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NACAC 2015 - Findings from the 2015 Social Admissions Report


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Students today are part of a changing digital ecosystem. Their natural instinct is to travel online to find information, using social media and mobile technology as an extension of themselves. The fifth installment of the Social Admissions Report focuses on the changing perspectives of Millennials, including how new mobile trends influence the different phases of their college search. The survey takes an in-depth look at how admissions can use social and mobile channels to reach students with the right information at the right time.

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NACAC 2015 - Findings from the 2015 Social Admissions Report

  1. 1. G2. Findings from the 2015 Social Admissions Report Presenters Lara Ramsay, Associate Director of Recruitment, Washington State University, WA Claire Silva, Associate Director of Admission, Gonzaga University, WA Gil Rogers, Director of Enrollment Insights, Chegg, CA Andrew Wilson, Product Manager, TargetX, CA Tyler Kreitz, Accounts Manager, TargetX, CA #socadm15 #nacac15
  2. 2. Selfies, Snapchat, So What? • We are in a period of rapid change with respect to what tools and resources students use and how they use them. • Social media and digital tools continue to be a valuable yet misunderstood part of an enrollment office’s recruitment arsenal. • There is a balance between being an early adopter and being strategic and focused on your goals. Selfies, Snapchat, So What? #socadm15
  3. 3. Methodology Background Get robust insights into high school students’ use of social media, in general, and when selecting a college Methodology Survey invitations were emailed to Chegg high school seniors Survey Dates October 27– November 17, 2014 Past Social Admissions Report fielded in Q2 2014, Q4 2013, Q1 2013 and Q3 2012 High School Students 1,611 surveys completed Weighted data to 42% male, 58% female Methodology #socadm15
  4. 4. 33% 39% 20% 8% 1-3 4-6 7-10 +10 Ethnicity CA 13% GA 4% FL 5% MI 5% NY 5% PA 4% TX 10% Top States of Residence Number of Schools Applied To Respondent Breakdown African American 18% Asian 7% NHPI 1% Two or More Races 9% Prefer Not to Answer 8% White 56% AIAN 1% Respondent Breakdown #socadm15
  5. 5. Digital Domination Digital Domination #socadm15
  6. 6. Today’s high school students were born when Google began and in grade school when Facebook took off Recruiting the iGeneration
  7. 7. Instant Gratification After you contact a college representative, how soon do you expect to hear a response? Instant Gratification #socadm15
  8. 8. Personalization How much do you agree with the following statement: “I would like to receive communication from college admissions tailored specifically to me.” How much do you agree with the following statement: “I would like to receive communication from college admissions tailored specifically to me.” Personalization
  9. 9. Which of the following online resources you have used to research colleges? Top Digital Tools 76% 56% 50% 39% 36% 35% 34% 28% 19% 18% 14% 13% 12% 10% Top Digital Tools to Research Colleges #socadm15
  10. 10. Informative Social Specialized NEARLY 90% INDICATED USING AT LEAST ONE OF THESE 8 SITES Segmenting Digital Tools #socadm15
  11. 11. Digital Tools Students use these tools to ask: How do I get in? What majors does your school offer? How do students like it there? Digital Tools
  12. 12. Social Networks Students use these tools to ask: Are the students there like me? Will they like me? Will I like them? Social Networks
  13. 13. Most Useful for College Research How useful were the following types of sites during your college research? 8% 14% 31% 50% 16% 27% 42% 36% 33% 34% 22% 11% 23% 9% 3% 1% Social media sites Ranking sites (e.g., US News and World Report) College review and scholarship sites (e.g., Chegg, Niche) College and university sites Extremely useful Very useful Somewhat useful Not very useful College .edu is a marketing vehicle for prospective student outreach 73% indicate very-extremely useful Less than 1/4 indicate very-extremely useful Most Useful Sites for College Research #socadm15
  14. 14. Insights on Digital Tools Differentiate between digital and social tools While it may be appropriate for a youthful member of your team to manage your social networking presence, this person may or may not be the best fit for managing your entire digital recruitment strategy. Nearly 90% of students Report using one of the sites in the Chegg network for their research. These sites are oftentimes the first (and even last) stop on a student’s college search. Digital sources are used for discovery and information gathering An effective digital recruitment strategy focuses on reaching students on the channels they use, when they are using them. Insights on Digital Tools #socadm15
  15. 15. Mobile Mania Mobile Mania
  16. 16. Savvy Consumers Which device did you primarily use to research colleges? 51% Laptop 28% Hand Held Device 21% Desktop Device Used to Research College #socadm15
  17. 17. College Research on Mobile 81% 40% 35% 33% 18% 14% 13% 7% Which of the following have you done on a mobile device when considering which colleges to apply to or where to enroll? (select all that apply) 4 in 5 students visit college websites on mobile One-third submit a college application College Research on Mobile #socadm15
