Takeaways from Zinch and Inigral's 2012 Social Admissions Report
Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 9:00am -- Ali Kimm
Last month, Zinch and Inigral revealed the results of their recent study, 2012 Social Admissions Report. In it, they discuss their findings from a poll of over 7,000 students on their use of social media--especially as it relates to college admissions. So, what did they find out?
Well, many colleges and universities are moving their focus away from Facebook to make sure they are not left behind as popularity for Twitter and other social media networks rises. Although popularity for other networks is increasing, there are some numbers from Zinch and Inigral’s report that cannot be ignored.
Here are some of the interesting statistics that they discovered in their study:
- Over 70% of students use mobile devices to access social media and school websites
- Some students prefer social media interaction over emails from schools (EDITOR'S NOTE: In the case of official correspondence from colleges, many students still view email as the most reliable channel. Thank you, Brandon, for the correction)
- Facebook is still the most popular social media site
- Almost 60% of students use Facebook to research institutions; YouTube and Twitter follow behind at about 40% and 20%, respectively
- Almost 70% of students think colleges should have social media
- About 40% of students find social media content valuable and relevant
- Students want to see open forums and interaction from current students when looking at a school’s social media page
- About 50% of students researching schools want to connect with current students when researching schools; fewer want to hear from admissions counselors on social media
What does this mean for higher education?
Schools already have valuable information for prospective students on their websites. This information is written mostly by admissions counselors and other school employees. What prospect students want to see in social media pages is all of the information that cannot be displayed on the school’s website.
A large percentage of students want to connect more with students currently attending the schools they are considering. They want questions answered truthfully by current students to receive less biased information when researching schools. Some suggestions from students in the poll were for schools to have an open forum or FAQ section where anyone can post discussion topics and comments.
Facebook is still the most popular social media site that students use to research schools. Since almost half of the polled students say their decisions are influenced by schools’ social media pages, colleges and universities need to make sure they have a good social media strategy in place and are utilizing the right sites. Although staying agile and being present on other, newer sites may be important, it is still crucial for schools to spend most of their efforts on the bigger social networks. Stay relevant, encourage interaction from students currently attending your organization, and utilize social media to differentiate your organization.
What social media strategies have worked well for your organization? Do you have any other suggestions not mentioned in this report?
View the 2012 Admissions Report
Check out the Zinch and Inigral's 2012 Social Admissions Report Slidedeck.
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