The last decade has seen the phenomenal rise of social media as a constant part of our lives. It transcends every sphere, and no age group is to be left behind. Companies are actively hiring Social Media managers and engaging their customers through various platforms.
Social media takes on many forms and functions, such as VLogging and video sharing, messaging, social sites, news sharing sites and online communities. The aims of these are quite different although many platforms are gradually merging these functions plus more. Almost 2 billion people, worldwide, use one form or another of social media and about 80% of the American population has a social media profile.
Brands are taking advantage of the organic networks that they have been able to form through various social platforms to promote their products and conduct outreach campaigns.
Higher education has also slowly found its footing in the social sharing. It may be an ironic coincidence that the progress may have been a tad slower here than with other sectors seeing as the world’s most beloved social media engine, Facebook, was founded in a Harvard dorm room.
As can be imagined, college students represent one of the biggest demographics with access to smart devices and technological flexibility. This presents a unique challenge and opportunity to both these students and their colleges in many aspects of their operations.
We explore a few of these perspectives below:
Engaging With Potential Schools
Every student has their dream school, the ones that keep them up late at night strategizing on how they’ll get there. Beyond relying on custom writing service British Essay Writer which assist them in writing great application essays and personal statements, students now have the added advantage of communicating directly and frequently with their preferred schools and alumni networks through social.
There has been enhanced competitiveness for talent and schools such as John Hopkins are running campaigns on social media to attract the best to their schools. Admissions officers are also being encouraged to engage students on social media actively, and this is a great way for students to learn more about the institution they are interested in.
Instead of waiting for the more traditional brochures and pamphlets to get a tiny fraction of the information they’d like to receive, applicants are now participating in virtual webinars and other video conferences on social platforms to experience first-hand what they are applying to.
Creating a Tighter-Knit Campus Community
College is not just a learning space but an active community. The feeling of ‘go-blue’ or ‘go-tigers’ presents the feeling of being in some sort of family space. Through online communities either student-built or more mainstream like Facebook, universities can grow the culture and the attitude of both their students and their alumni. Through these communities, students can learn more about the school (especially freshmen), and other important events in the school calendar can be shared with everyone.
Facebook which initially started out as a networking site specifically for Harvard students and later grew tremendously offers a glimpse of how effective such strategies can be. Creating awareness is an important part of such communities and works especially well if a strategy manager is employed to account for the operational parts.
Promoting Learning and Research
Millennials and Generation Z understand this best. The days of conventional and boring classroom learning are almost moving behind us. Granted classroom time should not be ignored for whatever reason; schools are now promoting learning through video sharing sites such as YouTube and other web platforms.
Distance Learning is one such effort where students thousands of miles away can access the same information as someone who would have sat in the same class. Lecturers can post links to their lessons on their social media handles, and anyone can access these. Students who are participating in virtual learning webinars can participate in open discussions and experience the same kind of interactive experience they’d get if they were seated in a class.
Colleges are nowadays collaborating more and more with well-endowed companies in research. The results of this collaboration may not be visible to folks who don’t have an interest in these spheres of academia. Making known these collaborations through social media handles increases awareness and interest from students, and with these links, students have a direct line to the results of this research.
Some of the biggest companies in the world such as BMW and Tesla are working with colleges in research and product development. Availing these efforts on social media to students implies that these learners are no longer limited to passive study as in past ages and can engage professionals without having to travel.