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Brand awareness and engagement prove successful for many colleges on Facebook
Times have changed in college admissions. Gone are the days when a prospective student could be targeted, contacted, and recruited all with a single pamphlet in the mail. High schoolers can now learn a wealth of information about a university just by logging onto
Not to be outdone, college admissions offices have embraced the social media site, with more than 80 percent of colleges using
With the change in communication between the typical college and student, many universities have bought into the importance of building a
Recent statistics from Web analytics company comScore's "2010 U.S.
Digital Year in Review" found that more than 150 million unique visitors within the United
The likelihood that students are accessing a university's website on a consistent basis may be slim, but statistics do
show where students spend their time online. According to comScore, each unique U.S. visitor averaged 35.5 visits to
Some colleges and universities have been cautious about opening their network to social media, as it may make them vulnerable to negative attacks. But, according to Harvard University Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Christine Heenan, schools cannot afford to be mute. "To be absent on those channels sends a strong signal about a university's commitment to innovation," says Heenan. "It's not a just a ticket to play. It's a ticket to win."
While much can be credited to aggressive social media strategy and implementation, universities with strong brand
awareness have an advantage in the
There are two national universities within the top 10 Best Colleges rankings --
Only one school among the U.S. News top 10 ranked universities,
Institutions such as the
While having large fan bases and engaged communities on
Although no concrete statistics have been unearthed about a student's decision being influenced by a college's social media strategy, some believe it to be true. "I guarantee a university that rocked it out [on social media] today would get kids to go to that school," says Vaynerchuk. "The colleges that understand how to create an environment where they're engaging with high school juniors and seniors are going to win. I firmly believe that."
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