February 7, 2014 debbie.m

Student Feedback On Social Media

We all know social media is a fantastic way to connect with prospective students. Young adults are heavy consumers of technology and avid social media users. But how they’re using social media — and where they’re spending their time — changes all the time.

Now there is some fresh data to help guide your strategy. Social media is critical in college searches, with 68% of prospective students saying they social media is influential in their college research, according to the 2014 Social Admissions Report by Chegg, Zinch, and Uversity.

Seventy-three percent of students surveyed say colleges and universities should have a social media presence, but many felt the content available is not relevant.

Despite rumblings about teens abandoning Facebook, it remains a dominant force with young users. According to the study, Facebook ranked no. 1 as the top social media site for information about colleges. Youtube was the second preferred source, followed by Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. And two-thirds of students said social media conversations influenced their decision where to enroll.

Wondering where to concentrate your efforts? Even schools with dedicated social media staff need to prioritize. Facebook should still get the lion’s share of your efforts, as it reigns as the most-used social media site. However, other sites are edging up and deserve attention as well, including Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Among young adults surveyed, Facebook ranked as the no. 1 site for social media use, with 85% of students using it in 4th quarter 2013, down slightly from 87% in 4th quarter 2012. Meanwhile, in the same period, other popular social media sites are all growing. Twitter ranked second in use with 54%, followed by Instagram (53%); Tumblr (40%); and Pinterest (39%).

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