Great piece here from the New York Times on colleges using social media as a recruitment tool. The concept of using technology to recruit students isnt new (believe it or not, online registration used to not be the standard, kiddos), but innovation we’re seeing on Web sites themselves is quite inspiring and in some cases, kinda pretty.
This reminds me of a conversation I had recently with a friend who said how cool it was to be able to connect with her classmates before meeting them face-to-face in two months. I should mention she’s headed to grad school in Barcelona, Spain in two months. Through Facebook, email and other social media channels, she’s already been invited to parties and mixers, found an apartment and roommates.
I can’t help but think back to my study abroad prep. We had to snail mail checks and paperwork and email wasn’t always reliable.
Web site innovation is key, but the secret sauce will lie in the use of other social media channels. Think about how effective Twitter would be as a recruitment tool, troubleshooting/FAQ tool or once you become a student, a hotline in the case of emergencies. Schools are already using emails and texts to reach their student body. Twitter is a natural (perhaps more effective) next step.
Colleges must earmark time and money though, and track their must successful channels and above all, keep using them.