ua-networks.com, June 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Social media is a highly influential source of information for international students thinking about studying abroad. While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube lead the pack, there is growing rise in popularity around other platforms that many universities may not yet be utilizing as part of their marketing and recruitment strategies. According to a report, prospective students today are 44% more likely than people who have studied in the past to cite social media as a major influence on enrollment. Students are keen to get information from a variety of sources in order to feel more confident that they have a comprehensive understanding of the universities they are applying to. The true value of social media in student recruitment lies in its ability to provide students an alternative source of information.
The rise in digital devices coincides with a growth in both virtual and real-world classrooms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms helped launch a hyper connected, globalised community, exposing students to brand-new ideas and concepts at the simple click of a button. The world itself has been transformed into a living, breathing social network, extending education beyond traditional delivery and into the realm of the immersive, collaborative, and engaging learning experience. Social media is an important tool because you can meet prospective and current students. It helps many students find and share information, engage with others, and join communities.
According to a study, YouTube leads the way with 34% of undergraduate students and 50% of postgraduate students using it to get inspired and find more information about their studying abroad options. This is in line with the growing trends in videos as a highly important content type. Sixty-seven percent of students said that videos helped them choose which country to study in, while 79% said videos helped them pick a specific university.
Apart from YouTube, Facebook and Instagram were among the most popular platforms currently being utilized by universities and students alike. However, alternative platforms are on the rise with more and more students looking for new and exciting ways of interacting with universities and getting inspired to study abroad. For undergraduate students, Pinterest has seen a 160% rise in popularity as a source of information for making study abroad decisions. Additionally, Twitter and Snapchat have doubled.
For postgraduate students, Instagram has seen a 140% growth, and Pinterest has doubled. While LinkedIn remains a popular social media platform for students studying a Master’s or PhD degree, it has seen a smaller 20% growth in recent years.
So the role of social media lies in adding value, rather than replacing more ‘official’ or formal channels, in order to show prospective students a different side of an institution. Social networks can allow prospective students to get a feel for daily life and connect directly with peers. Having a lively social media presence can be a good way to present a university as open, welcoming and up to date, with a strong community. UAN recognizes the influence of social media and possesses the expertise to help you make a mark in the international market and gain the much needed exposure to a more diverse community of clients across the globe.