  18. 18. College Websites on Mobile How frequently do you visit college websites on a mobile browser? How would you rate your mobile experience interacting with the college websites? 17% 62% 11% 10% Once a day 20% Once a week 39% Once a month 10% Every once in a while 31% 3 in 5 students access college sites on a mobile device at least weekly The experience meets needs but could be improved Frequency of visiting college websites on mobile Quality of experience on mobile site College Websites on Mobile #socadm15
  19. 19. Mobile Browsing & Mobile Apps Mobile Browsing • Your institution’s website is the first marketing tool for attracting and engaging prospective students. • Mobile browsing is a key element during the discovery phase of college search. Mobile Apps • Improve student experience through the funnel. • Faster, easier access to information and people once students have demonstrated interest in your institution. • Provide a two-way, direct form of communication thanks to push notifications, student preferences, etc. Mobile Browsing vs. Mobile Apps #socadm15
  20. 20. Private Messaging Private messaging apps continue to gain ground Over HALF of students use WhatsApp or GroupMe 43% 35% 21% 14% 4% 3% 23% Other includes: FB Messenger WeChat Kik Have you used any of the following messaging apps? (select all that apply) Private Messaging Apps #socadm15
  21. 21. App Happy For what purpose would you download an app from a college? (select all that apply) 68% 57% 48% 43% 42% Updates on admissions information Learn college-specific information Submit a college application Communicate with college reps Take virtual campus tour 2 in 5 students would download an app to communicate with college reps Top Reasons to Download App from a College #socadm15
  22. 22. Text Messaging & Private Messaging Text Messaging vs. Private Messaging #socadm15
  23. 23. Mobile Mania Summary Insights on Mobile Mania Affinity is everything Know the differences between responsive web design, mobile web apps and native apps, and how students’ interest in your institution should influence your mobile strategy. R-E-S-P-E-C-T As restrictions around student data and privacy increase, understanding boundaries is key. Consider how private messaging through a native app compares to opt-in strategies, like texting. Don’t be fooled by the hot new thing Traditional channels, such as email, are still relevant, but for new reasons. Email is a way to store Transactional information, while “de-bundled” apps are more influential for students as they connect with schools before enrolling. #socadm15
  24. 24. Social Smarts Social Smarts
  25. 25. 89% 44% 29% 27% 19% 88% 48% 38% 30% 30% 87% 51% 48% 33% 31% 83% 55% 62% 40% 40% 82% 54% 64% 26% 37% Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr Pinterest Q3 2012 Q1 2013 Q4 2013 Q2 2014 Q4 2014 Year over year comparison How often do you use the following different social media websites? Visual-first networks continue to outpace the competition Shifts in General Social Media Use #socadm15
  26. 26. 2% 6% 7% 12% 18% 9% 11% 2% 3% 9% 9% 9% 8% 13% 4% 4% 13% 9% 8% 15% 17% 4% 1% 6% 5% 4% 10% 9% 8% 7% 12% 13% 10% 20% 17% Pinterest Snapchat Twitter Instagram Google+ YouTube Facebook Multiple times a day Once a day Once a week Once a month Every once in a while Facebook Isn’t Dead How often do you use the following social media sites during college research? Facebook isn’t dead Students regularly visit visual-first apps for college information Tumblr 13% Vine 12% LinkedIn 11% * *Still confusion amongst this audience defining Google+ as a social network versus Google’s suite of Social Media Use for College Research #socadm15
  27. 27. Growth and Fragmentation 58% 41% 19% 6% 60% 49% 28% 31% 14% 67% 62% 48% 46% 20% Facebook YouTube Instagram Twitter Pinterest 2012 2013 2014 Year over year comparison How often do you use the following social media sites during college research? All platforms trending up Instagram has increased by 20 percentage points in just one year Growth in Social Media Use for College Research #socadm15
  28. 28. Online Activities 4 in 5 students have watched a video during their college search 36% 21% 21%46%80% Watched a video Searched or tweeted a hashtag Read a student blog Live chat with admissions rep Post a ? on college social media How often have you done the following during your college research process? Online College Research Activities #socadm15
  29. 29. Connections Matter How important was it for you to interact with the following people via social media during your college research process? Most important people to interact with on social media 77% admissions counselors 74% currently enrolled students 66% other admitted students Connections Matter
  30. 30. Social Smarts Summary Insights on Social Smarts Social is mobile 83% of students access social media on a mobile device. Know your networks Facebook still isn’t dead, but video and visual-first platforms continue to gain ground. This age group understand intuitively how to filter inauthentic, brand-heavy messaging. Make students your story. Distinguish tool vs. toy It’s always good to pay attention to the next big thing, but high use does not mean high impact. Strike a balance between trying new things and making the most of your time and resources. Just because students use a tool doesn’t mean they use it for official college information. Return of exclusivity Students today understand the risks of social which is why they gravitate towards private networks. Deliver a rich, interactive student experience for admissions instead of latching onto the latest silver bullet. #socadm15
  31. 31. @targetx Questions? CONTACT US! Thank You @targetx @wsuadmissions @gonzagau @gilrogers #socadm15