The Social Side of College Admissions

New White Paper: Facebook and Admissions

September 2, 2010

In the spring, we conducted a survey of 226 admissions and marketing professionals at 226 colleges and universities across the US. We asked them a series of questions related to how they were using Facebook to reach out to prospects and admits.

We compiled our findings into a data-packed white paper, entitled Facebook and Admissions: A Closer Look at How College Admission Offices Use Facebook. Some of the key findings included:

  • Facebook is the most important and most used social media outlet for admission offices, ahead of blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and MySpace.
  • Most admission offices have a dedicated presence on Facebook, typically utilizing Facebook pages or Facebook groups. Many have more than one presence on Facebook.
  • An admission office’s Facebook presence is typically managed by a small group of individuals (1-3 people) who spend 4 hours or less per week on this task. More than half of admission offices place primary responsibility for this task in the hands of a junior admissions staff member with less than 5 years of experience.
  • Most admission offices are happy with the results of their Facebook presence, yet less than half agree that their presence has had a significant impact on recruitment or yield efforts.

This last finding was of particular interest to us. It highlighted one of the biggest challenges of Facebook and social media, in general—measuring success.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about how your school defines success on Facebook. Is it the number of fans your Pages have or the number of members that have joined your Groups? How do these metrics translate into impact on larger goals of increasing enrollment, improving the quality of applicants and enrolled students, and increasing awareness of and affinity with your school?

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