Students Are Digital Natives. Are You Speaking Their Language?

In the old days of education institution marketing, sending education institution pamphlets out in the mail was a good way to entice juniors and seniors to attend your education institution. But while brochures remain a useful tangible hand-out at college fairs, they’re no longer enough. Today’s incoming students are digital natives. To attract them to your education institution, you need to speak their language, a challenge that requires your marketing team to adopt a whole new set of skills.

Understanding Digital Natives

For most education institution employees, childhood was characterized by passed notes in English class and long afternoon bike rides with friends. But for digital natives, childhood had a different feel to it. Technology was an ubiquitous and integral part of their early lives. Many of these students can text faster than you can type on a keyboard. When they have a question or concern, they don’t reach for the Encyclopedia: they reach for Google.

Because technology is such an important part of their lives, it’s also an important part of how they connect to your education institution. A large majority of education institution applicants—especially international applicants—apply to schools without making any contact with the education institution. These students rely on a school’s digital presence, including their website and social media presence, to make their enrollment decision.

Social Media and Digital Natives

Nearly 100% of Gen Z consumers own a smartphone, and social media apps take up a large portion of their bandwidth. In fact, one study reveals that 85% of prospective international students use social media as part of their research process into an education institution. To attract these students, it’s imperative that your education institution has a strong social media presence.

It’s not enough to just have a page on Facebook with the occasional update about application deadlines. Your social media accounts act as the brochures of the modern era. But unlike brochures, social media accounts need to be ever-changing and adapting.

Using Social Media as an Education Institution

When you use social media as an education institution, you’re continually marketing to tomorrow’s incoming class. The way you use social media tells students a lot about your education institution, from how well you communicate about upcoming deadlines to how often your campus has fun, engaging events for people to attend.

Social media favors images and videos, so to master social media marketing, your education institution not only needs to understand the difference between social media platforms, but also needs to become experts at taking candid photos at campus events, creating funny memes, and editing videos that add value to your students’ lives. Your audience also wants to see that you have a solid social media presence across multiple platforms, which means that you should have accounts—at a minimum—on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Other social media accounts, like Pinterest or Tumblr, could be a boon if you have the team to keep up with them. Some universities even use SnapChat to keep their students up-to-date on campus events in real time.

Cloud Industry’s Commitment

When you consider everything that you need to speak to today’s digital natives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. An entire team could work tirelessly on your social media campaigns and still struggle to keep up with today’s ever-changing social media climate.  Meanwhile, without the right tools on hand, it’s almost impossible to effectively manage and record the benefits of social media campaigns.

You may know that there is some impact on your fundraising efforts or student applications based on social media, but it can be hard to pin down how much of an effect it’s having.

You have probably heard of salesforce and the multitude of ways that it can help your business. Sometimes it’s hard to define how it could work for you.
That’s where Cloud Industry comes in.
We can help you track the return on investment for your social media campaigns. Through a combination of CRM integration, marketing automation, and feedback directly from your students, we are committed to helping your education institution determine which social media activities are having an effect on your students.

To find out some more, contact our marketing experts today.

2019-11-21T14:41:37+00:00November 21st, 2019|
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