LinkedIn’s New University Pages – A Marketing Strategy That Can Boost Your RecruitmentBLOG POST
An arsenal of tried and tested marketing methods is always beneficial when it comes to university marketing. But, to move forward with the development and progression of marketing, it’s also wise to look into new opportunities. In September 2013, LinkedIn introduced one such marketing opportunity with the debut of their University Pages. This venue narrows the focus to universities seeking to connect with prospective students and vice versa. The opportunity to connect within a social network designed specifically for universities is one that you shouldn’t overlook for your university marketing campaign.
Overview of LinkedIn’s University Pages
University Pages is a professional social network platform from which your university can connect with potential students and their parents, share pertinent and useful information, maintain contact with alumni and provide assistance to students making important education and career decisions. In early August 2013, LinkedIn opened the professional network to a limited number of universities. Following this initial trial period, it was opened to other universities and students in mid-September.
LinkedIn’s newest professional network caters to students searching for universities and the universities who wish to recruit them. Taking advantage of this opportunity as part of your recruitment process is simple, particularly if your university already has established a presence on LinkedIn. If this isn’t the case, it’s certainly time to get on the bandwagon and start networking through LinkedIn.
How to Use University Pages
Make use of highlighted features:
- General University Information.Don’t assume students know the basics about your university. Fill them in so you’re not inadvertently weeded out of the running.
- Public News Feed.Post to your public news feed two to three times weekly to build useful information that attracts students searching for universities.
- Aggregated Alumni Career Information.Catch the eye of prospective students by showing them what your alumni are doing with their careers.
- Featured LinkedIn Groups.Prospective students will naturally look to join groups that can be beneficial in their university search, and these groups can often be found through your University Page.
- Notable Alumni Feature.Alternately highlight various notable alumni to attract the attention of prospective students and their parents. This feature shows students the impact you’ve had on another individual’s success.
Build Your Connections – Network
An accumulation of connections is vital for your university to reap the benefits of using University Pages. To achieve this, your department must invest time each week in networking with prospective students and their parents, as well as your current student population and alumni.
Benefits of Incorporating this Social Network
- Establish Credibility. Information regarding alumni career success, current recruitment events and university statistics helps you build credibility within the higher education community.
- Build Your List of Prospective Students. The ability to communicate early in the process with students in search of a university puts you at an advantage over universities relying solely on traditional marketing and recruitment methods.
- Interact with Parents. Take advantage of the opportunity to create your own LinkedIn group by forming one for parents. They often play a deciding role in where their student applies for university and are likely to have many questions and concerns you can address.
- Engage Your Current Student Population. Those currently attending your university can become some of your strongest advertisers. Engage your students through LinkedIn, encouraging them to share testimonials and information about interesting classes, clubs and social events.
- Reconnect with Alumni and Accumulate Testimonials. Re-establish your connection with alumni to further build your testimonials. This is another excellent form of free advertising that can help potential students in their decision-making process.
- Highlight Areas of Expertise. Does your university specialise in certain programs? Have notable alumni all graduated from a particular program in your university? Let your connections know by highlighting these areas of expertise.
An Effective Part of the Whole
Smart use of University Pages can help you build your university’s online presence while multiplying the connections established with potential and current students, alumni and prospective students’ parents. To get the greatest return on your investment in University Pages, ensure that you’re profile is complete and use the features offered.
When new marketing venues and opportunities enter the scene, people are often tempted to focus solely on them. While LinkedIn’s University Pages has a lot to offer your facility, it should be used as one part of your entire marketing campaign. A good balance of traditional and digital marketing methods can extend your reach toward prospective students, while helping you establish credibility and boost your recruitment numbers.
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