As we all know, it is important to reach out to potential students in a way that is relevant, resonant, and engaging. But, how does Twitter tie in and how do we incorporate it with our institution’s message?
Who Communicates with your Ideal Student Better than your Ideal Student?
Short answer: No one. Just as your current students engage with prospective students for campus tours and orientations, schools need to communicate through their students on Twitter. Students know what appeals to them and what doesn’t.
We must be sure all students representing an institution on Twitter are positive, academically high performing and involved with campus events and activities. Great students will attract more great students.
Even the best and brightest students need clear and straightforward guidelines. For example, if you do not want your students to discuss political affiliation, religion or alcohol consumption, then this needs to be explicitly stated, no matter how obvious. Here are a few examples.
Don’t Yell! talk.
Getting a University Twitter Account and posting updates are simply not enough. Universities must listen to what prospective students are saying and respond accordingly.
Timmothy Smith: “I want to know more about Liberal Arts at #XYZschool!” XYZ school: “Link Liberal Arts Dpt: www.LAXYZ.com Can I answer any questions?”
Laura Stone: “I just sent my application to #XYZschool!” XYZ school: “Thanks for applying! Goodluck!”
Interacting with students makes them feel engaged and connected to your institution. We find that in most cases clients ignore or neglect comments reaching out to the school. Such as this this one:
Every Tweet Counts
Always keep your Twitter messages positive. Like a Direct Mail piece or University website, every aspect of communication reflects upon the school. This is certainly easier said than done. For Saturday’s Football game a simple “Go Cats Beat the Bears” can certainly do the trick, but what if the star quarterback injures his knee? Still stay positive, “@StarQuarterbackBob We wish you a speedy recovery!” In bad or negative circumstances focus on showing support or offering help.
The most important rule is to Get Involved
Initiate conversations with students, potential students, faculty, alumni and parents to get them involved and engaged with your school.
“A quiet personality sure isn’t what you need to attract attention” – Bill Budget.
Twitter is one large conversation with anyone who wants to speak or simply listen. Participating in the conversation really gives schools an advantage.