: Think Digital •  Rising  incomes  and  the  prolifera9on  of  smart-­‐everything  has  helped  to  make  China  a   wired  society.   •  There  are  currently  over  591  million  internet  users  in  China,  according  to  the  China   Internet  Network  Informa9on  Center  (CNNIC,  June  2013).   •  That  means  there  are  43  9mes  more  internet  users  in  China  as  there  are  people  living  in   Australia.  91%  of  those  Chinese  ne9zens  visit  social  media  sites,  and  66%  of  those  social   media  users  follow  brands.   •  Increasingly,  the  way  to  reach  Chinese  consumers  of  any  product—be  it  university   educa9ons  or  luxury  purchases—is  through  digital  marke9ng  in  general,  and  social   media  in  par9cular.  
  9. 9. Reaching University-Age Students in China: Social Media Usage 85%  of  Chinese  college  students,  or  roughly  25  million  students,   make  use  of  microblogs  and  video  sharing  sites.   QQ,  the  top  instant  messaging  planorm  had  a  user  base   of  over  750  million  in  September  and  2012  and  links   users  with  Qzone,  its  proprietary  social  networking  site.     Users  under  the  age  of  18  are  the  most  ac9ve  QQ  users,   meaning  that  they  represent  a  prime  market  from   which  overseas  universi9es  can  recruit.    Sina  Weibo   usage  is  also  popular  among  this  demographic.   Sources:  Digital  Media  XI,  “College  Students  Go  Online”  and  All  Things  D,  “How  Social  Media  Usage  Among  China’s  Digital  Na9ves  Is  Evolving”     Young  Chinese   professionals  tend  to   migrate  to  Sina  Weibo   post-­‐gradua9on  and  are   poten9al  candidates  for   overseas  graduate  degree   programs.    
  10. 10. Selecting the Right Platforms •  The  Chinese  social  media   space  is  complex  and  can  be   difficult  to  navigate  without   the  help  of  a  professional   agency.   •  Chinese  social  media   planorms  are  best  used  in   conjunc9on  with  each  other,   as  each  major  planorm  serves   a  different  purpose  and  can   be  used  to  connect  with   consumers  in  a  different   manner.    
  11. 11. A Look at Social Media Platforms Planorms   Type   Poten9al  Op9ons   Users       Micro-­‐blogging   Branded  pages   Over  500  million   Features  such  as  Wei  Ac9vi9es  and  Wei  Magazine   Page  layout  can  be  changed  to  match  campaign       Instant  Messaging   Branded  pages   Over  300  million   Customer  service  possibili9es   Keyword  setup  and  auto  response   Daily  news/ar9cles  sent   QR  Code       SNS   Branded  pages   Over  170  million   Page  layout  can  be  changed  to  match  campaign   Lucky  draws/giveaways   Prac9cal  marke9ng       Video  Sharing   Branded  pages   Over  150  million   Videos  will  be  featured  in  relevant  channels   Ad  availability  throughout   Available  entry  into  branded  zone       E-­‐Commerce   Branded  pages   User  base:  Childless  women   browsing  from  work  and  school   who  have  incomes  over  $30,000   Offer  verified  products  and  reviews   Gain  valuable  guest  experience  informa9on       Visual  Based   Branded  pages   User  base:  Childless  women   browsing  from  work  and  school   who  have  incomes  over  $30,000   Shows  “related  brands”   Social  Media  Integra9on  to  share  products  online   Shows  products  that  are  available  to  buy      
  12. 12. Sina Weibo: Major Universities’ Pages
  13. 13. WeiXin (WeChat): A One-to-One with 300,000,000 Users •  Gain  access  to  the  rapidly  increasing   market  of  300  million  users.   •  Content  can  be  pushed  to  fans  in  one-­‐ to-­‐one  messaging  setng   •  Stored  informa9on  can  be  easily   accessed  via  keyword  search   •  Keyword  setup  and  auto  response   •  Daily  news/ar9cles  sent  to  subscribers   •  QR  Code(s)  can  direct  users  to  landing   pages,  minisites  and  other  social  media   planorms;  QR  codes  placed  elsewhere   can  also  drive  users  to  WeChat   accounts.  
  14. 14. Landing Pages and Localized Sites Pos9ng  content  to   Weibo  is  an   effec9ve  way  to   engage  with   students,  but  may   not  be  enough  to   recruit  students   on  its  own.   A  custom  designed   and  built  Chinese   language  landing   page  or  minisite  can   be  a  very  effec9ve   means  of  connec9ng   with  parents  and   conveying  the  value   of  an  overseas   educa9on.   A  Chinese-­‐ language  site   hosted  on  a   Chinese   domain  will  be   easily   accessible  in   terms  of  both   linguis9c   understanding   and  internet   best  prac9ces.   Chinese-­‐ language   websites  can   be  op9mized   for  search  and   social  media   marke9ng  on   Baidu  (China’s   most  popular   search  engine)   on  Chinese   social  media   planorms   respec9vely.  
  15. 15. Going Mobile: The Rise of Smart-Everything in China •  According  to  CNNIC  (June  2013),  China   had  460  million  mobile  web  users  as  of   July  2013.   •  70%  of  new  internet  users  in  China   access  the  internet  via  mobile  device.   •  China  has  over  300  million  3G  users,   meaning  that  roughly  300  smartdevices   across  the  country  are  perpetually   connected  to  the  world  wide  web.   •  Given  the  overwhelming  rates  of  mobile   internet  usage,  any  digital  marke9ng   strategy  must  make  use  of  mobile   planorms  with  content  and  messaging   op9mized  for  mobile  use.  
  16. 16. Conclusions •  The  educa9onal  choices  available  to  Chinese  students  are  ever  growing,  as  is  the   informa9on  available  to  them.     •  Given  the  online  habits  and  preferences  of  the  Chinese  students,  using  social  media  and   targeted  online  campaigns  represent  the  most  effec9ve  means  this  massive  and  growing   target  audience.    Conveying  your  university’s  messaging  and  brand  values  via  the  correct   channel(s)  will  be  what  gets  you  the  enrollments  that  your  university  needs,  not  merely   copy  other  universi9es’  methods  in  their  en9rety.     •  If  you  would  like  to  know  more  about   leveraging  social  media  to  recruit  Chinese   students,  or  have  any  ques9ons,  please  do   not  hesitate  to  get  in  contact  with  us.  We   have  years  of  experience  in  this  field  as  well   as  talented,  mul9cultural  and  mul9lingual   staff.   Thank you for reading and be sure to share with your friends, fans and followers.
  17. 17. Contact Us @digitaljunglecn   plus.google.com/digitaljungle   www.dmic.asia   weibo.com/digitaljungle   facebook.com/digitaljunglecn   pinterest.com/digitaljungle   slideshare.net/digitaljungle     info@digitaljungle.com.cn