Hey all you college-searchers, it's Elizabeth here with some thoughts on social media.
When it comes to making your big school decision, you've heard lots of good advice: go on a campus visit, try out a Preview Day, stalk the school's website (or blog), sign up for emails, talk to current students, etc.
These are all great things to help you be proactive, but there's something missing from this list: social media.
Connecting with your top school choices on social media is often a strategy that is overlooked by many high schoolers. It's surprising, actually, considering how much time we spend on our phones and killing time on Twitter and Instagram. Why the disconnect?
A Student Poll study conducted by College Board two years ago showed that only 18% of college bound students explored a university's social media sites as a way to get information about academic departments, student life, admissions, etc. Now, keep in mind, this study was done two years ago, and even though the percentage has steadily grown with the popularity of social media, a university's social media networks are still surprisingly unpopular among interested students.
This could be for a few reasons. One: some Universities don't have regularly maintained social media profiles. Two: some of the content put out by universities aren't geared toward high school students and therefore clutter your feed with unwanted information. Three: maybe you haven't thought to check out a college's social media to just see what they offer.
Even though it may not seem like it to us digital natives, social media is still a fairly new thing to the world, including universities. What started as fun social networking for college and high school students, has steadily grown into one of the most effective and mainstream marketing and advertising tools. Bottom line: social media is big and getting bigger.
However, organizations (including colleges) are still learning how to jump on board with developing an influential social media presence. Colleges especially are still figuring out how to best represent and promote themselves on social media, but they're getting there!
So go ahead and try it out! Search what kind of accounts your top 5 schools have. Remember, in your following extravaganza, to follow accounts that will actually benefit you. For example, you probably don't want to follow an account catered to a school's alumni, because you're not an alumni. However, you do want to look for accounts that deal with student life, admissions, or general information about the university.
You may find that some colleges have fabulous Twitter and Instagram accounts that will give you a glimpse into what it's like to be a student. Go ahead and explore online (beyond just the school's website) to see into the day to day lives of students, and you can go ahead and see if you'd be a good fit in that community.
Keep in mind, that even if some colleges don't have the most current social media accounts yet, they may still be learning. So give them a shot. Go a step further and use their account to find other students or on campus organizations to give you a glimpse into real life, because you never know, it could be your life pretty soon.
- Elizabeth "the sosh meeds" Moore
Interested in checking out some of MC's social media accounts?
Follow @MissCollege for general information about the college and updates on what's going on campus and with our current students.
Follow @MC_Admissions (on Twitter and Instagram) that caters specially to high school and prospective students! We want you to have the best experience possible when visiting and getting to know us. We tweet our blogs, updates about where our Admissions Counselors are traveling, and awesome events we're planning just for you.